Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Vanessa Fadial, Aron Zelkowicz and Salley Koo Make an Auspicious Trio

Thursday at Trinity Church was the first time that pianist Vanessa Fadial, cellist Aron Zelkowicz and violinist Salley Koo had performed together. They should do this more often: they complement each other well. Their one piece together as a trio was Ravel’s Piano Trio in A Minor, a four-part suite. Fadial’s affectingly shimmery cantabile gave Koo the perfect launching pad for her vividly searching, soaring lines while Zelkowicz mined its myriad dynamic shifts for all they were worth. Throughout the brightness of the first movement, the brisk counterpoint of the second, the serioso intensity of the third and whirling bustle of the conclusion, they played with a singleminded seamlessness that spanned from brooding to downright joyous.

Fadial and Zelkowicz had opened the program with a lively, inspired version of another suite, De Falla’s Suite Populaire Espagnole, a series of frequently intense flamenco-tinged themes, including a couple of stately waltzes (one with a macabre marionette feel) and a plaintive lullaby. Zelkowicz followed that, playing from memory, with a solo arrangement of the Chaconne from Bach’s Partita No. 2 (BWV 1004). The piece is almost three hundred years old, yet was as transcendent to listen to as it must have been when it was written. Zelkowicz dug in and gave it a mighty gravitas: in his hands, it was more of a requiem than a courtly dance. When it came to the long, absolutely riveting series of eight-note broken chords about two-thirds of the way through, he pulled back just a little and let the seemingly endlessly shapeshifting series of rivulets go on their own to paint a picture that lit up the bleakness with incredible poignancy. Tony Tommasini’s consideration of Bach this past Sunday for his ongoing “top 10 classical composers of all time” pantheon in the Times couldn’t have made more sense than it did at that moment.

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January 15, 2011 Posted by | classical music, concert, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CD Review: Katya Grineva – Love and Fire: The Dances

The latest album by self-described Romantic pianist and Carnegie Hall favorite (she’s playing there on June 12 at 8 ) Katya Grineva is a treat for fans of canonical 19th century favorites, proudly idiosyncratic and unabashedly individualistic. Grineva was seemingly born to play the Romantics, wringing plenty of angst and longing out of a mix of familiar standards, Piazzolla classics and a perhaps predictably but aptly emotional take of the Ravel Bolero. On both the Chopin Mazurka in A Minor and the Waltz in E Minor, she mines the dynamics for heart-tugging shifts that stop just this side of overwrought – yet, by contrast, she lets the Albeniz Tango breathe for itself, a smart move. Granados’ Planera Spanish Dance is likewise allowed to shimmer and gleam, at a tastefully stately pace.

Most impressively, it’s the Piazzolla that best draws out Grineva’s intensity. Adios Nonino, a requiem written right after the death of the composer’s father, is stoic yet wrenching. An abbreviated arrangement of the sprawling crazy-love anthem Balada Para Un Loco is considerably more blazing and percussive than the original, and Grineva careens through its louder passages like a woman possessed, after which Manuel de Falla’s Ritual Fire Dances makes a perfect segue. The Bolero alternates between slinkiness and impatience, a nice contrast to see in a piece where some performers find none at all.  

Grineva’s Carnegie Hall show this week is billed as a family-friendly event, lots of familiar standards by Debussy, Satie and Chopin and others delivered with characteristic verve: bring a 15-year-old friend, family member or someone who looks hopelessly underage, and they get in free with your paid admission.

June 9, 2009 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment