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Recital
HEAVENLY SCHUBERT AND DEMONIC CHOPIN
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 21, 2018
One of the anomalies in the long ago “Golden Era” of romantic pianism (about 1905 to 1940) is that the virtuoso giants of the time didn’t play Schubert. It took the German pianist Artur Schnabel to bring the beauties of Schuber’s work to the public’s attention, and now it seems to be on almost every...
Recital
KENNER'S ALL POLISH RECITAL HAS PADEREWSKI RARITY
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, April 08, 2018
Kevin Kenner’s April 8 recital at Dominican University’s Angelico Hall had been advertised as all-Chopin, but he added a detour into another seminal Polish composer-pianist, Paderewski. Several of Mr. Kenner’s teachers were Poles, he speaks Polish, and he navigated at the piano both composers’ deman...
Recital
VIRTUOSIC VARIATIONS IN MORGAN'S SCHROEDER ORGAN RECITAL
by Paul Blanchard
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Organist Robert Huw Morgan’s artistry spun through the web of early variation form in a Mar. 18 recital on Schroeder Hall’s wonderful Brombaugh organ. Mr. Morgan, Stanford University’s resident organist, performs a wide range of repertoire, but as he said in comments to the audience, he loves when h...
Recital
DEDIK RECITAL MARCH 12 IN SPRING LAKE VILLAGE SERIES
by Terry McNeill
Monday, March 12, 2018
Pianist Anastasia Dedik has been an occasional North Coast visitor, playing with her Trio in Ukiah, and in recitals in Sonoma and with the Spring Lake Village series. She returned March 12 to Spring Lake (a retirement community, with Impresario Robert Hayden) in an abbreviated recital before a pack...
Recital
CHOPIN BALLADES FEATURED IN CONCERTS GRAND RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Pianist Nancy Lee Harper made an elegant North Coast debut Feb. 24 in the Concerts Grand House Recitals series in a private Santa Rosa home. Ms. Harper, for decades a performer and teacher in Portugal, has recently relocated to Northern California, played an all-Chopin recital that was comprehensiv...
Recital
ROMANTIC MUSIC AND AMBIANCE AT SEB ARTS RECITAL
by Nicki Bell
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Sebastopol had is own musical salon Feb. 18 with visits to Paris of the 1830s, and side trips to Wales and Germany. Pianist Robyn Carmichael presented a concert of favorite romantic masters and their muses, loves and inspirations, with music of Chopin, Liszt Mendelssohn and Schumann. This was no c...
Recital
HAUNTING RACHMANINOFF WORKS IN HU'S MAO RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, February 08, 2018
Ching-Yun Hu made a return Music at Oakmont appearance Feb. 8 in Berger Auditorium, reprising a recital she made in the same hall four years ago. Many of the recital’s trappings were the same, but the music Ms. Hu chose to play was decidedly different. All afternoon the pianist was in an aggressiv...
Recital
ZNAIDER-KULEK DUO CHARMS AND CHALLANGES WEILL AUDIENCE FEB. 2
by Terry McNeill
Friday, February 02, 2018
Weill hall has mounted several exceptional piano recitals, with Garrick Ohlsson’s titanic Liszt concert, and of course Lang Lang’s two insouciant but also compelling performances topping the list since 2013. But arguably the virtuoso violinists have on balance been more impressive, and thoughts g...
Recital
HOME RECITAL BACH COMPLETES HOLIDAY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, December 30, 2017
The just closing 2017 year was a calamity for many, but locally in music there were joys galore, and it was fitting Dec. 30 have the balm of two Bach’s violin sonatas in a private Guerneville home recital hosted by the eminent musician Sonia Tubridy. Violinist Richard Heinberg joined Ms. Tubridy in...
Recital
RESPIGHI'S PUNGENT SONATA HIGHLIGHTS KENNEY-GUTMAN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Respighi’s B Minor Violin Sonata seems never to gain conventional repertoire status. Perhaps the great Heifetz recording is intimidating, and I can recall over many years just two local performances: Jason Todorov and William Corbett-Jones years go in Newman, and a titanic reading in March by Anne S...
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.