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Recital
UNHURRIED COMMAND IN MENDO FESTIVAL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Pianist Robert Schwartz opened Mendocino Music Festival’s piano series July 17 with a set of works in a recital made for keyboard connoisseurs. His success was doubly gratifying for the artist as he had played on the same stage at last year’s Festival, but had to cancel most of the recital due to il...
Recital
ELEGANCE AND INTROSPECTION
by Nicki Bell
Sunday, May 18, 2014
A May 18 Weill Hall audience was led by the hands and heart of Richard Goode to a quiet realm of the sublime with a performance of the masterful last three Beethoven Piano Sonatas. The program was billed as the first time the artist has toured with the Op. 109, 110 and 111 pieces, and these weighty...
Recital
PRISTINE CONTROL, SUBDUED EMOTION
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Hilary Hahn’s April 27 Weill Hall recital found the violinist entering the stage without her instrument, beginning ten minutes of comments about the program. She does these introductions well, and most of the audience enjoyed the discourse comparing Schubert's Fantasia for Violin with Schoenberg’s t...
Recital
DRAMATIC DIVA SINGS WORKS OF AMERICAN COMPOSERS IN WEILL
by Vaida Falconbridge
Sunday, April 13, 2014
After opening her April 13 Weill Hall recital with the bright “The Year’s at the Spring,” probably Amy Beach’s best-known song, soprano Deborah Voigt paused for a moment to say to the audience, “When we were putting the program together, we had no idea it would be so apropos!” Continuing with the ...
Recital
RUSSIAN PIANIST, RUSSIAN MUSIC, RUSSIAN DRAMA
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 13, 2014
In the season’s penultimate Sonoma Classical Music Society concert on Sunday afternoon, April 13, Russian pianist Anastasia Dedik played an all-Russian program that was heavy on drama with just a modicum of lyricism. Two Rachmaninoff Etudes Tableaux opened the program, the E-Flat Minor from Op. 33 ...
Recital
WARM SPRING MUSIC AND ART IN CAS ORGAN RECITAL
by Jim Harrod
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Spring brought flowers and the virtuoso organist Faythe Freese to play a joyful recital on March 23 at Santa Rosa’s Resurrection Parish. Both the artist and the beautiful spring weather were most welcome, and the event was part of the Creative Arts Series. Ms. Freese, Professor of Organ at The Un...
Recital
MOK ONE SPEED AND ELEGANCE IN SRJC CHAMBER RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 16, 2014
After a decade-long absence, Gwendolyn Mok returned to the SRJC Chamber Series Feb. 16 in a gem of a balanced and elegant piano recital. Before an audience of 140 in the College’s Newman Auditorium, the San Jose-based artist began with Beethoven’s early A Major Sonata, Op. 2, No. 2. She quickly cau...
Recital
HU'S ON FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Music at Oakmont in their eight-concert season features mostly instrumental ensembles, and rarely pianists. But when they do the pianists are pretty good. Ching-Yun Hu's performance Feb.13 in Berger Auditorium, for example, was at a first-cabin level of virtuosity. A conventional repertoire first h...
Recital
IMPECCABLE BEETHOVEN FROM THE ALEXANDER STRING QUARTET
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 09, 2014
In the classical music world, snazzy innovation and music puffery catch the headlines, but there is always a role for an instrumental group with long experience and impeccable artistic integrity. The Alexander String Quartet's Feb. 9 concert in the Sonoma Classical Chamber Music Series proved that d...
Recital
GALLIC PERFECTION
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 22, 2013
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet has made French piano music a principal part of his career, but his artistry extends to far more than Gallic masterpieces, as he convincingly demonstrated in a Nov. 22 recital for the SRJC Chamber Concerts series. Before 180 in Newman Auditorium, Mr. Bavouzet opened with a spar...
RECITAL REVIEW
Sonoma State University Department of Music / Friday, November 11, 2011
William Kanengiser, guitar

Guitarist Adam Del Monte

DEL MONTE'S GUITAR COMPOSITIONS MORE JAZZ THAN FLAMENCO AT SSU RECITAL

by Robin Brown
Friday, November 11, 2011

Substituting for classical guitarist William Kanengiser, guitarist Adam Del Monte played his own compositions and promised a Tárrega solo November 11 at a Sonoma State University recital in Green Music Center 1028.

Mr. del Monte’s playing was characterized by zippy scales and an adjusted instrument with some low strings tuned down. Low tunings are critical for the modest voice of the guitar. Unfortunately, Mr. Del Monte’s compositions lacked cohesive form and lucid textures, and sounded like demonstrating technique for technique’s sake. He is a fused cool-jazz stylist, particularly when stroking the occasional fuzzy tuned down bass strings, but there is no flamenco bite attack to effectively carry a dance tune in a jazz style.

Mr. Del Monte performed on a light colored shallow-body flamenco guitar that had an adequate voice when played with a Paco de Lucía modern flourish. He balanced the guitar high-style on the right thigh with the butt roughly below the tie-bridge. The guitarist's upper arm rests on the upper side to press down onto the leg like a vice, a precarious balance and tiring in long rehearsals. High-style allows a dance accompanist a higher sight-line and it might relieve left hand tension better than does the Andrés Segovia classical guitar position. A few flamenco players use this position and also use a footstool.

Mr. Del Monte has performed in this area before, in Healdsburg’s Ravel Cinema, where he accompanied dancers and played solo works. In this recital his playing has changed with a more facile picado alteration of index and middle fingers for scales. Before playing his Tango closer of the first half, he spoke at length of comparing forms in flamenco musical culture. In addition to the talk being confusing, there were errors on some origins of flamenco. The closest he got to any traditional flamenco toque instrumental form was the Allegro mood of his study piece subtitled Alegria. But here the playing lacked exciting shifts in dance stresses and any feeling of Lento contrast. There was little juxtaposing of parallel major to minor to major melodies and the overall dance-song feeling was absent. A typical alegría of Cádiz has danceable stress patterns but Mr. Del Monte’s composition lacked the typical hemiola doce medidas rhythmic stress pattern.

So, it was a confusing mix of explanation and performance. But in a tablao nightclub in Spain, one generally hears one fast solo and modern guitar accompaniment to composed texts for modern flamenco dance. This recital wasn’t flamenco.