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In a piano solo, the younger Stoltzman played a hip version of The Duke by jazz great Dave Brubeck (born 1920). Here was stride piano playing of the magnificent variety! Peter John Stoltzman's own composition Lullaby recalled the Americana of Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson (although its point of departure was Brahms's Lullaby). Stoltzman Sr's lyrical phrasing was just what the composer ordered. The witty Traveler (also by Stoltzman Jr) was a dazzling clarinet showpiece not far removed from the atonality of Elliot Carter.

Richard Stoltzman played a luminous version of Brubeck's wonderful Blue Rondo a la Turk -- the ultimate meeting of cool jazz and classical grace. Feast by Richard Stoltzman's Yale classmate Bill Douglas (born 1944) was a terrific musical celebration. A combination of Canadian, Irish, Native American, and African influences, this score is a marvelous musical cornucopia and a tribute to America's multiculturalism. The Stoltzmans played it with dash and brio to spare.

Richard Stoltzman is the kind of musician the world needs in greater numbers. Like cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma and the brilliantly gifted, eclectic violinist Gilles Apap, his repertoire is the musical universe -- a true crossover artist. His recital was a formidable display of instrumental versatility. Richard Stoltzman is a musical treasure!

Copyright © 8 July 2004 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA




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