Author Archives: Melanie Cervi

Philharmonia Baroque — Music of Shakespeare

            Shakespeare. It’s a family name. A famous name. All around the world, people think immediately of William Shakespeare. Thousands of people can claim a Shakespeare in their family tree. We had the pleasure on Sunday afternoon, January 12, 2020, of listening to a fine chamber ensemble led by one such descendant: Nicholas McGegan. The Carmel Music Society invited us to Sunset Center in Carmel to hear Philharmonia Baroque Chamber Players with Sherezade Panthaki, soprano. This was part of a tour during McGegan’s Farewell Season as Music Director of Philharmonia Baroque. Since I particularly enjoy productions of Shakespeare’s plays where music is added between acts, or as part of the action, I was curious what music McGegan had chosen especially because we were not to hear the words of any of the plays.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Music Society


Chamber Music Monterey Bay — Inscape: A Mixed Ensemble

As the air turns crisp and the leaves rustle as they fall to the sidewalk, I tend to notice music around me more often. Hardly a minute goes by in public that music is not offered for your listening pleasure. Our ears are full. Modern music from the 20th and 21st Century is challenging at times. Modern life is challenging at times. This listener does not begrudge a Classical Music fan for taking a “bye” on a concert when life has just been too challenging. Life happens. Music happens. Sometimes one just wants the music to speak to one’s heart. No brain stretching harmonies, no new instruments, no clash of instrumental techniques; just music to stir the ear and the mind and of course, the heart. No in-depth conversations of differences, just the chance to hear old friends. When the promotional Press Release mentions that a group “is pushing the boundaries of classical music” one may need to pause and reframe your ears and mind before entering the concert hall. This listener has often been in that “just give me easy listening” frame of mind. Last night, I was ready for some new experiences; a concert of all modern stuff.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Chamber Music Monterey Bay


Carmel Chamber Players Debut in Home Concert

Review of Carmel Chamber Players

Nicola Reilly, James Neiman & Janneke Hoogland

            I enjoy walking the beach and enjoy the many trails we have in the Monterey area. Even so, I passed up my afternoon walk on Sunday, October 27, 2019 to attend a wonderful concert. I am so glad I took the time to sit still and experience an afternoon of chamber music by the Carmel Chamber Players. This, incidentally, is the debut appearance of this newly founded group. I joined a small group of guests at the Bronson Piano Studio in Carmel Highlands. Chamber music historically has been played and enjoyed in homes, and the living room studio in the home of Lyn and Renée Bronson is a perfect setting. To listen while viewing the trees behind the pianos is always a joy.

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Archived in these categories: Cello, Chamber music, Piano, Violin


Carmel Presbyterian Community Concert

            Fall has arrived! With the crisp air come favored activities: Enjoying wonderful fruits and vegetables, making pies and jellies and jams, Football games, and Opening Concerts. What Fun! For quite a few years, I supported my children by spending many Friday evenings sitting in Bleachers and cheering. Truth be told, I paid more attention during “Halftime” than “Game time” due to the activities my kids favored. Those were happy Friday evenings for the most part. Now, I’m content to attend a few concerts when the leaves begin to turn fabulous colors.

            To whet my appetite this fall, I chose to attend a Community Concert. Sponsored by Carmel Presbyterian Church, six local musicians gathered Friday, October 4, 2019 to offer a wide variety of music. There were solo pieces along with duets; even a Piano Trio. One of the organists at Carmel Presbyterian, Eun Ha Chung, was the busiest as she played solo pieces on the piano and the organ. She also served as accompanist for most of the other musicians. Eun Ha is a talented pianist. The instruments at Carmel Presbyterian Church were both used to their advantage.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Cello, Chamber music, Organ, Piano


The Joy of Modern & Traditional Music

            Our little corner of the World is a quiet one. We have many opportunities to savor live performances of wonderful music. While those concerts would probably not demand the attention of those hungry for elite spectacles, I enjoy an hour or two of carefully chosen music competently prepared for our listening pleasure. Those who gathered at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Carmel on Sunday, August 18, 2019 experienced a lovely afternoon of music. Cortez Montalbo, trumpet and Steve Denmark, organ shared with us their Joy of Modern & Traditional Music. Dr. Denmark did double duty by accompanying on the piano as well as the organ. Mr. Montalbo used a collection of three instruments, cornet and two trumpets (B-flat and C) to play a variety of compositions.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Brass, Organ