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Recital
BACH AND BUXTEHUDE ORGAN MASTERY IN MORGAN'S SCHROEDER RECITAL
by James Harrod
Sunday, January 31, 2016
Stanford University organist Robert Huw Morgan played an exciting and interesting program of Baroque music in Schroeder Hall January 31, performing the entire concert with faultless virtuosity. The recital’s program consisted of both familiar and unfamiliar selections, and his choices were familiar...
Recital
INSPIRED SCHUBERT IN BRILLIANT HAMELIN RECITAL IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, January 22, 2016
In addition his brilliant pianism, Marc-André Hamelin has built a substantial international career by embracing unconventional repertoire and innovative transcriptions. Who else plays Catoire, Hofmann, Chopin-Godowsky, Dukas, Medtner and…Hamelin? So the Canadian’s Jan. 22 Weill Hall recital was a ...
Recital
SUN'S WARM RECEPTION IN A CHILLY HALL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Program design for a piano recital is most often a decision to perform a few big sonatas and variations, sometimes by one composer, or a smorgasbord of shorter works. Sophia Sun chose mostly the latter in her local debut recital Jan. 10 before 150 in SRJC’s Newman Auditorium. Sponsored by the Sono...
Recital
SIC TRANSIT GLORIA SIGISMUNDI
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 15, 2015
One often hears of yet another new fiery Russian pianist, and the mental picture is of a 16-year old with octaves and temperament to burn. But older Russian artists can command a virtuoso’s seat the piano, as aptly proved by Mykola Suk in his recital Nov. 15 before 150 in Dominican University’s Ang...
Recital
SENSATIONAL MANDOLIN AND REPARTEE IN THILE'S WEILL HALL CONCERT
by Phil Lawrence
Saturday, November 14, 2015
In Weill Hall Nov. 14 mandolinist Chris Thile treated a large audience to a special presentation not just of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, but to a multifaceted performance by a fully mature and genuinely joyful artist of the highest caliber. Those who came expecting to hear a staid classical perfor...
Recital
ENCHANTMENT, REVOLUTION AND NOSTALGIA IN BELL'S WEILL HALL RECITAL
by Sonia Morse Tubridy and Nicki Bell
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Sam Haywood played a dazzling concert of sonatas and duos Oct. 17 to a joyfully rapt audience of 1,000 in Weill Hall, and the program showcased two popular A Major sonatas for violin and piano, Beethoven's Op. 47 (“Kreutzer”), and Faure's No. 1, Op. 13. These were...
Recital
LANG LANG LAUNCHES WEILL HALL SEASON WITH EXPLOSIVE MUSICAL TRILOGY
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, October 03, 2015
Lang Lang has performed three times in Sonoma County, all reviewed at Classical Sonoma, and I was anxious when he mounted the Weill Hall stage Oct. 3 to hear what might have changed in his playing since September of 2013. The program was exactly the same as played in recent Paris and Torino recit...
Recital
MYER'S MENDO FESTIVAL RECITAL SPOTLIGHTS MOZART TO BALCOM
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Completing the Mendocino Music Festival’s piano series July 22 was an energetic recital by returning Festival artist Spencer Myer. The nearly full Preston Hall audience was treated to a program, announced from the piano, that had broad musical appeal and panache. Exploring the Festival’s Mozart t...
Recital
ELEGANT SCRIABIN, CHOPIN AND GRANADOS IN MENDO FESTIVAL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Taiwanese pianist Ching-Yun Hu made a formidable Mendocino Music Festival debut recital July 16 in Mendocino’s Preston Hall. A full house warmly greeted the diminutive artist, and she responded with a pensive and then dramatic performance of Scriabin’s Sonata Fantasy, Op. 19. Writers refer to thi...
Recital
FRENCH ROMANTIC ORGAN MUSIC IN NUMINA RECITAL
by James Harrod
Friday, July 10, 2015
Etienne Walhain played a magical recital July 10 of organ music of Bach, Scarlatti and Franck. Displaying total command of the Church of the Incarnation’s Casavant instrument under his hands and feet, Mr. Walhain performed his program from memory with breath taking speed, accuracy, and clean articul...
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.