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Recital
SCHUMANN AND BARTOK HIGHLIGHT BRONFMAN RECITAL IN WEILL
by Lee Ormasa
Friday, April 21, 2017
Those people once addicted to the “Angry Birds” game application likely suffered an auditory flashback during the opening measures of the allegro from Bartok’s Suite, Op. 14, the opening work in Yefim Bronfman’s April 21 recital at Weill Hall. The repetitive opening figures of the Bartok were...
Recital
SLAM BANG SONORITY IN HAOCHEN ZHANG'S SCHROEDER RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Piano Competition winners are in ample supply, and it’s often a hit and miss proposition as to their sterling interpretative qualities. However, the quadrennial Van Cliburn Competition in Ft. Worth has continually produced top-level artists, and the 2009 winner Haochen Zhang proved a formidable per...
Recital
MUSCULAR PIANISM DOMINATES MILL VALLEY CHAMBER SOCIETY RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Piano recitals since the beginning of the genre open with finger pieces - Scarlatti or Soler Sonatas, Bach, a Mendelssohn Prelude and Fugue or perhaps Mozart or Haydn. Sarah Daneshpour’s March 12 opening work at the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society series abruptly avoided the norm with the 10-minut...
Recital
NOVEL HAYDN AND SCHUMANN IN YARDEN'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Israeli pianist Einav Yarden has been a frequent Sonoma County visitor, playing private recitals for Spring Lake Village and Concerts Grand, and twice performing for Music at Oakmont. The Berlin-based artist returned to Oakmont’s Berger Auditorium March 9 with a program that was neither for connois...
Recital
BRILLIANT VIOLIN AND PIANO ARTISTRY CHARMS SCHROEDER HALL AUDIENCE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 26, 2017
A tiny Schroeder Hall audience heard a flawless recital Feb. 26 by Yu-Chien Tseng, arguably the best recent local violin recital since Gil Shaham’s transversal of the complete Bach Suites in Weill and Frank Almond’s Oakmont recital in 2015. Muscular playing was the afternoon’s norm, and with pianis...
Recital
RISKY SPEED IN POTENT LUO RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Each half of pianist Wei Luo’s Schroeder Hall recital Jan. 22 contained beguiling interpretations and consummate technical command of Shostakovich and Albeniz works, but each half finished with less than exalted playing. Two of Shostakovich’s Op. 87 Preludes and Fugues opened the recital, from the ...
Recital
COLORFUL SCHUBERT AND CHOPIN WARM WEILL HALL IN AX RECITAL
by Nicki Bell
Friday, January 20, 2017
On a stormy winter evening Jan. 20 a rainbow of colorful Schubert and Chopin music came from the fingers, feet and heart of pianist Emanuel Ax.  Playing at the Weill Hall for the first time, this recital was a tribute to beauty in the arts. It conveyed the value and glory of balance, lyricism and el...
Recital
SOUND AND FURY IN MATSUEV WEILL HALL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, October 22, 2016
A touring virtuoso’s reputation often precedes him or her, and usually that’s a good thing. The reputation of a Renée Fleming or a Yo Yo Ma can guarantee a sold out hall, and possibly a great concert. But not always, and so there was some concern at Russian pianist Denis Matsuev’s Oct. 23 Weill re...
Recital
ARTISTRY AND AMPLE RELAXED CHARM AT PERLMAN RECITAL IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Itzhak Perlman has fashioned a career that encompasses more than virtuoso violin performance, and includes teaching, narrating musical documentaries, score editing, humanitarian projects, charity events and an often an easy “ah shucks” demeanor that is always beguiling. With pianist Rohan de Silva ...
Recital
MORGAN'S ORGAN VIRTUOSITY SHINES IN ALL BACH RECITAL IN SCHROEDER
by James Harrod
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Robert Huw Morgan, Stanford University’s consummate organist, returned to the Green Music Center’s Schroeder Hall October 16 to play a thrilling recital of great Bach organ music from mostly Bach’s Cöthen period. Professor Morgan’s eclectic program included the Prelude and Fugue in E Flat Major, B...
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.