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La Belle Musique at AC Pianocraft, Inc., Lautreamont Concert Series, Fall Concert
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La Belle Musique at AC Pianocraft, Inc., Lautreamont Concert Series, Fall Concert

- Classical and Cultural Connections

“La Belle Musique”
www.la-belle-musique.com

At A.C. Pianocraft, Inc.
(A.C. Pianocraft, Inc. Website)
(See an Interview with Ted Kostakis and Tour of A.C. Pianocraft, Inc.)
(See a May 11, 2005 Review of La Belle Musique)
(See a June 23 Review of La Belle Musique)

Francisco Salazar and Steven Zynszajn, Violins
Avigail Arad, Cello
Gregory Singer, Viola
Steven Graff, Piano

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 29, 2005


Program:

P. de Sarasate: Romance Andalouse, Op. 22 #3

Gershwin/Heifetz: Three Preludes: Allegro, Andante, Allegro

F. Salazar, Violin
S. Graff, Piano

D. Scarlatti:
Sonata in C major, L. 104
Sonata in A minor, L. 241
Sonata in E major, L. 23

R. Muczynski: Toccata, Op. 15

S. Graff, Piano

J. Sibelius: Concerto, Op. 47 – 2nd Mvt.: Adagio di molto

B. Smetana: From the Homeland, #2

S. Zynszajn, Violin
S. Graff, Piano

J. Brahms: String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 51: Allegro non troppo; Andante moderato; Quasi Minuetto: Moderato, Allegretto vivace; Finale: Allegro non assai

The Bastille Quartet
S. Zynszajn and F. Salazar, Violins
G. Singer, Viola
A. Arad, Cello



This very warm chamber ensemble frequently performs at AC Pianocraft, Inc. (home of elegant, restored Steinways, each with its own history and musicality) and plays the finest string instruments from Gregory Singer’s fine violin shop on the West Side of Manhattan. Tonight the string ensemble was joined by the piano passion of Steven Graff, in a more contemporary piece than most of the program, to round out a very fascinating and fashionable music program. The musicians alternated in solo, duos, and quartet.

The little known Sarasate work was rapturous and resonant, thanks to the intensity of Francisco Salazar and his extensive, ethereal final notes. Graff, performing on an antique Steinway with gold inlay, was a bit more restrained in this work, but brought out the lovely tones of his piano and Sarasate’s theme. The Gershwin/Heifetz Preludes exuded a fresh interpretation, balletic and esoteric, with an interesting finale.

Graff’s solos, first the Scarlatti, took the listener to another, more refined era. It was in the Muczynski, however, when Graff unleashed his soul, presenting frenetic and dramatic passages with texture and triumph. I almost heard Poulenc and Prokofiev in fragments and flourishes. (According to Graff, Robert Muczynski was born in Chicago in 1929. He studied piano and composition at DePaul University and made a Carnegie Hall debut in 1958 playing a program of his own works. He has taught at DePaul University, Loras College, Roosevelt University, and the University of Arizona as composer-in-residence.)

In the Sibelius and Smetana works, Graff was joined by Steven Zynszajn on violin, and the Sibelius exuded a melancholy, mournful mood with elongated notes. The Smetana was typical of this Slavic composer, evocative of his Czech homeland and brooding symbolism. The stunning Bastille Quartet, minus piano, finally performed the Brahms String Quartet No. 2 in A minor in four movements. The first movement included Avigail Arad’s cello passage with depth and Gregory Singer’s viola blending that contrasted nicely with the two violins. In the second movement, Zynszajn took the lead, and four repetitive notes became an interesting background, as the cello was featured nicely. Singer’s slow, rapturous viola solo was pleasant and persuasive, and the third movement followed with formal dance rhythms. The Finale was aggressive and accented, and the evening progressed to the cocktail reception.

If you are interested in seeing or trying out a superb, rare or reasonable violin, viola, or cello, visit Gregory Singer Fine Violins on the West Side of Manhattan. If you are interested in hearing or hiring La Belle Musique, visit their website.



La Belle Musique at AC Pianocraft, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



La Belle Musique at AC Pianocraft, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Antique Steinway used for La Belle Musique concert.
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Antique Steinway used for La Belle Musique concert.
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Marjana at the reception.
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Marcial as bartender.
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Alex Kostakis at the reception.
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Marjana and Avigail Arad at the reception.
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Gregory Singer with Juilliard Client





For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net