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The Piano Quintet in E flat Op 44 of Robert Schumann received a joyful and enthusiastic performance by pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja and the Cuarteto Casals. These extremely talented musicians were all on the same page, throughout, engaging in charming dialogue or coaxing one another into a brief chase.

The third movement's opening scales were miraculously tossed off by Ms Leonskaja. After this fast and furious beginning, the piano was joined by the strings in a glorious joint effort, and a good time was had by all. Including, of course, the audience.

During the break between evening and late concerts, the candles were lit on the huge chandelier. It was an awesome sight, and I did take photos. (I hope they're here somewhere!)

The Bantry House library chandelier. Photo © 2007 Kelly Ferjutz
The Bantry House library chandelier. Photo © 2007 Kelly Ferjutz

The candlelight added terrifically to the emotional recital of Romances of Tchaikovsky by mezzo-soprano Mila Shkertil and Yuri Serov, piano. The composer wrote some of the poems, and others are by famous Russian authors, but almost all are melancholy in nature.

Ms Shkertil is one of the most expressive artists I've ever seen, and her voice is one of utmost clarity and precision. Although a booklet featuring words in the original language and translations are provided (as has been the case with all vocal recitals) it is not necessary to know beforehand of what she sings. Just watch and listen, and all is made clear. I swear, she could wring tears from a rock!

She'll be doing another late night recital again tonight. I have to be there. Eventually, there will be time to sleep. I hope.

Continue to day six >>

Copyright © 5 July 2007 Kelly Ferjutz, Bantry, Ireland



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