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Recital
ADAMS' PHRYGIAN GATES HIGHLIGHTS MORKOSKI FESTIVAL PERFORMANCE
by Lee Ormasa
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Attendees at the Molly Morkoski Mendocino Music Festival recital July 22 were in for a treat, both pianistically and if they happened to buy a tasty cookie during intermission. The program included Beethoven’s Op. 27 Moonlight Sonata, Adams’ Phrygian Gates, a surprise add-on of Grieg’s Holberg Suit...
Recital
ORGAN REGISTRATION MASTERY HEARD IN WALHAIN'S RECITAL
by Robert Young
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
A group of 65 lucky attendees July 18 had the pleasure of hearing Etienne Walhain’s recital at the Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa. Mr. Walhain is organist at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Tournai, Belgium, and played to a varied program Bach, Franck, and Reger. He used the tonal resource...
Recital
NOVACEK'S 2ND HALF TRIFECTA SCORES AT MENDO MUSIC FESTIVAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Modern classical piano recitals are in two parts, with longer and perhaps more profound music proceeding perhaps shorter and usually stimulating lighter fare. In John Novacek’s July 13 Mendocino Music Festival recital the best playing came unexpectedly in the eight abbreviated works comprising the ...
Recital
STYLUS AND PLAYING FANTASTICUS IN YOUNG'S ORGAN RECITAL
by Paul Blanchard
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Organist Robert Young gave a wonderful tour through the stylus fantasticus (fantastic style) organ literature June 25 playing a recital on the Casavant organ at Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa. Mr. Young recently became the organist at the Church and previously served for 20 years as Music D...
Recital
DEMANDING VIOLIN SONATAS CONQUERED BY BEILMAN-WEISS DUO IN SCHROEDER
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Violinist Benjamin Beilman’s ravishing Mozart performance at last summer’s Weill Hall ChamberFest finale lured an enthusiastic crowd to Schroeder Hall May 14 to hear if his secure virtuosity was up to a program of demanding sonatas. He did not disappoint. With the powerful pianist Orion Weiss in t...
Recital
MASTERFUL PIANISM IN GOODE'S WEILL HALL RECITAL
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, May 05, 2017
Pianist Richard Goode programmed an evening of treasures May 5 from four great composers, and is an artist of intimacy and intelligence, power and passion, able to go deep and to soar. Hearing Mr. Goode play this literature was a reminder of how music does indeed bridge worlds and time. Bach’s E m...
Recital
ELEGANT ORGAN SALUTE TO THE REFORMATION
by Paul Blanchard
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Organist Jonathan Dimmock presented an April 30 recital in homage to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, playing Schroeder Hall’s wonderful Brombaugh instrument. Mr. Dimmock is the organist for the San Francisco Symphony, principal organist for the Palace of the Legion of Honor and teaches at...
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 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.