Sunday, October 23, 2011

M.U.S.i.C: Classical Cabaret Program No. 4

Sarasate: Romanza Andaluza #^%
Gustavino:  La Rosa y el Sauce, Jardin de Amores, Nana del Nino Malo, Elegia, Gerografia Fiscia 
Ginastera: Pampeana No. 2, Op. 21^ª
Ginastera: Cinco canciones populares argentinas: Chacarera, Triste, Zamba, Arrorro, Gato^²
Albeniz: Leyenda ^%³
Shchedrin: A la Alveniz (arr. Dokshizer)^%³
Cristancho: Jose Morales Bambucco¹
Calvo: Arabesque¹
Granados: Intermezzo (from Goyescas)
Bizet: Ouvre ton coeur^§
Weil: Youkali^§
Piazzolla: Historie du Tango-Bordel 1900-Cafe 1930-Nightclub 1960#¤

#- Iryna Krechkovsky, violin; ^-Javier Gonzalez, piano; %- Gina Petrella, castanets; §-Gabriela Martinez, soprano; ª-Marlene Ballena, cello; ²-Miguel Amaguana, tenor; ³-Josh Rzepka, trumpet; ¹-Felepe Calle, piano; ¤- Gideon Whitehead, guitar.

Something I've often wondered--but been afraid to ask out loud--is with the plethora of music world-class conservatories in Northeast Ohio (The Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin, and Baldwin-Wallace to name just the first three that come to mind) what happens to the talented students immediately after graduation.

M.U.S.i.C (Musical Upcoming Stars in the Classics) answers that question by providing paid performance opportunities for those upcoming artists. Though I had not previously heard of M.U.S.i.C (their website can be found here), Artistic Director Jodi Kanter invited me to this concert at the Hanna Perkins Center in Shaker Heights. Being perpetually amazed at the variety of arts outlets in Northeast Ohio -- I gladly accepted, though I didn't know what to expect.

First, the venue, a gym/auditorium at the Hanna Perkins Center in Shaker Heights (originally built as the Malvern School) has been gloriously preserved/maintained/restored -- building oozes 1930s details, but lacks any hint of accumulated dirt or grime to dull the services. before the performance I had some doubts about the acoustic sanity of performing in a gym, but as it turns out the room was satisfactory: Drinks and light snacks were available before, during intermission, and after the concert and the feel was generally very laid back -- it was certainly one of the most social groups I've attended a concert with.

Though I found the second half of the program more compelling than the last half, the first half wasn't without its highlights, I particularly enjoyed Papeana No. 2, Op. 21 and the interplay between cello and piano: While at times the two instruments seemed to exist in separate spheres, at others the two seemed to be chasing each other. On the other hand, Albeniz's Leyenda seemed rather rough around the edges...but Mr. Rzepka's trumpet aptly recovered in the following A la Albeniz which struck me as something you might enjoy in a smokey cafe.

The musicians returned after intermission offering a lively piano for Jose Morales Bambucco, then another great performance from cellist Marlene Ballena who;s impassioned and energetic Intermezzo from Goyescas evolved into a slow embrace and I think was my favorite piece of the evening. Closing out the program Piazzolla's Hustorie du Tango stopped at three scenes: A 1900 Bordel, a 1930 cafe and a 1960 Nightclub and provided colorful tones throughout; my favorite (and I think the most lively) was the 1960 Nightclub which echoed the traditions established in the prior scenes but took things up a notch and included Ms. Krechkovsky playing behind the bridge among other novel techniques.

The next concert is scheduled for December 4th as their 4th Annual Hotel Brunch/Concert, with time, location, and program to be announced.


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