- Camerata Singers – Considering Matthew Shepard
- Chamber Music Monterey Bay — Escher String Quartet
- Aizuri String Quartet — Fabulous Artistry
- YMMC March Concert – Migration
- Ensemble Monterey’s Tribute to an Early Spring
- Pianist Kevin Lee Sun in Aptos Keyboard Series
- Monterey Symphony presents: Ovation
- The Thoughtful Muse: A Recital by Pianist Daria Rabotkina
- Stravinsky – Music & Dance in Miami
- Ehnes Quartet in Beethoven Quartet Cycle
- Heavy Stuff – A Recital by Vladimir Feltsman
- Santa Cruz Symphony: Catharsis
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On January 25, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula, we heard a very special concert celebrating the renovation of a splendid 115-year-old Steinway 6’4″ grand piano originally donated by parishioner Harry Ogden in 1992. This instrument was recently totally rebuilt and refinished thanks to donations from church members.
This concert was a standing-room-only sellout — there were not enough printed programs so latecomers had to share. But for those of us fortunate enough to squeeze into the limited space, it was a very rewarding concert. The featured artists on this occasion were pianist Lucy Faridany, cellist Linda Mehrabian, and vocalists Jody Lee and Patty Pai.
We heard some unusual repertoire — how often have you heard works combining voice, cello and piano? Well we heard several of them during this concert by composers Fauré, César Franck, Debussy and Poulenc. Singers Lee and Pai impressed us with their lovely voices, superb musicianship and lovely shaping of phrases.
Cellist Linda Mehrabian has a beautiful rich sound and charmed us with her elegant playing in works by Gabriel Fauré and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
The player with the largest role during the concert was Lucy Faridany, who always impresses us with her ability to get to the heart and soul of any work she performs. There is a naturalness to her playing, whether supporting others in ensemble playing or as a soloist, for on this occasion she performed Chopin’s Fantasie-Impromptu and Waltz in E Minor, Op. Posth, and and then blew us away with a powerful performance of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5.
We can hope that there will be many more concerts in the Church’s Music Series.
A large audience turned out Friday evening for the opening night of Santa Catalina’s production of Fiddler on the Roof, which will be running for four performances during the next two weeks. The stagecraft for this production was ingenious in the way it used modular units on stage (the back of each unit representing parts of a different scene), which could be joined and then moved easily, quickly and silently in between scenes. It worked brilliantly. Stage lighting and sound management were likewise effectively managed and enhanced each scene. Director Lara Wheeler Devlin deserves a lot of credit for making all the complicated elements of this production work so well together. Musician Chris West also deserves kudos for the way she kept the nine musicians in the pit totally coordinated with the action on stage.Read full story
A small but highly appreciative audience attended the Wednesday, October 16 recital by tenor Ian Bostridge and pianist-composer Brad Mehldau at Stanford’s Bing Hall. The program rubric, “The Folly of Desire,” featured music by two composers, Mehldau and Robert Schumann. For the eleven songs by Mehldau, the self-immolating and often debased aspects of desire became subject matter for a series of jazzy treatments, more rhythmic and harmonic than conspicuously melodic. The poems Mehldau selects, from his “post MeToo” sensibility, derive from such diverse talents as Auden, Cummings, Shakespeare, Yeats, Blake, Brecht, and Goethe. Their content affirms, denies, mocks, and even salaciously depicts the more carnal implications of love – or rather, lust – in its attempt to achieve the spiritual resolution it might offer as agape. For Robert Schumann, whose music commanded the second half of the concert, his four independent songs and the 1840 cycle Dichterliebe, Op. 48, seek to reconcile love with Nature’s ineluctable tendency to make ephemeral our most exalted moments.Read full story
It was a full house yesterday afternoon in the Recital Hall at MPC — 250 loyal fans, none of whom would miss an opportunity to hear David Gordon at his best. He fills all the roles of entertainer, raconteur, “dramaturge” (if he didn’t invent that term, he certainly owns it) and knock-em-dead singer in every style and genre known to man. Simply stated, he is a great and natural all-around musician, plus, incidentally, his guitar playing ain’t bad, either.Read full story
The weather outside was cool and foggy, but the ambient feeling of heightened anticipation was considerably warmer as those arriving to attend the opening night of Carmel Bach Festival 2019 were offered complimentary wine, treated to a free pre-concert lecture by Karen Hiles and invited to mingle in the courtyard and terraces of Sunset Center to enjoy the traditional “Tower Music” that has been a much-enjoyed and festive pre-concert event for so many years.
Although the Carmel Bach Festival may have teased us with three pre-festival events earlier in the week: two vocal master class open sessions at First Presbyterian Church, a chamber concert at St. Dunstan’s and an annual gala dinner at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, the Carmel Bach Festival 2019 officially opened Saturday night at Sunset Center with a performance of Haydn’s great masterpiece, “The Creation.”Read full story