La Traviata – San Jose Opera

On April 14 San Jose Opera’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ opened on a lively scene: a party in a French salon held by Violetta, a stunning courtesan. Immediately drawing you in, Amanda Kingston returned to San Jose Opera with a bang. ‘The Drinking Song’ delighted the audience young and old alike, making the audience immediately comfortable. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Opera


A Penchant for the Moderns: Pianist Gabriela Martinez in Concert

As though serving as a foil for the oft-percussive, even “symphonic” sonority of several of her chosen compositions, pianist Gabriela Martinez concluded her Sunday, April 15 recital at Le Petit Trianon Theatre for the Steinway Society the Bay Area with the sweet, salon Romance in E-flat Major, Op. 44, No. 1 by Anton Rubinstein. Some of us elder auditors could recall that Frank Sinatra sang the melody version of the piece as “If You are but a Dream.” Ms. Martinez, however, seemed less concerned with performing “standard” repertory as much as inviting us to hear both old and new wine in new bottles. She opened with the Seven Bagatelles, Op. 33 of Beethoven, his so-called Kleinigkeiten, of 1802-03. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Piano, Romantic Era


Organ Concert at St. Dunstan’s

                    

On Sunday, April 15, 2018, St. Dunstan’s Episcocal Church in Carmel Valley presented the second of its 2018 Organ Concert Series. As mentioned before, the new pipe organ built by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders in Iowa, was designed for this small sanctuary only three years ago. The Church and its Rector Rob Fisher are eager to have concerts regularly so that audiences can hear this beautiful instrument.

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


MPC String Ensemble with Organ Soloist Tiffany Bedner at the Carmel Mission

Organist Tiffany Bedner
So often I feel incredibly fortunate to live on the Monterey Peninsula. Not only for its physical beauty, but also for its creative and artistic energy. On Friday night  I attended the MPC String Ensemble concert conducted by David Dally at the Carmel Mission Basilica, and not surprisingly, the Carmel Mission’s beautiful ambiance significantly enhanced the music we were hearing. The program began with an organ and string setting of Bach’s famous D minor Toccata and Fugue, BWV 565. I had never heard it before in its arrangement for strings and organ, and this performance turned out to be powerful and compelling. The featured organist was Tiffany Bedner, the regular organist at the Mission. Her playing was clean and elegant, with the strings complimenting her sound. Together they gave us a very satisfying performance of this great work.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Chamber music, Monterey Peninsula College, Orchestral, Organ


Ensō Quartet performs for Chamber Music Monterey Bay


Photo by Erica Horn

Passionate enthusiasm and youthful vitality added a heightened dimension to Chamber Music Monterey Bay’s presentation of the Ensō String Quartet at Sunset Center last night. The four young players, violinists Susie Park & Ken Hamao, violist Melissa Reardon and cellist Richard Belcher, are seasoned masters of their craft and treated us last night to some of the finest quartet playing I have ever heard. It was a remarkable combination of style, refinement and artistry in equally generous amounts. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Chamber music, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Classical Era, Romantic Era, String quartet