Beethoven ~ Piano Sonata #14 (“Moonlight”), Op. 27, #2, I: Adagio sostenuto

Ludwig Van Beethoven
(1770-1827)
Piano Sonata #14, Op. 27, #2 in c-sharp minor (‘Moonlight’), I: Adagio sostenuto
Performed by Vladimir Horowitz

Happy Birthday Beethoven!!

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The Danish String Quartet in Sedona ~ A Review

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Chamber Music Sedona
presents
The Danish String Quartet
St John Vianney Church
Sedona, AZ
February 2, 2014

Here it is, my very first review from my new home in Sedona, AZ!

And how timely is it that this wonderful ensemble, the Danish String Quartet, have a show right on the weekend of my very first week being here? I could not have planned this any better!

And all people are talking about otherwise on this day was the Super Bowl 😉 I couldn’t even see it anyway since the place I was staying at didn’t have cable.

St. John Vianney Church at first seemed like a very unlikely place for a progressive chamber concert, but remembering having seen Lisa Moore doing
something considerably more experimental at a previous event at a NY church, it then felt like the norm. Continue reading

Beth Levin ~ On Beethoven and A Single Breath

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Pianist Beth Levin had a few minutes to discuss her thoughts on her current recordings of the last 3 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas titled A Single Breath. Please keep an eye on this wonderful soloist, she will be making some interesting music as well as some upcoming appearances, featuring even more performances of Beethoven.

You can purchase A Single Breath here or on the bottom link.

CM: Can you please talk about the significance of this recording of the last 3 Beethoven sonatas and why it’s titled “A Single Breath”?

Beth: Beethoven said that he wrote the three sonatas “in a single breath”. I think that when you perform them in one evening you get a sense of that.

CM: And you performed all 3 in a single program as well?

Beth: I’ve only performed them as a group six times now, most recently in Germany.

CM: And the 3 together represent the height of his creativity, like other late works of his?

blevinjulienjordas[Photo left, courtesy of Julien Jordas, NY Times]
Beth: Well, they may mark the end of the classical sonata form. After Op. 111, if you wanted to write a sonata you’d have to find another way.

CM: Yes, something he’d been trying to change all along.

Beth: It was so definitive, far-reaching, and as I said, an ending of a sort.

CM: The Arietta from the 32nd sonata–What are your thoughts about the “boogie-woogie” part?

Beth: Oh, I resist that comparison, I mean it’s an extreme dotted rhythm section…

CM: Well, it’s not jazz, but other pianists seem to think it’s like “proto-jazz”…

Beth: The last thing I think of is jazz when playing it, but it’s incredibly driving and needs to have precision…

CM: I guess the way he has it syncopated, it kind of has this swing to it.

Beth: I don’t quite see it.

CM: It isn’t quite jazz because he doesn’t have any blue notes in there, like Gershwin, but I’m sure some people would wonder if this was where that started.

CM: Do you have any special shows coming up next year?

Beth: First up, in Feb, I’ll be playing the Emperor Concerto with the Monmouth Symphony, then this coming March, I’m performing a cello/piano recital with Sam Magill at Bargemusic featuring a transcription for cello and piano of the Kreutzer Sonata, as well as selections by Barber, Rudin and Stubblefield.
Also next year I”m going to play OP. 109-111 in Philadelphia and South Carolina.

Click here to purchase Beth’s A Single Breath CD on iTunes

Her other CDs are here as well

Beth Levin (bethlevinpiano.com)

Jennifer Koh and Ensemble LPR ~ A Review

Jennifer Koh performing solo at Ensemble LPR’s concert at (le) poisson rouge; Photo courtesy of Lina Shteynjenniferkohlpr

Ensemble LPR w/Jennifer Koh, violin
Ensemble LPR
Tito Muñoz, conductor
Jennifer Koh, violin
(le) poisson rouge, NYC
Friday, June 14th, 2013

An interesting 3-part show of sorts–Jennifer Koh the guest soloist alone, again with orchestra, and then the orchestra alone.

It started with Jennifer Koh in a black dress playing John Zorn’s “Passagen for solo violin” from 2011. Sounding just as abrasive and taxing as the composer’s “Goetia” (which Jennifer also recorded), Koh rendered the 11-minute work with crumbling intensity, and gave such an explosive reminder of that earlier piece. John Zorn is one of my favorites, and definitely one of the greatest people to successfully bridge the world of classical music with the world of new music.

Koh was then joined by the first appearance of the night by the Ensemble LPR, and they proceeded with Charles Wuorinen’s “Spin 5 for violin and 18 Musicians”. The piece’s overall tonality reminded me a little of the Schoenberg violin concerto.

Having heard this ensemble for the first time ever, it was great to hear a small orchestra inside an intimate venue–Now, if they crammed the NY Phil up on that stage, one can only imagine, but when ELPR performed Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, I think we got some kind of idea of that. It was a really good performance, and despite the intimacy and dryness of the sound, compared to having actually heard an orchestra play it at Carnegie, it still didn’t sound so naked. Great job from Maestro Muñoz and the ensemble (and Jennifer).

Jennifer Koh.com

Ensemble LPR.com

Preview of Ensemble LPR and Jennifer Koh at (le) Poisson Rouge

Photo courtesy of Christina WalkerJennifer Koh, credit Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Christina Walker photographer 2

On Friday, June 14th at 7:30 PM, (le) Poisson Rouge will have a show featuring Ensemble LPR (EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m guessing they’re like the house band), and their guest soloist will be violinist Jennifer Koh. Their program will be featuring the music of Beethoven, John Zorn and Charles Wourinen.

This is Jennifer’s debut at the NY venue, and she had a few seconds to talk about it with The Glass.

“I’ve been waiting for the right time to make my (le) Poisson Rouge debut, and performing with the Ensemble LPR with Tito Munoz on the occasion of LPR’s 5th anniversary felt right. LPR exemplifies New York’s creative and artistic spirit and I wanted the programming to reflect that. I am thrilled to work with the ensemble for the first time and am also excited to include works that speak to my own relationship with NYC by playing two pieces written for me — Charles Wuorinen’s ‘Spin 5’ with the ensemble and a solo piece by John Zorn called ‘Passagen’. Although the composers come from seemingly different places – Uptown and Downtown – and one would think that these works would be in opposition with one another, they are not. Just like the city itself, they seem to complement and highlight each other.”

Ensemble LPR (Photo courtesy of Zak Powers)elpr

Ensemble LPR
Tito Muñoz, conductor/music director
With guest soloist, Jennifer Koh, violin

PROGRAM:
John Zorn: “Passagen” ~ for Solo Violin (2011)
Charles Wuorinen: “Spin 5” ~ for Violin and 18 Players (2006)
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 (1812)

Click here to buy tickets for Ensemble LPR with Jennifer Koh

Related websites:
EnsembleLPR.com
Jennifer Koh.com

Inna Faliks ~ Music/Words at LPR (A Review)

Music/Words–Corigliano, Eaton and Beethoven
Inna Faliks, piano
Sandra Beasley, poet
David Adam Moore, baritone
Le Poisson Rouge, NY
Sunday, September 23, 2012

Le Poisson Rouge was the scene where pianist Inna Faliks resumed her Music/Words series with a program of classical and contemporary classical music mixed with spoken word, and immediately sprang into action with Rodion Shchedrin’s “Basso Ostinato”, a piece that didn’t even appear on the printed program, but seemed to set a strong pace for the evening’s selections. It turned out that Inna was really playing the encore first instead of last because she says that the Beethoven piece she closed with (the Sonata Op. 111; We’ll get into this shortly) is so epic that it cannot be followed by an encore. It was probably a good call. Continue reading

Music/Words ~ Corigliano, Eaton and Beethoven at LPR (A Preview)

Pictured L to R: David Adam Moore, Inna Faliks, Sandra Beasley

Pianist Inna Faliks and special guests David Adam Moore and Sandra Beasley are featured at the Music/Words 5th Season opening at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday, September 23rd at 7:30pm (Doors at 6:30pm). This performance includes the world premiere of the powerful song cycle for baritone and piano by John Eaton, “Songs of Nature… and Beyond”, with baritone David Adam Moore. Faliks will play Beethoven’s Sonata opus 111 in c minor and also Fantasia on an Ostinato by John Corigliano. This poetic shimmering piece uses Beethoven’s Ostinato from the 7th Symphony, and explores its rhythmic and harmonic elements in a hypnotic, colorful fantasy. It serves as the link between Eaton’s and Beethoven’s sound worlds. Le Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleeker Street in New York City.

Music/Words is an interdisciplinary live performance series founded by Inna Faliks, exploring connections between poetry and music by presenting collaborations between exciting solo musicians and acclaimed contemporary poets in the form of a live recital/reading. Continue reading