Musical Moments

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. Please bookmark this page—a new Musical Moment will be posted here every Saturday.

May 30, 2020

Sean Cheng, 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."

An operatic Madamina performance is here and you can read the full text of Mozart's aria here.     

Remember Elvira Madigan anyone?

May 23, 2020

Sean Cheng, pianist     

Sean Chen    

Sean Chen was third-place prize winner in the Van Cliburn competition in 2013.

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.

Visit Sean's website


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.

(Click here for a pdf of Lynn's 1992 program with photo.)

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

Bach-Siloti: Andante from Violin Sonata
in A Minor
, BWV 1003

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

Prelude in B Minor by Alexander Siloti (1863-1945)

Vadym Kholodenko, pianist

As an encore at the conclusion of his 2013 CMS concert in Sunset Center, Vadym Kholodenko plays this arrangement by Siloti of J.S. Bach's Prelude in E Minor BWV 855a.

For a listening comparison, here is a YouTube video of the original Bach Prelude played on piano. 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.

Bookmark this page. More to come...