Thursday, March 24, 2011

Curtis on Tour

Curtis on TourTuesday night San Francisco Performances presented their annual gift concert to subscribers. President Ruth Felt introduced Curtis students Kelly Coyle (clarinet) & Ayane Kozasa (viola) & faculty member Ignat Solzhenitsyn (piano). They began with a precise performance of Kurtág's Homage à R. Sch., a set of 6 short pieces of varying lengths & moods. A bass drum sat in front of the piano, & I kept wondering how it would be used. Finally the clarinetist, without moving from her chair, picked up a mallet & struck a soft note that turned out to be the last sound in the piece. Ms. Kozasa & Mr. Solzhenitsyn then played the Brahms Viola Sonata No. 1. I enjoyed Mr. Solzhenitsyn's playing, with its neat cut-offs & rounded attacks. He moves his body a lot, but his sound can be quite dainty. Ms. Kozasa has a smooth & even sound that is violin-like. Their grazioso movement was indeed graceful.

After intermission all 3 musicians performed Daron Hagen's Book of Days, a suite of 7 pictorial pieces named for days of the week. Tuesday was a long, flowing French melody for viola & piano. Friday reminded me of the lyrical, wide-open spaces in Copland, though it ends with an evil double-stop on the viola. Clarinetist Ms. Coyle is a self-effacing performer. Wednesday is a mercurial solo movement for clarinet, yet her playing remained straight-forward & subdued. The program ended with an unhurried performance of Mozart's "Kegelstatt" Trio, which the program notes say was named after a bowling alley. Mr. Solzhenitsyn displayed a soft, string-like sound. His page-turner missed a cue in the 1st movement, causing him to swat the page noisily himself. Ms. Coyle came out with an extra clarinet which she played under her chair but never used. The concert had good attendance, & the audience was quiet & polite.

§ San Francisco Performances Gift Concert

Curtis on Tour

Kelly Coyle, clarinet
Ayane Kozasa, viola
Ignat Solzhenitsyn, piano

GYÖRGY KURTÁG: Homage à R. Sch., Opus 15d
BRAHMS: Sonata for Viola and Piano, No. 1 in F minor, Opus 120
DARON A. HAGEN: Book of Days
MOZART: Trio in E-flat Major, K. 498 (Kegelstatt)

BRUCH: Nachtgesang (No. 6) from Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, Op. 83

Tuesday, March 22, 8pm
Herbst Theatre

No comments: