Steinway Society — Pianist Anna Fedorova at Trianon Theatre in San Jose

Anna Fedorova

An impressive sold out audience was in store for an evening of equally impressive piano virtuosity on Saturday, February 17, when Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova performed a superb concert of favorite and well-known works sponsored by Bay Area Steinway Society. Due to the capacity plus audience, the beginning of the concert was delayed 15 minutes, but no one seemed to mind. Fedorova has won her share of competitions and has performed in many of the world’s prestigious venues around the world. Now Trianon Theatre joins the list. Read full story

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

Monterey Symphony — Concert Grand, Concert 3

Continuing the theme of the Monterey Symphony’s present season — “Concert Grand” — a season that includes in each concert a piano concerto soloist, we had the pleasure of hearing pianist Josu de Solaun returning to perform for us for the third time. Joining Conductor Max Bragado-Darman and the Monterey Symphony musicians, Solaun was soloist in a rarely heard concerto, the Concerto No. 5 in F Major, Op. 103 by Camille Saint-Saëns. Accessing the music streaming website YouTube, you can hear over 130 different performances of the Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2, but only a handful of the Concerto No. 5. It is safe to assume that most of the audience at Sunset Center last night (myself included) was hearing this concerto in a live performance for the first time. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Piano

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

Pianist Mauro Bertoli and Violinist Lucia Luque in Recital

Lucia Luque & Mauro Bertoli

Performing together for the first time in California, right here in Santa Cruz at Peace United Church on January 21st to continue the 33rd season of the Distinguished Artists Concert and Lecture Series founded by Director John Orlando, was the delightful youngish duo of Italian-trained Argentinian violinist Lucia Luque and Italo-Canadian pianist Mauro Bertoli, a resident of Ottawa since 2009, who had made a CD back in 2010 after meeting during events that included Luque’s winning prizes for her artistry in Turn, Naples and Verona: and Bertoli being awarded not only the first Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Youth Prize, but also the Giuseppi Sinopoli Award presented personally by the president of the Italian Republic. Though the duo performed each work impeccably and to hearty applause from the full house, to these ancient ears the pianist at the big Yamaha CFX did not over all quite match the intensity of the violinist on her Italian-made 1920 Enrico Marchetti instrument. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Piano, Romantic Era, Violin

Exquisite Economy: A Recital by Kenny Broberg

With a spellbound audience still in thrall, Kenny Broberg raised his hands away from the keyboard, Sunday afternoon, January 21 at Le Petit Trianon, having just executed a titanic rendition of the Liszt Sonata in B Minor that immediately garnered a paroxysm of praise. Mr. Broberg appeared under the auspices of the Steinway Society the Bay Area in music by Franck, Bach, Debussy, and Liszt, in which each selection demonstrated the structural economy of imaginative materials, deftly transfigured into brilliant keyboard vehicles.

Broberg opened with Harold Bauer’s 1910 transcription of Cesar Franck’s finely chiseled organ piece, Prelude, Fugue and Variation (1862), which Franck dedicated to another skilled organist, Camille Saint-Saens. The piece opens with a graceful simplicity in Franck’s favorite B Minor, with a tender, flowing melody not far from Bach’s Liebster Jesuwir sind hier. The pattern that ensues involves askew five-bar phrases, each rounded out in the manner Schumann employs to achieve “classical” architecture. Before the three-voice Fugue section opens, it, too, has a brief prelude. The Variation part simply reintroduces the opening motif accompanied by fast-moving figures. Broberg made the work eminently clear, polished, and refined, his pedal a model of graduated dynamics. Read full story

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