In an attempt to provide a little relief during this time of "social distancing," we are posting short pieces of music from our archives as well as videos of artists who have performed for CMS. Usually these will be encores, short sections from longer works, or unusual musical performances. Subscribe to our mailing list here.
Please bookmark this page—a new Musical Moment is posted here every Saturday.
January 16, 2020
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has performed for Carmel Music Society on five occasions; first in 2007, last in January 2000.
Their concerts have been conducted by Nicholas McGegan, or led by Elizabeth Blumenstock.
In January 2013, they played Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons", Op18.
Here are the three sections of "Spring" from that concert:
January 9, 2021
Noël Wan, harpist
Noël Wan was the Grand Prize Winner of the Society's 2014 instrumental competition.
In a return engagement for a Music Society's donor event, she Included a transcription for harp of the "Italian Concerto" BWV 971 by J. S. Bach. Here are the movements, playable separately.
Allegro (Playing time 4:32)
Andante (Playing time 5:13)
Presto (Playing time 4:34)
January 2, 2021
The Romeros Guitar Quartet
The Romeros Guitar Quartet played for Carmel Music Society in 2014 and 2016.
They performed a wide range of music and here is their rendition of the introduction to Bizet's opera Carmen.
December 26, 2020
Jon Kimura Parker, pianist
In their concert in January 2011, cellist Lynn Harrell and pianist Jon Kimura Parker played together and also as soloists.
A full review by Lyn Bronson:
The solo piano piece was Beethoven Sonata #23, Op.57 "The Appassionata."
Here is the first movement. (Playing time 9:34)
December 19, 2020
The Gryphon Trio
The Toronto based Gryphon Trio have played in Carmel many times, in concert and for outreach events at schools, and in senior residences.
In their 2011 concert with CMS they performed Beethoven's Piano Trio, Op 97, the "Archduke."
Here is the fourth movement. (Playing time 7:12)
December 12, 2020
Hans Boepple, pianist
He is a frequent performer in the Carmel and Santa Cruz areas.
In his January 2009 concert for Carmel Music Society, he played the Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach and Chopin's Twenty-Four Preludes, Op. 28.
His encore (!) was the first movement (Allegro moderato) of the Mozart Sonata in C Major, K. 330.
December 5, 2020
The Takács Quartet
The Takács Quartet is now quartet in residence at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
They play frequently on the West Coast, and at their 2014 concert for CMS, they performed works by Beethoven and Britten. Their concert started with Haydn's Op 76 #4 "The Sunrise." (pdf)
Here is the first movement. (Playing time 8:34)
November 28, 2020
Liszt and Beethoven
Franz Liszt was an ardent admirer of Beethoven's works, and in particular of the symphonies.
Over a 30 year period, as a "conscientious translator," he re-wrote the scores of all nine for piano performance.
Listen here to his adaptation of the last movement of #,6 the "Pastoral" performed by Michel Dalberto. (Playing time 8:37)
November 21, 2020
Anderson & Roe, duo pianists
Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Roe, duo pianists, were scheduled to play for CMS audience on April 25, 2021. Their concert was cancelled as was the whole season.
This was to be an exceptional program. See reviews here...
In this video you can enjoy a visual performance of their arrangement of Papagano's melodies, from Mozart's opera The Magic Flute.
November 14, 2020
Sean Chen, pianist
Sean Chen was third-place prize winner in the Cliburn competition in 2013.
He performed for Carmel Music Society on February 14, 2016: Valentine's Day.
He started the concert with his own piano adaptation of the Offertorium from Mozart's Requiem in D Minor, K. 626.
Part 1 is 4 minutes, the entire movement is 8:36.
November 7, 2020
Our 30th Musical Moment for you
All well-established string quartets, (e.g. Alexander, Takacs, Guarneri, Shanghai and many more) have recorded all sixteen of the Beethoven quartets.
Each group creates their unique interpretation.
Here is the ending of the last movement of number nine, Opus 59 #3, marked as "Allegro molto".
When played by the Alexander Quartet, the duration is 3:19 minutes.
The Shanghai Quartet played it in 2:52 minutes.
October 31, 2020
Yefin Bronfman, pianist
At Sunset Center in May 2009, Yefim Bronfman played works by Beethoven, Schumann and Prokofiev.
He then made a fervent performance of "Islamay" by Mily Balakirev.
He followed with two encores:
Sonata in C-minor (Kirkpatrick 11) - D. Scarlatti
Étude Op.10, Nr.12 (Revolutionary) - Chopin
October 24, 2020
On their US tours from Prague, the Bennewitz Quartet has performed twice for the Carmel Music Society in 2009 and 2011.
This concert included works by Mozart and Smetena and a string quartet by Antonín Dvořák.
Here is the finale: Allegro assai, from Dvorák's String Quartet No.10
October 17, 2020
Frederic Chiu, pianist
After his concert for the Music Society in January 2005, pianist Frederic Chiu donated a CD of all his recordings of piano sonatas by Felix Mendelssohn.
Here are excerpts from two of them, each about 4 minutes:
Presto from Rondo capriccioso, Op.14
Presto from Sonata No.2, Op.105
October 10, 2020
In 1964, a seven inch diameter, 45 rpm vinyl disk was issued titled:
The title puzzled both the popular and classical music audiences and it did not sell well. Link here to see the record sleeve notes
However the music has since been recognized as very close in style to Mozart's early string quartet compositions, the time when he supposedly copied themes by Salieri and others.
Now with some more recent melodies available, this is what he might have written.
October 3, 2020
Musical Moments for you from Rudolf Schroeter, pianist
Following a long career as litigation lawyer and decades of devoted amateur piano playing, Rudolf served the Mozart Society and the Carmel Music Society in various executive roles.
Rudolf's colleagues at Carmel Music, thank him for his support, advice, and friendship over many years. We wish him and Lydia success in everything for their future life in Newnan, Georgia.
Here he plays two of his favorites:
Praeludium, BWV 846, by J.S. Bach, arranged by Franz Liszt
Ständchen, D957, by Franz Schubert, also arranged by Liszt
September 26, 2020
Misha and Cipa Dichter, pianists
Duo pianists Misha and Cipa Dichter first played for the Society in 1986, and again in 2010.
Their separate and joint careers have extended more than fifty years.
They played Mozart's Sonata in D Minor, K.448. Click below to hear the entire 23-minute work.
September 19, 2020
Alexander String Quartet
The Alexander String Quartet performed twice for Carmel Music Society in Novembers 2007 and 2009.
Each concert included a Beethoven string quartet.
In the 2007 concert they played from Opus 59.
"The three quartets, Opus 59 (The Razumovsky), were generally received with uncertainty, as they deviated from the established genre of string quartets in their content and emotional range."
Here is the fourth movement 'presto' from quartet No.8, Opus 59 #2.
September 12, 2020
Louis Lortie, pianist
Louis played all 27 Chopin études in Carmel, on Sunday, April 13th, 2014, after surviving flight delays from Toronto and airport sleeping on the previous night.
The études were published by Chopin in three groups; Opus 10 #1-12, and Opus 25 #1-12. The last three were named "Trois nouvelles études," and had no opus number assigned.
For more (wikipedia) detail, click here.
In this video, Louis plays all of Opus 10.
September 5, 2020
David Finckel, cello; Wu Han, piano;
and Philip Setzer, violin
David Finckel and Wu Han gave their first concert for the Carmel Music Society in 2004.
Together with violinist Phillip Setzer, they have performed in three more Carmel concerts, the latest in 2017. They are scheduled to visit Carmel again in May 2022.
In their 2017 concert they played the Beethoven trio, Opus 70 #1, known as "The Ghost Trio". Click the player below to hear the first movement.
August 29, 2020
Orion Weiss, pianist
The Calgary Herald reported: "Playing with a rich, even voluptuous tone, and with cascades of notes from the ever reliable Orion Weiss."
Orion played for Carmel Music on October 8, 2017. Here is a detailed concert review.
He performed works by Grieg, Chopin and Liszt. He also played Schumann's, Op. 82, Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), a set of nine piano pieces. Click below to hear the entire 21-minute work.
August 22, 2020
The Lydian String Quartet with Rhonda Rider, cellist
Click on the player below to listen to the three-minute, third movement, "Minuetto"..... Instantly recognisable.
August 15, 2020
Michael Noble, pianist
Michael Noble was first place prize winner in the Carmel Music Society piano competition in 2013.
He performed his winner's concert in May 2014.
Quote: "It is refreshing to hear Michael Noble address himself to the music with great sincerity and achieve such pleasing results."
In the concert he played Mozart's Rondo in A Minor, K. 511.
August 8, 2020
On November 19, 2019, the Modigliani String Quartet from Paris extended their tour to visit Carmel Music Society.
They played works by Mozart and Brahms, and also included Mendelssohn's Capriccio in E Minor and Fugue in E-flat Major, from his Op. 81.
Here are the two movements:
August 1, 2020
Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg, violin
Anne Marie McDermott, piano
Their program included music by Bach, Franck and Beethoven.
Here is the third movement from the Beethoven, Sonata in D Major, Op 12 No 1, Rondo-Allegro
July 25, 2020
Jean-Philippe Collard, pianist
He performed major works by Schumann and Chopin and then he played for encore, "Widmung" (Dedication), Schumann's song arranged for piano by Franz Liszt.
“Widmung is much more than a mere showpiece – containing probably the most passionate music writing and most heartfelt feelings.”
July 18, 2020
Jeremy Denk, pianist
Jeremy Denk's second encore in his April 2018 concert was a piano transcription made by Douglas Lambert of Richard Wagner's "Pilgrim's Chorus," from his opera: Tannhäuser.
It starts with the familiar musical theme, then, after 36 seconds "strides" into a very different style.
The audience loved it.
Click the play button below to listen.
July 11, 2020
Jeremy Denk, piano
In April 2018, world-famous pianist, Jeremy Denk gave his first concert for Carmel Music Society.
He played two major works: Beethoven's Sonata in E Major, Opus 109 and Schubert's Sonata in B flat Major, D. 960 and then two encores.
The first encore was the Andante middle movement from Mozart's Sonata #16, K.545. Click the play button below to listen.
The second encore amazed the audience. It will feature in the "Musical Moment" next week. Visit Jeremy Denk's website here.
July 4, 2020
Olga Kern, piano
Further Musical Moments for you from Olga Kern:
Olga was awarded the Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn Competition in 2001. In March 2006, she played for the Carmel Music Society. Her program included the Mendelssohn / Rachmaninov: Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream. Here it is:
Olga returned to Carmel in October 2019. She played several encores and the last was the Rimsky-Korsakov / Rachmaninov: Flight of the Bumblebee.
This Bee does much more than Bumble:
June 27, 2020
Elizabeth Schumann, piano
Elizabeth was first prize winner in the Society's 2008 Biennial Piano Competition. She then won prizes in many more competitions. (Visit her website.)
In this 4-minute video Elizabeth plays the Liszt adaptation of Schubert's lied, The Elf King, "Erlkönig."
In 2012, Elizabeth founded "Project Classical," designed to encourage the appreciation of classical music.
Elizabeth also devised and directs "Piano Carnival," a project to introduce free, high quality classical concert music to children, based around Saint-Saëns' famous composition, Carnival of the Animals. View on the Apple app store.
View more of Elizabeth's videos here.
June 20, 2020
Anne Akiko Meyers, violin
with Akira Eguchi, piano
Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers performed for the Music Society with accompanist Li Jian in October 1992.
Anne returned to Carmel in 2016 for a concert with the Monterey Symphony Orchestra.
In this encore performance of the Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria," Anne is accompanied by Akira Eguchi. The concert was at the 2018 opening of the Arvo Pärt Centre in Estonia.
June 13, 2020
Frederic Chiu, pianist
Pianist Frederic Chiu played a concert for the Music Society in January 2005.
In his comments in Peninsula Reviews Lyn Bronson wrote, "Chiu played one encore, the Schubert/Liszt Serenade, (Ständchen) and it was lovely."
Frederic has since recorded this piece and you can watch the five minute performance.
Visit Frederic Chiu's website
The Hagen String Quartet
Mozart started writing string quartets at age14. By age 17 he had written thirteen. Of these, the later ones were influenced by the quartets of Joseph Haydn then age 41.
One good example is in the fugal fourth movement of No.13 (KV.173).
The next six quartets that Mozart wrote were dedicated to Haydn. They were not published until 12 years later in 1785.
The Hagen String Quartet played two Mozart quartets (#19, #20) for the Music Society on November 4, 2014.
This movement (KV.173-4, Allegro) is from their recordings collection.
May 30, 2020
Sean Chen, pianist
Among his many professional skills, Sean Chen arranges music from other genres for piano performance.
In his 2016 Carmel concert, he played his own paraphrase of the aria; "Madamina" from Mozart's opera, Don Giovanni.
“He achieved an amazing feat in combining complicated vocal and instrumental textures. Madamina was so much fun that you instantly wanted to hear it again.” (Read Lyn Bronson’s online review)
"Madamina, il catalogo è questo" (also known as the Catalogue Aria) is sung by Don Giovanni's servant, Leporello, to Elvira, who is the Don's most recent "liaison."
Remember Elvira Madigan anyone?
May 23, 2020
Sean Chen, pianist
After winning the 2013 American Pianists Awards, placing third at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and being named a 2015 Annenberg Fellow, Mr. Chen is now a Millsap Artist in Residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.
He performed for Carmel Music Society on February 14, 2016: Valentine's Day.
Appropriate to the date, as an encore he played Gershwin's 'Love Walked In' arranged by Percy Grainger.
May 16, 2020
Man-Ling Bai, pianist
Winner of the 2016 Carmel Music Society Piano Competition
Man-Ling Bai, in her competition award winner's concert in 2017, played an improvisation on a theme which had previously been requested from music teachers.
Of the eight themes submitted, Man-Ling chose one at random. It was written by piano student Jordi Faxon, then 14 years old.
Click here to view a pdf of the original composition.
In this live excerpt from the concert, Man-Ling plays first the theme as written, and then makes a three minute improvisation.
For the full review of the concert by Lyn Bronson, click here.
May 9, 2020
Remembering Lynn Harrell
Internationally renowned cellist Lynn Harrell, who died on April 27, 2020, presented concerts for CMS in 1992, 2006, 2011, and 2012. He was always gracious, friendly and humorous.
In the 2012 concert he and pianist Jon Kimura Parker played an aria from Mozart's Magic Flute: "Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja!" In the opera the baritone plays pan pipes between verses. The pipes you hear were made to Lynn's specifications for this piece, and he plays them alternately with the cello.
Halfway through Lynn begins to sing and is joined in an unscripted performance by baritone Peter Tuff, Executive Director of CMS, who sings a verse, much to the audience's amusement.
We shall remember Lynn Harrell for a long time. He is part of our history.
May 2, 2020
Name the mystery composer!
This brief musical work, played by the late Tatiana Nikolayeva, is titled Fugue in A Major.
The composer's name will be familiar to you, but it will not be revealed until the very end of the two-minute performance.
Can you identify the composer during the playing time?
Click the thumbnail to the right to listen and watch...
April 25, 2020
Tanya Gabrielian, pianist
Continuing with the Alexander Siloti arrangements of Bach's music for modern piano, here is Siloti's transcription of the Andante from Bach's Sonata for Violin in A Minor, BWV 1003. It's about five minutes.
The pianist is Tanya Gabrielian, first prize winner of Carmel Music Society's piano competition in 2010.
April 18, 2020
Vadym Kholodenko, pianist
As an encore at the conclusion of his 2013 CMS concert in Sunset Center, Russian pianist Vadym Kholodenko plays an arrangement of J.S. Bach's Prelude in E Minor BWV 855a by Alexander Siloti (1863-1945).
For a listening comparison, here is a YouTube video of the original Bach Prelude played on piano (Vadym is not the pianist). It is performed twice: once with a view of the keyboard and then with a display of the score. Notice that Bach's melody is originally in the left hand; Siloti moved it to the right hand in his arrangement.