We offer suggestions for arts lovers to discover (and re-discover) established and emerging artists, musicians and performers in and around Delaware. Although we particularly like to celebrate smaller arts organizations and individuals, we cover nearly anything that strikes us or that we feel you should know about. Periodically, we welcome guest bloggers and artists to join us.
Guest blogger Maxine Gaiber is Executive Director of the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts and founding board director of the Delaware Arts Art Alliance. Her high school art teacher wrote in her yearbook, "be gentle as a critic," and she is finally following his advice!
The Delaware Chamber Music Festival Quartet.
Each time I attend the Delaware Chamber Music Festival, I am
overwhelmed both by the quality of the performances and the enthusiasm of the
audience.And each time I gaze over the
variegated sea of shades of gray hair around me, I worry about the future of
classical music in the U.S.Maybe each classical musical group should
have a mandatory “bring your grandchild for free” day, so that a new generation
can get “turned on” to this rewarding musical genre!
The Friday, June 21 Virtuosos
concert was no exception. I must admit
that I lingered over my lo mein too long at the Chinese Festival and missed the
Rachmaninoff piano trio, but the rest of the program more than made up for it.
Clancy Newman was brave to take on the well-known Brahms Sonatafor Cello and Piano in E minor, Op.38, but seemed up to the
task.He gave a lyrical performance
filled with stunning musical contrasts and emotional energy.He plays the cello high up against his body
almost like a bass and — surrounding the cello with his arms and head — becomes
almost one with his instrument.
The two Paganini pieces which followed, while well performed
by Barbara Govatos and Christiaan Taggart, seemed slight and restrained by
contrast, as though the musicians were warming up for the jazzy, tango-based
Piazolla work which was next on the program.This first movement of the History
of the Tango gave Govatos and Taggart more opportunity to show the range
and versatility of their instruments.
Smetana’s Piano Trio
in G Minor, Op.15 was a fitting finale to this virtuoso evening. Newman
told the sad story of the composer dedicating the work to his daughter, who
died at age 7, but it wasn’t really necessary.The passionate work is filled with sadness, anger, tenderness, and joy
and needs no back story to amplify its power. It is a beautiful ensemble piece
that enables all of the instruments to perform as one, as well as shine on
their own. Govatos’ firm control of her instrument and her head of unmoving
tight curls were in sharp contrast to Newman’s dramatic poses and flying locks
of hair, but, visual styles aside, they make beautiful music together and were
ably complemented by Marcantonio Barone on the piano.
By the end of the evening, I was shaken and stirred and
slightly tipsy from the brilliant concoctions of music that wafted from the
stage of the Concert Hall of The Music School of Delaware. Bravo and salud!