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The Sarasota Opera House is an elegant, warmly resonant venue for the evening concerts. At the 12 June 2004 concert, the Schumann D minor Trio received a deeply moving performance. This past season pianist Robert Levin enthralled a Lincoln Theater audience with his lively performance of Mozart's E flat major Piano Concerto -- replete with ornate ornamentation (with Nicholas McGegan and the New World Symphony). In the Schumann, Levin's bold, impassioned pianism overflowed with a rainbow of tonal colors. Violinist Joseph Silverstein -- long a distinguished soloist, conductor, and chamber musician -- offered a lithe, fleet fingered account of the lively Scherzo. The slow movement featured darkly resonant playing from Silverstein and cellist Ronald Leonard, a patrician artist. The three artists brought magisterial eloquence to the spacious finale (with uplifting thematic material similar to that in the finale of Schumann's Second Symphony). Preceding the Schumann work, Silverstein and Ani Kavafian gave a virtuosic account of Sergei Prokofiev's Sonata for Two Violins, Op 56 (1932). The melting lyricism of the Commodo (Quasi allegretto) and the panache of the Allegro con brio finale were given full measure by the Silverstein-Kavafian duo. Former Florida International University faculty member Susan Starr opened the program with an elegantly sculptured reading of Beethoven's charming Quintet for Piano and Winds in E flat major, Op 16. The liquid toned oboe of Allan Vogel, warm clarinet sound of Franklin Cohen, commanding horn of Julie Landsman (a first chair of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), and the richly beautiful bassoon of Frank Morelli (principal bassoonist of the New York City Opera Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and American Composers Orchestra) all contributed to a captivating performance. A particularly songful Andante Cantabile and invigorating Rondo capped a stellar performance of a unique work -- Beethoven in a light vein (as entertainer)!

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Copyright © 24 June 2004 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA


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