Friday, January 27, 2017

A Salon Concert

This evening David and I attended a vocal concert in the home of Carolyn and Peter Pereira here in Kenwood.

The performers were the Fourth Coast Ensemble, a group of four young singers and pianist. The singers were Karen Ann Baron, soprano, Bridget Skaggs, mezzo-soprano, Zachery Vanderburg, tenor, and Michael Hawes, bass-baritone. The pianist was Mark Bilyeu.


 Karen Ann Baron   Bridget Skaggs     
                                 Zackery Vanderburg

Young, bright voices all, they sang musically and presented an interesting program with works by Lili Boulanger, Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, Jules Massenet, and a group by living American composers.

Picture  Michael Hawes

The group performs throughout the Chicago area and has another concert scheduled next week.

We enjoyed hearing these fine young singers in a very interesting program.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Rachel Barton Pine

Yesterday afternoon David and I attended a recital given by Rachel Barton Pine, violinist, presented by Chamber Music Albuquerque at the Simms Center for the Performing Arts.

Ms. Pine is a genuine virtuosa on her instrument, which is a 1740 Guarnieri del Jesu. Her flawless technique and musicianship brought forth a vibrant recital which included no end of musical fireworks. 

Image result for rachel barton pine

Her program included Partita No.2 in D Minor, BWV 2004 Of Bach, Sonata Op. 27,  No.4 (Fritz Kreisler) by Eugene Ysaye, Recitative and Scherzo, Op 6 of Fritz Kreisler, Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, BWV 1001 of Bach, Asturias (Leyenda) by Issac Albéniz, arr. Pine, Tango Etude No. 3 of Astor Piazzola, arr. Pine, Deep River, Op.59, No 10 by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Caprice No 24 by Niccolo Paganini.

This was an enormous undertaking and she brought it off sensationally.

In 1995 Ms. Pine was tragically injured when departing a Metra train in Winnetka, Illinois, near Chicago. Her violin case was caught in the train door as she was leaving the train, which closed on the instrument case which was on her back, dragging her a number of feet and finally pulling her under the train until someone pulled the emergency cord, stopping the train. As a result she lost both of her legs. After this accident the Rail company had to install automatic devices to stop trains in such emergencies.

Ms. Pine chatted with the audience between pieces giving interesting and amusing information about the composers and the compositions.For instance her violin (which she saved in the accident) was  chosen by Johannes Brahms for a young violinist whom he was mentoring.

The Coleridge-Taylor work was premiered by Albert Spaulding, famed violinst, whose pianist was André Benoist. He also performed with Heifitz, Tetrazzini, and Casals. Eleanor Benoist, André's daughter in law, and I performed together as Burtis and Benoist in the duo piano repertoire for many years.

The final work on the program, Paganini's Caprice, was the basis for Lutoslawski's Variations on a Theme of Paganini which Eleanor and I performed on our Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1970.

There are always these interesting connections between music and musicians. All of this made for a memorable afternoon of music brilliantly performed.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Go west old man!

David and I arrived at our glamorous condo in the Sandia Mountains, near Albuquerque, where we will spend the month of January.

Image result for scandia mountains

We traveled through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, the Oklahoma Panhandle, into New Mexico. I never saw so much flat land in my life. All brown. You could see to the horizon in all directions. Amazing. 

We stayed the first night in Liberty, Missouri,a nice town, and the second night in Guymon, Oklahoma. Skip this place if possible!

We drove for fifty miles after leaving Guymon without passing a car!

Tomorrow we will be having breakfast with our friends Nancy and Geffen, after which they will take us on a tour of Albuquerque.

Very different from many Januaries spent in Puerto Rico. Too much Zika virus there.

Happy New Year to you all!