Carmel Bach Festival Chamber Concert: Birth of the Italian Baroque

Dongsok Shin, Estelí Gomez, Daniel Swenberg, Molly Quin,

Dominic Teresi, Adriane Post, Johanna Novom

The “­Birth of the Italian Baroque” Chamber Concert on Wednesday, July 19, at All Saints Church in Carmel, was an ingenious programming of six Monteverdi vocal pieces interspersed with six Italian early baroque instrumental pieces by other composers. From start to finish, this was a first-rate program. There was something about this concert, above and beyond, that hit all the benchmarks of cohesive musical programming and execution. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Chamber music

Carmel Bach Festival – “Bach to Bernstein”

“From Bach to Bernstein” was the title of the evening main concert at Sunset Center Theater, with the Festival Orchestra, Chorale and vocal soloists. Associate Conductor Andrew Megill conducted an innovative and bold program that successfully juxtaposed J.S. Bach with some 20th century American masterpieces. In Cantata No. 21 by Bach, following a liturgical tradition of inserting a sermon in the middle of the cantata, Megill instead inserted the well-known Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. Often identified with occasion of grief, the Barber matched the theme of the cantata “I had much grief in my heart.” In addition, the Chorale sang the same notes as the orchestra in a version prepared by the composer, using the words of the “Agnus Dei” section of the mass. The cantata then continued in a seamless performance. The appearance of Barber’s short masterpiece was quite natural, in spite of their distance of 220 years. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival

Carmel Bach Festival – “London’s Burning”

Tuesday afternoon at the Carmel Bach Festival yielded some great music and spirited performances. This afternoon recital featured vocal and instrumental music from the 17th century. The theme of the program was “London’s Burning!” with selections chosen to illuminate passages from the diary of Samuel Pepys (1633-1703). The diary covers major historical events and everyday observations in his early life. With a great interest in music and the theater, his writings have been a major source of information about life in London in the decade of the 1660s Read full story

Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival

Silver Macaroni: The Italian Baroque at Menlo

A grand concert on Saturday evening, July 15, mainly from the Italian Baroque era, 1627-1731, constituted the first of the 2017 [email protected] series from the Center for the Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton, devoted to “The Glorious Violin.” A host of talented musicians collaborated in an unbroken series of musical consorts and chamber ensembles, each thoroughly blended by temperament and collaborative rapport. The series, which extends until August 5, includes the ambitious functions of these encounters, workshops, tutorials, and concert programs, each designed to unfold the history and artistic development of the violin as it originated in the Cremona tradition and founds its way to Bach and the international musical community. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Baroque, Violin

Musical Delights by Mezzo-Soprano Solmaaz Adeli and Pianist Elizabeth Schumann

Pianist Elizabeth Schumann & Mezzo-Soprano Solmaaz Adeli

In a charming program called “Made in Vienna” the Aptos Keyboard Series yesterday afternoon in the Aptos home of Joseph and Maria Sekon presented a concert by mezzo-soprano Solmaaz Adeli and pianist Elizabeth Schumann. These two gifted musicians, based in the San Francisco area often perform together, as well as in larger ensembles.

Solmaaz Adeli has a strong connection to Austria, having studied at the Konservatorium für Musik und Dramatische Kunst in Vienna, the Operschule in Graz and attended classes at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. She is a familiar presence to central California audiences, and her performance on this occasion showed precisely why. Her bold dramatic voice has an unusually broad range of three octaves, and her supple agility throughout her vocal range made even the most difficult vocal passages sound quite easy. Especially impressive was her dynamic range from the softest most intimate pianissimo to the fullest forte climaxes, where her voice was always under control and always served the music. Adeli has superb dramatic skills so that her facial expressions and physical gestures always tended to complement her musical presentation in an effective way. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Classical Era, Piano