Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tanya Tomkins Salon at the Rex

Tanya Tomkins at Salon at the Rex photo bcd49c4b-c4b4-45a8-974a-0f065ce49760_zps11fbf2bf.jpgWednesday evening I heard Tanya Tomkins play Bach Cello Suites 2 & 3 on a Baroque instrument in the intimate Salon at the Rex. The Baroque cello sounds slacker & less weighty than a modern instrument, & Ms. Tomkins fitted her performance well to the small setting. The Suite in D minor was mournful & introspective, & Ms. Tomkins leaned into the gritty double-stops of the Sarabande. She nicely differentiated the moods of the 2 Menuetts. The final Gigue was a continuous stream of notes. The Suite in C Major was contrastingly lighter in mood, even bouncy. Ms. Tomkins played the program with a feeling of great familiarity & ease. She was sparing in her use of vibrato & ornamentation. Her cello did not have an endpin but was propped up on 2 pillows.

In the pause between suites, Ms. Tomkins talked about the Baroque cello & answered questions. When a gentleman in the front row began to engage her in a discussion about the expense of violins vs. cellos, a voice from the back of the room reminded her that we were here to listen to music. The performance was well-attended, & the atmosphere was informal. The salon audience was quiet & very engaged. A woman in the front of the room boldly told us to be quiet at the start of the Q&A afterward. The audience laughed when Ms. Tomkins mentioned that she tuned her cello to Baroque pitch with an iPhone app.

§ Tanya Tomkins, Baroque cello
San Francisco Performances
Salon at the Rex

J.S. Bach: Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
J.S. Bach: Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009

Wednesday, February 27, 6:30pm
Hotel Rex

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