Duo Exceeds High Expectations

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Violinist Soovin Kim and pianist Gloria Chien, both well-known to Boston audiences as soloists and chamber musicians, played a thoughtfully conceived program with passion and a passionate attention to detail at Jordan Hall Saturday night with many distinguished NEC faculty in attendance.    [continued]

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Sweet and Glorious Chamber Music

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The (glorious) duo of pianist Gloria Chen and violinist Arnaud Sussman made a memorable appearance at Newton’s Temple Emanuel’s on Sunday afternoon, where the large audience enjoyed two sonatas of 250th-birthday-boy Beethoven as well as sonatas by Ravel and Debussy, and three romances by Clara Schumann.    [continued]

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Critics’ Faves From Passing Year

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Among the BMInt staff, many writers have intact memories. Within that subset, several have submitted lists of their favorite concerts of the last season. We thank them for their reflections. Some have chosen to nominate concerts they have reviewed while others have chosen from concerts which they merely attended. This exercise reminds us of how    [continued]

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Musical Valedictions

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Chameleon’s Deborah Boldin characterized the group’s last concert of the season as “in the twilight air, swan songs and farewells,” examining the passage of time through the lens[es] of 5 master composers.”    [continued]

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Reuter’s Poetic Phrasing, Henry’s Impressive Licks in Incoherent Program

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The theme of the Pro Musicis recital of oboist Gerard Reuter and pianist Gayle Martin Henry on March 21 at Longy School was “Songs without Words.” My chief objection to the program came from the way it was organized. The alternations between duets and piano solos could have worked better if there had been any discernable relationships. A duo arrangement of Beethoven’s Variations on “Là ci darem la mano” was followed by he first movement of a Clementi piano sonata. Mr. Reuter returned with a workmanlike set of variations on Heidenröslein by the Italian, Leone Singaglia; then Henry took the stage for a couple of Liszt transcriptions of Schuman songs, including the famous Widmung, beautifully voiced but lacking in drama. After intermission the artists offered a rendition of a couple of Sondheim songs followed by an unmatched pair of Wagner/List transcriptions. It was a jarring juxtaposition. Henry masterfully painted the scenes of Senta’s demise and Isolde’s love death with a technique seemingly untaxed by the technical demands. In airs from Donizetti’s La Favorita by one Antonio Pascuilli. Reuter’s soulful performance was frenetic, committed, and intense. Rachmaninoff got the last word through a reflectively poignant and calming encore of Vocalise. Reuter’s poetic, grandiloquent phrasing and facile ornamentation, extending phrases into long lines of architecture which this listener found very effective, would have been the envy of any bel canto diva.             [Click title for full review.]    [continued]

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