2/11 Online Recital Notes by Tom Slavicek

A rainy day greeted 10 members of GMG today for our February on-line recital. We started off with J.Michael Brounoff Sonata in A minor, D.845, ii. Andante, poco mosso by Franz Schubert. This piece has complex dynamics and tempi. Michael had good use of the pedal to bring out the piece's themes very clearly defined. His added ritardandos and accelerandos was in keeping with the character of the piece. Both a spirited and introspective performance. Next we heard from Judy: Franz Liszt Consolation no.2 by Franz Liszt, Bagatelle Op. 34 No.1. Valse by Jean Sibelius, Bagatelle Op. 34 No.5 Boutade by Jean Sibelius. She brought out the beautiful melodic lines using a balanced use of pedal and dynamics. They may be short pieces but they are still complex and difficult, since every note's value counts. The Sibelius pieces are not often performed and we're glad that Judy introduced them to us. The final piece was Liszt Consolation No. 2 - a well-known and wonderfully expressive piece, melancholic and hopeful at the same time. Each of these pieces gives the performer multiple opportunities for musical expression. Beautiful performance. Julie brought us the Fantasia from Partita No. 3 by J.S. Bach. We enjoyed the close-up view of her fingers as they whirled across the keyboard. Julie's left hand chased her right hand in the fugue. The melodic line was clear throughout the piece. Although it doesn't sound like a "fantasia" the piece contains multiple voices which were brought out very well. Ed brought us "Lost Love", one of his own compositions. The photo used for the music is a glacier in northern Europe that evokes the character of the piece. Reminds us of a love's romance that is unattainable. Beautiful. Our final performance came from Utako: Chopin's Finale of Sonata No. 3, Op. 58, and L’Egyptienne by Jean-Phillipe Rameau. Both showed off her technical prowess in spite of Utako's injured second finger (you'd never know). The somber and serious melodic lines were consistently heard throughout both pieces - technically demanding, to say the least. Nicely done! We also had a brief conversation about amateur competitions and what the judges expect from the performers. Basically, a 20-minute program would include a technically "easy" piece designed to bring out the musicality of the performer, and then a more demanding technical piece to allow the performer to "show off'. Wonderful performances by all! Tom Slavicek

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