Gentle Ecstasies: Master Sinfonia in Concert

David Ramanadoff, Conductor

The Master Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra, David Ramanadoff conducting, presented a fine concert, Sunday afternoon, January 28, at the Los Altos United Methodist Church, with a program of Vaughan Williams, Mozart, and Mendelssohn. Veteran pianist Hans Boepple made excellent sense of Mozart’s valedictory Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595, ingratiating its exquisite contours in a manner that several times took this reviewer back to the “golden” pianism of Sir Clifford Curzon, especially in the E-flat Major Larghetto. The final work, Mendelssohn’s Third Symphony, the “Scottish,” received from Ramanadoff a clear and controlled reading, as expansive as it proved eminently lyrical and dramatic. Read full story

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

Santa Cruz Symphony: Songs of Past, Present & Future

                        Soprano Soloist Michelle Bradley                           

Musically, the standards of the Santa Cruz Symphony have reached a strikingly high mark on January 28, as Music Director Daniel Stewart’s direct, beautifully balanced conducting continues to perform works of interest and introduce marvelous vocal talent. Case in point was found in the wonderful and impressive voice of soprano Michelle Bradley, who fills every role with finesse, awesome breath control and depth of performance.

The four songs and poets were Frühling (Spring) Hermann Hesse, September (September) Hermann Hesse, Beim Schlafengehen (Sleeping) Hermann Hesse and  Im Abendrot (In the Evening) Joseph von Eichendorff. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Orchestral, Romantic Era, Santa Cruz Symphony

MPC String Ensemble — David Dally, Soloist and Conductor

For the past forty years violinist and conductor Dave Dally has been providing an important service to us on the Monterey Peninsula. Starting modestly from a Monday-evening string class at Monterey Peninsula College, he has created an ensemble that would be the pride of any community. It presents ambitious and artistic programs, draws in the best local area musicians and often features distinguished local artists as soloists. It may still officially be called the MPC String Ensemble, but when Dally wants to present a more ambitious work requiring a larger instrumentation, he finds winds, brass and percussion as needed. So let’s call it what it is. It has become a community orchestra, and it is a model of what a community orchestra should be. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Baroque, Concerto, Monterey Peninsula College, Orchestral, Romantic Era

YMMC – Violin Prodigy Nicholas Brady Performs Kabalevsky Concerto

On a sunny Sunday afternoon it was a capacity audience that turned out for the first concert of the 2017-2018 Youth Music Monterey County season at Sunset Center. The parking lot was full and the lobby was jammed with people waiting to be let in to the theater.

The concert began with Conductor Farkhad Khudyev leading the YMMC Junior Youth Orchestra in a performance of brief works by three composers active in the former Soviet Union – Lev Knipper, Dimitry Kabalevksy and Aram Khachaturian. Perhaps you have never of Lev Knipper, but I can assure you that if you heard the melody of Knipper’s “Meadowlands,” you would recognize it immediately. It has a very striking beginning with percussion effects imitating the sound of clopping hooves of horses approaching from the distance and fading into the “Meadowlands” theme. After it reaches its climax the melody begins to diminish and we hear the clopping of hooves once more, with the Red Army cavalry passing off into the distance. If this sounds like movie music, you would be correct, for its origin was from Soviet propaganda films. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Classical Era, Concerto, Orchestral

Carmel Music Society presents Philharmonia Baroque

On Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 3 pm in Carmel’s Sunset Center, the Carmel Music Society presented a return engagement by Philharmonia Baroque. This is the fourth time the San Francisco Bay Area-based Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has appeared on a Carmel Music Society concert season, and although the personnel may change from concert to concert, concertmaster Elizabeth Blumenstock has remained a constant. The concert line-up for the first half included works by baroque composers Locatelli, Pisendel, Veracini, and Vivaldi, however, it was announced before the concert began that the Vivaldi work to be included would not be the “Autumn” movement from the Seasons, but the Double Oboe Concerto in D Minor instead, due to Blumenstock feeling cramps in her arm the day before. We were assured that she was fully up to the rest of the concert, but to prevent further injury, just not up to the extreme taxing of “Autumn.” And by a few movements in, we forgot about being concerned for her as she simply played consistently and beautifully.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Music Society, Concerto, Orchestral