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Frédéric Chopin

Friday, December 9, 2016


getClassical (Ilona Oltuski)

December 6

AICF – In Support Of Israel’s Talent Network

getClassical (Ilona Oltuski)An astounding display of musical talent was offered to guests and supporters at the festive 77th America-Israel Cultural Foundation Gala last Tuesday evening, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater under the auspices of Israel’s Consul General in New York, Dani Dayan. (Photo: Ilona Oltuski -Prize ceremony David Stern for Ivry Gitlis ) Honoring the memory of Vera Stern, the musical program unified three generations of virtuosi, all of whom had received support from AICF at the start of their careers. The partaking artists were friends, colleagues, students or protégés of the influential music power couple Vera and Isaac Stern, and included world-renowned performers Itzhak Perlman and Yefim Bronfman. The Sterns’ three children, David, Michael and Shira, guided audiences through the program, which was compiled according to Vera’s musical taste spanning works by Prokofiev, Schubert, Beethoven, Mozart, Bloch, Chopin, Bach and Brahms; the trio of siblings shared personal remarks and historic memories in between performances by ensembles of interchanging sizes and configurations. After saving Carnegie Hall and inspiring its development as one of the premier music institutions under his presidency, Isaac, the great performer and educator and the ever-energetic Vera, left their cultural legacy and a remarkable imprint that still holds its impact on today’s classical music scene. Vera became involved with AICF in 1960, realizing the dire need for support for local talent in Israel. Through AICF’s dual corresponding activities in Tel Aviv and New York, American patrons are able to actively support music and art education in Israel, making it possible to train aspiring talent “chuz la aretz,” outside of Israel, ultimately introducing new artists to international audiences, while helping them to forge the networks careers are built upon. In turn, some of its great artists return for performances in Israel, keeping the cultural exchange fluid. Although the opportunities to develop their talents and continue to build careers abroad represent an ideal for many capable Israeli musicians, the musical import of Israel’s talent – many of Russian heritage – to the US and Europe has also created a bit of a newly exiled generation. Less obvious perhaps in a profession that requires so much touring, but Israeli talent still aims to prove career-worthy outside of their native borders, which of course in Israel’s case spans a comparatively minuscule region, creating a difficult scenario for a performer. Given its small population, the amount of talent emerging in Israel is quite impressive, and many of the artists serve as Israel’s “ambassadors,” taking on the responsibility of presenting Israel’s strong embrace of international culture, while others rather distance themselves from being labeled. Under the leadership of its New York director, David Homan, AICF has expanded its outreach into all creative areas, including dance, fine art, theater, and to the media and production side of curating and performance, which made this year’s inaugural ‘Vera Stern King Solomon Award’ especially meaningful. Photo; Ilona Oltuski Alon Goldstein ( piano) Vadim Guzman ( violin) The prize was presented by Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera, to media expert, producer, and President and CEO of WNET, Neal Shapiro, to reward visionary programming in support of the arts. The other award this evening, the ‘William A. Schwarz Aviv Award’ named for AICF’s previous longtime president William Schwarz, was presented by Vera Stern’s son, David, to a much-beloved figure of the music world, the violinist and perpetual enfant terrible, Ivry Gitlis, who embraced the audience saying: “Je vous aime le plus (you are my very favorite),” bringing the evening’s sentimental touch into the foreground. The opening work of the evening, Prokofiev’s Overture on Jewish Themes, op.34 provided an early ample outlook on the caliber of the evening’s performers, with Alexander Fiterstein (clarinet), Vadim Gluzman and Itamar Zorman (violins), Shmuel Katz (viola), and Yefim Bronfman at the piano. Other highlights included a perceptive rendering of Ernest Bloch’s From Jewish Life – Baal Shem: Nigun by pianist Alon Goldstein with Vadim Guzman, a velvety performance by soprano Rinat Shaham in Bach’s Erbarme Dich from St. Matthew Passion, with a trio accompaniment by Itzhak Perlman (violin), Amit Peled (cello) and Alon Goldstein, as well as the scorching finale of Brahm’s Piano Quintet in F minor with Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Guzman, Shmuel Katz, and Amit Peled, closing with another Opus 34. Pianist Tomer Gewirtzman represented the new generation of young Israeli artists. As winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Gewirtzman makes his New York recital debut on December 13th at Merkin Hall. He received the Audience Price at the AICF Aviv Competition in 2013.

ArtsJournal: music

December 7

NPR Critics Pick Their Favorite Music Of 2016

Okay - so we don't quite know how Solange beats out Beyonce's Lemonade for best album of the year. But the bigger question is how this eclectic hodgepodge of styles and genres gets sorted out into a big list that features Barbara Hannigan, Miranda Lambert, Rihanna, Chopin mazurkas, Kaytranada and Christopher Rouse. Just what is the aesthetic through-line here?




getClassical (Ilona Oltuski)

December 4

AICF – In Support Of Israel’s Talent Network

An astounding display of musical talent was offered to guests and supporters at the festive 77th America-Israel Cultural Foundation Gala last Tuesday evening, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater under the auspices of Israel’s Consul General in New York, Dani Dayan. (Photo: Ilona Oltuski -Prize ceremony David Stern for Ivry Gitlis ) Honoring the memory of Vera Stern, the musical program unified three generations of virtuosi, all of whom had received support from AICF at the start of their careers. The partaking artists were friends, colleagues, students or protégés of the influential music power couple Vera and Isaac Stern, and included world-renowned performers Itzhak Perlman and Yefim Bronfman. The Sterns’ three children, David, Michael and Shira, guided audiences through the program, which was compiled according to Vera’s musical taste spanning works by Prokofiev, Schubert, Beethoven, Mozart, Bloch, Chopin, Bach and Brahms; the trio of siblings shared personal remarks and historic memories in between performances by ensembles of interchanging sizes and configurations. After saving Carnegie Hall and inspiring its development as one of the premier music institutions under his presidency, Isaac, the great performer and educator and the ever-energetic Vera, left their cultural legacy and a remarkable imprint that still holds its impact on today’s classical music scene. Vera became involved with AICF in 1960, realizing the dire need for support for local talent in Israel. Through AICF’s dual corresponding activities in Tel Aviv and New York, American patrons are able to actively support music and art education in Israel, making it possible to train aspiring talent “chuz la aretz,” outside of Israel, ultimately introducing new artists to international audiences, while helping them to forge the networks careers are built upon. In turn, some of its great artists return for performances in Israel, keeping the cultural exchange fluid. However, leaving Israel to follow unlocked career paths, has led many of the young Israeli talents – mostly of Russian heritage – to a life in exile. It’s perhaps less obvious in a profession that requires touring most of the time but mostly, Israeli talent still aims to prove career-worthy outside of their native borders, which of course in Israel’s case spans a comparatively miniscule region, creating a difficult scenario for a performer. Given its small population, the amount of talent emerging in Israel is quite impressive, and many of the artists serve as Israel’s “ambassadors,” taking on the responsibility of presenting Israel’s strong embrace of international culture. Under the leadership of its New York director, David Homan, AICF has expanded its outreach into all creative areas, including dance, fine art, theater, and to the media and production side of performance and exhibition, which made this year’s inaugural ‘Vera Stern King Solomon Award’ especially meaningful. Photo; Ilona Oltuski Alon Goldstein ( piano) Vadim Guzman ( violin) The prize was presented by Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera, to media expert, producer, and President and CEO of WNET, Neal Shapiro, to reward visionary programming in support of the arts. The other award this evening, the ‘William A. Schwarz Aviv Award’ named for AICF’s previous longtime president William Schwarz, was presented by Vera Stern’s son, David, to a much-beloved figure of the music world, the violinist and perpetual enfant terrible, Ivry Gitlis, who embraced the audience saying: “Je vous aime le plus (you are my very favorite),” bringing the evening’s sentimental touch into the foreground. The opening work of the evening, Prokofiev’s Overture on Jewish Themes, op.34 provided an early ample outlook on the caliber of the evening’s performers, with Alexander Fiterstein (clarinet), Vadim Gluzman and Itamar Zorman (violins), Shmuel Katz (viola), and Yefim Bronfman at the piano. Other highlights included a perceptive rendering of Ernest Bloch’s From Jewish Life – Baal Shem: Nigun by pianist Alon Goldstein with Vadim Guzman, a velvety performance by soprano Rinat Shaham in Bach’s Erbarme Dich from St. Matthew Passion, with a trio accompaniment by Itzhak Perlman (violin), Amit Peled (cello) and Alon Goldstein, as well as the scorching finale of Brahm’s Piano Quintet in F minor with Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Guzman, Shmuel Katz, and Amit Peled, closing with another Opus 34. Pianist Tomer Gewirtzman represented the new generation of young Israeli artists. As winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Gewirtzman makes his New York recital debut on December 13th at Merkin Hall. He received the Audience Price at the AICF Aviv Competition in 2013.



Tribuna musical

December 1

Chopiniana presented promising Argentine and admirable Polish pianists

Chopiniana ended its season at the Palacio Paz with the impromptu presentation of the twenty-year-old Gastón Frydman (due to the illness of veteran Spanish pianist Guillermo González) and the Argentine debut of Szymon Nehring, a true revelation in an all-Chopin programme. Although the cancellation of González was a pity for he has a vast trajectory and would have premièred several recently discovered sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, it was worthwhile to meet Frydman´s art at a tender age, for he should have a good career. At such short notice, the decisive factor was that he had a varied programme ready for any occasion that might appear. He is a product of the serious training provided by the Beethoven Conservatory and the Colón Institute of Art, among others. He has had some European experience and currently has formed a duo with the accomplished violinist Rafael Gíntoli. His programme was eclectic and difficult. The Busoni arrangements of Bach aren´t trendy nowadays, but they are good of its kind, such as the one on the chorale prelude "Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ" ("I call to you, Lord jesus Christ"); Frydman showed continuity and fine timbre in his interpretation. Beethoven followed, with the wonderful Sonata Nº5, Op.10 Nº1, in C minor, the first one that leads to his maturity. Frydman had some memory errors but understood the forward-looking elements of the style. He was completely in charge of Ginastera´s First Sonata, with its strong Bartókian influence; I only question that the "Presto misterioso" wasn´t, well, mysterious enough. He proved comfortable in Liszt´s arduous music: expressive in the Petrarch Sonnet Nº 47 (not the most popular, but very beautiful), and up to the hurdles of the heavy "Vision", Transcendental Etude Nº 6. In the contrasting world of Debussy, he chose the last of each Book of Preludes: the humoristic "Minstrels" and the virtuosic "Fireworks", both well-managed. Finally, Chopin´s Scherzo Nº1, with its violent contrast between the opening lightning-fast music and the meditative central section well realized by the pianist, notwithstanding small smudges. His encores were interesting: a charming Barcarolle by Anton Liadov (hardly ever played, his abundant piano music should be explored), and one of the splendid arrangements by Earl Wild (the great American pianist who fascinated our city decades ago) of Gershwin songs: "Embraceable you", done with much charm by our young pianist. Wild called them "virtuoso etudes", and so they are. Nehring studied in Cracovia and Bydgoszcz, and won a Krystian Zimerman scholarship; also, he has gone through a gamut of competitions, with ever higher prizes. Although he keeps perfecting his studies, I find him not only fully formed, but in his twenties he must be one of the best Chopin interpreters in the world. As time went by, it became quite clear that he has an exquisite sense of style and powerful, practically flawless technical command. I have some complaints but they aren´t about the music or the playing: almost half-an-hour delay, apparently because the Polish Ambassador and other people hadn´t arrived yet; a change of order in a programme that already was felt as short measure.; and the repetition of two scores that were already heard in the subscription series: the Fantasia and the first Ballad. But what was included satisfied even the severest judges. I will comment the pieces in the order that they were really played (it was announced by Martha Noguera, the organizer of Chopiniana). The lovely Four Mazurkas Op.33 (curiously played in different order: 1,3,2,4, with the fourth having an internal cut because it´s long) were done with the particular empathy that only Poles can have with this rhythm. Followed the meditative Nocturne Op.37 Nº2, and the inimitable tracery of the Barcarolle, executed with astonishing observance of the tiniest detail. The Second Part started with the complex Fantasia Op.49, in which the disparate elements were cunningly integrated by the pianist. Then, the Nocturne Op.32 Nº2, one of the less dreamy and more fluent. A scintillating traversal of the Waltz Op.34 Nº 1, specifically named "Brilliant". And the challenge of the First Ballad, one of the most important scores in Chopin´s life, an enormously varied "narration" that taxes even the greatest pianists, heard in an astonishingly mature reading. The encore was a magisterial rendering of Etude op.25 Nº 11, great waves of sound perfectly controlled. For Buenos Aires Herald

Frédéric Chopin
(1810 – 1849)

Frédéric François Chopin (22 February 1810 / 1 March - 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer, virtuoso pianist, and music teacher, of French-Polish parentage. He was one of the great masters of Romantic music. Chopin is also known as "The poet of the Piano". Chopin was born in ?elazowa Wola, a village in the Duchy of Warsaw. A renowned child-prodigy pianist and composer, he grew up in Warsaw and completed his musical education there. Following the Russian suppression of the Polish November 1830 Uprising, Chopin settled in Paris as part of the Polish Great Emigration. He supported himself as a composer and piano teacher, giving few public performances. From 1837 to 1847 he carried on a relationship with the French woman writer George Sand. For most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health; he died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39. Most of Chopin's works involve the piano. They are technically demanding but emphasize nuance and expressive depth. Chopin invented the musical form known as the instrumental ballade and made major innovations to the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, polonaise, étude, impromptu and prélude.



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