Tonight at 8 pm, Bargemusic presents Jazz Night with pianist Liz Magnes. On Friday night at 8 pm, Split Second—Marc Peloquin and Roberto Hidalgo’s piano ensemble—performs works by Virgil Thompson, Mario Lavista, George Crumb, Samuel Barber and the world premiere of Steven Burke’s “Alchemy.” On Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 4 pm, violinist Andy Simionescu, cellist Denis Brott and pianist Claude Frank play works by Kodaly and Beethoven.
Dear Music Lovers,
The last two weekends were something of a rollercoaster. The Your Choice Concert Series on May 16th and 17th proved to be an exciting ordeal. People were very clear with their choices, and we did not know until an hour before the scheduled performances what we would be playing. I was on the phone with Steven Beck every few hours with new requests. We received quite a few votes both concerts. For the first concert, on Friday, the Kreutzer sonata had the same number of votes as the 4th and 5th Beethoven sonatas, but due to special circumstances (a request from a couple about to be engaged) we played it. On Saturday the program was totally different. After the program we were so lost in the moment that we asked the audience to choose the encore—one movement from any of the sonatas (there were over 40 sonatas to choose from, close to 150 movements!) After a quiet moment, a lovely woman shouted, “The last movement of Brahms’ Sonata No. 3!” It proved to be an exhilarating experience for us as performers and audience alike. In the last week of September, we will continue the Your Choice Concert Series with piano trios selected from the complete piano trios of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Maybe next time we will ask the audience to vote at least a few hours before the concert!
The concert on Sunday, May 18th featured the works of Paul Schoenfield. He made a guest appearance as a pianist, and the performance of his piece for piano four hands was very special. He had a beautiful way of communicating with the audience.
The following week, on May 24th and 25th, it was an adventurous experience playing David Del Tredici’s piano trio. It’s a masterpiece in my opinion. It is one movement without pauses—from the first note to the last, it takes over 40 minutes. It is one line, one enormous breath. Although it’s tonal it is very complex and requires tremendous energy. It is beautiful, mysterious, incredibly passionate, exciting, and hypnotic for the audience. Did I mention that is was one of the hardest trios I have ever played?
This weekend I would especially like to welcome Claude Frank, who along with cellist Laslo Varga was my chamber music collaborator in the Beethoven c minor piano trio at the Aspen Music Festival when I was about 18 years old. They were both very welcoming to me and made me feel extremely comfortable. It was a wonderful experience to play with such venerable performers; they made it so much easier for me. I would like very much to take this opportunity to give my great respect and gratitude to Claude’s late wife Lilian Kallir, a wonderful pianist with whom I performed the Mendelssohn d minor piano trio at Aspen a few years later.
Until next week,
Lots of Love,