January 28th, Musicale Notes by Tom Slavicek

Another beautiful day greeted us for today's Musicale. We had great attendance - 21, seven "serious" pianists who Zoomed in from Texas, enjoyed the performances and the lecture.

The topics of discussion and performance were women composers and works by Schumann - 1810-1856. The guest artist, Rachel Chung, played Clara Schumann Scherzo and discussed her Scherzo vs. other composer's Scherzos.

Since making her Carnegie Hall debut recital in 1996, Korean-American pianist Hyunjung Rachel Chung has paved a multifaceted path as a performer, educator, adjudicator, recording artist, and avocational composer. Her solo and collaborative recitals have taken her throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. She has appeared as a performer, presenter, and master class teacher in many conferences and music festivals including National Music Teachers Association National Conference, College Music Society International Conference, San Giacomo Festival, Grumo Festival, Forty Fingers–Manifestazione Pianistica Internazionale, South Carolina Chamber Music Festival, Arioso Musica Domani International Composition Prize, and Piano at Peabody Workshop. A devoted educator, Hyunjung Rachel Chung is an associate professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. A complete bio is included in our GMG web site.

J. Michael Brounoff started us off with his interpretations of Schumann's Kinderszenen: No.1. Von Fremden Landern und Menschen; No. 4. Bittendes Kind; No. 7. Traumerei. He prepared his pieces on "two day's notice". Beautifully sensitive interpretations...a big round of applause!

Utako followed up with Schumann/Liszt's Widmung. This piece was Robert Schumann's wedding present to his wife, Clara. Wonderful performance, warm and very 'romantic' in feel.

Utako introduced us to Dr. Chang and thanked her for joining us today. Rachel has published 4 CDs to date, available on Amazon. She continued with a Brief history of Women Composers, Comparisons of Scherzos by different composers. She then played Clara Schumann's Scherzo No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 14: Con Fuoco. A stirring, energetic interpretation of a virtuoso piece that is unjustly seldom heard. Rachel continued her 'lecture' about various Scherzos by Schumann, Chopin and Brahms.

Thank you to Michael, Utako and Rachel for a wonderful Musicale!

Tom Slavicek

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