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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 every Saturday.

August 8, 2020

Modigliani Quartet

On November 19, 2019, the Modigliani String Quartet from Paris extended their tour to visit Carmel Music Society.

Here is a detailed concert review.

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:

Modigliani  Quartet

August 1, 2020

Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg, violin
Anne Marie McDermott, piano 

In their concert in April 2012, Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg and Anne Marie McDermott played sonatas for Violin and 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

Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg and Anne Marie McDermott

July 25, 2020 

Jean-Philippe Collard, piano

In March 2013, Jean Phillipe Collard traveled from Paris to SFO. The next day he played a full concert with encore, and the day after, returned to Paris. Here is a detailed concert review

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.”

Jean Phillipe Collard

July 18, 2020

Jeremy Denk, piano    

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. 

Visit Jeremy Denk's website here.

Jeremy Denk

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.

Jeremy Denk

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:

Jeremy Denk

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.

A pdf of that CMS program is here.

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, piano

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

June 6

The Hagen String Quartet     

Hagen 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     

Lynn Harrell

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 Chen, pianist     

Sean Chen

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.

Visit Sean's website

May 16, 2020

Man LIng Bai

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

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

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

Vadym Kholodenko

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.