Author Archives: Melanie Cervi

Ensemble Monterey — The King Shall Rejoice

Director John Anderson

The Season Finale of Ensemble Monterey was a wonderful collection of regal music. The title for this concert is taken from the last piece offered: Handel’s Coronation Anthem. Included in the program material was a graphic featuring “The Fab Five.” This refers to 5 composers who wrote mostly in the 18thCentury with one work from the 17thCentury. I attended the Saturday evening concert on April 27, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church in Monterey, CA. The day was a lovely Spring day, so the room grew warm as the evening progressed. Still, I thank the church for opening their doors and sharing the good acoustics of their space.

As is the custom of Ensemble Monterey, Conductor and Artistic Director Dr. John Anderson offered his insights prior to the concert as a short talk with question/answer session. This opportunity to learn about the music and performers is so vital. Dr. Anderson has a gift for conveying information that engages those literate in music while being accessible to those just beginning their musical journey. It makes concerts more enjoyable when the audience is as attentive and engaged as they were Saturday. These talks along with the excellent printed program are gems we should encourage and take advantage of regularly. 

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Chamber music, Choral, Vocal, Vocal ensemble


Duo Papillion — Music for Piano Four Hands

We were treated to piano synergy Friday night, March 8, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church in Carmel. Pianists Barbara Ruzicka and Kumiko Uyeda debuted as a newly-founded, four-hand piano ensemble to be known as Duo Papillion.They filled the sanctuary with wonderful music for an attentive audience performing on a Steinway concert grand piano that sounded very nice indeed. I have fond memories of playing duets as a piano student, but my efforts didn’t come close to the fine musicianship exhibited by Duo Papillon.

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Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Piano, Romantic Era


Organist Paul Carmona at St. Dunstan’s

Paul Carmona

It’s Springtime. But what can you do in the garden or where can you hike when it’s blustery and grey? Listen to some organ music! Readers know that if there’s an organ concert in the area, that is my first choice of activity, rain or shine. 

With rain threatening, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Carmel, CA opened its doors on March 3, 2019 to host a wonderful afternoon of Organ Plus. The pews were comfortably full with curious listeners. The venue is accessible, pleasant nibbles are offered, and with the stop list in the program one can get to know the instrument. Organist Paul Carmona, an Episcopal priest from the San Diego area, kicked off the Saturday afternoon with a few pre-concert thoughts. Starting promptly at 3 PM, he moved to the organ bench to present “Making Music with Friends and By Friends.”

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Organ


Carmel Trio in Aptos

Sometimes you find a wonderful experience when you least expect it. I had the pleasure of listening to a fine collection of Sonatas for piano and strings in the afternoon of Feb. 10, 2019. The Carmel Trio (Nicola Samra, Violin; Christopher Healy, Cello; and James Neiman, Piano) presented 3 works: Two Sonatas for piano and violin (Mozart and Beethoven) and a Sonata for piano and cello (Rachmaninoff). Our thanks to the community of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Aptos for sharing their space. I thoroughly enjoyed the fine performance.

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


Organist Jonathan Dimmock at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church

Meditations with Organ

What better way to start off a New Year than with an afternoon of inspiring organ music? As part of the Organ Concert Series at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church (Carmel, CA), organist Jonathan Dimmock presented La Nativitédu Seigneur by Olivier Messiaen. Heard on Monday, January 7, 2019 the Dobson Opus 94 organ was heard in a fine example of French music of the mid-twentieth century.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Organ