Saturday, May 05, 2007

 

A concert review


Last night, cellist Eric Wilson and pianist Patricia Hoy, who are on the faculty of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver B.C., presented a concert of "Music of the Romantic Era". The concert, sponsored by the Performing Arts Society, was sparsely attended - not very surprising, since it was a beautiful sunny spring evening, and it followed just a week after the Kenai Peninsula Orchestras big spring concert (we can only support so much 'culture' at one time in this area, I suppose). I arrived early enough to grab a front-row seat just to the right of the cellist. I tried to watch both his bowing and his fingering, but I have to admit, for much of the time I just let the music flow over me.

What a show! The program started with a dark piece by Sibelius, which gave Wilson plenty of opportunity to display his cello's range and emotion. Then a Brahms sonata. This segued nicely into a suite of Spanish dances by Manuel de Falla. Both Hoy and Wilson were in top form here. I was pleased to see the cello veer off into this new direction (for me at least). A Sonata by Richard Strauss followed and then they changed direction with two new jazz pieces by a Russian pianist, Nikolai Kapustin. This was a real treat! Jazz cello. Wow. The audience was enthusiastic, and they came back with a nice piece by Rachmaninoff.

The Performing Arts Society manages to produce five or six such programs each year, bringing a small spot of brilliant light into our area. This is the third performance that included a cellist in less than a year.

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