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2021 REVIEWS

PROGRAM REVIEWS for the individual concerts will be posted here as they become available.

ADRIAN DAUROV AND BERLIN COUNTERPOINT, MARCH 21-28, 2021

 

I was absolutely thrilled by this video concert presented by the Chamber Music Society of Utica. Adrian Daurov’s performance of the Max Reger Cello Suite No. 2 was both intimate and finely polished, and his insights on the connection between Reger and Bach were compelling. Likewise, the artists of Berlin Counterpoint provided a delightful performance of the Mozart Quintet for Piano and Winds K. 452. I especially enjoyed seeing the artists lean into the playful nature of the “Allegretto.” Guillaume Connesson’s electrifying Techno Parade rounded out the performance, complete with extended techniques in the piano and virtuosic runs in the clarinet and flute. Thank you to the Chamber Music Society of Utica for providing these dynamic and exciting artists a platform to showcase their work!

 

Jason Handy 
Pianist and Teacher in Norwich, NY

Graduate of SUNY Geneseo, Bachelor of Arts in Music

Music Ministry Associate, United Church of Christ First Congregational, Norwich, NY

 

First impressions became lasting impressions as I viewed our third virtual concert presented by the Chamber Music Society of Utica on March 21st.  The program began with Susanna Watling, our president, who introduced all the players: ADRIAN DAUROV of Russian descent and then BERLIN COUNTERPOINT, whose members come from Armenia, France, Netherlands, United States and Turkey.

     

Adrian Daurov, the renowned cellist, began with the Max Reger,” Suite for Cello solo in D minor, op.131c”. Playing the Suite from memory, the “Prelude” began with a rich sonorous sound of great beauty. The sweet softer sounds had full resonance which added to the musical drama. The “Gavotte” was light and stylized. The “Largo” presented a musical line that stayed connected from beginning to end sustaining a warm and sensitive intensity. The final movement, “Gigue”, was playful and spirited.

   

Adrian Daurov played with impeccable intonation and ease. His way of playing seemed effortless throughout. I felt his total concentration was on the beauty of the music, which seemed to emanate from his heart.

     

Berlin Counterpoint performed the Mozart ”Quintet for Piano and Winds“in E Flat Major, K452. Playing the first and third movements, it gave each of the six instruments many opportunities to shine . The amazingly proficient pianist held the music together.  I marveled at her agility, beautiful sounds and speed. She spoke of this work as being like a Concerto for Piano with Wind accompaniment. Each instrument demonstrated a mastery of precision, crisp articulation and formable musicianship.

    

The final work, ”Techno Parade” for Piano, Flute and Clarinet by the French composer, Guillaume Connesson, was a perpetual mobile (continuous motion) of astonishing speed, rhythmic ferver, technical precision and a display of artistry that will NOT be forgotten.

Anita Humer 
CSMU Board Member
Pianist, Teacher, Accompanist and Adjudicator 

Staff Pianist for Colgate University

The Chamber Music Society of Utica's virtual mini-concert of March 21, featuring cellist Adrian Daurov, and the Berlin Counterpoint chamber ensemble, is a terrific incentive to audience members to attend the 2022 concert season. While we all miss live music, the quality of this virtual concert is so good, and the musicians' introductory remarks add so much, it really gave the personal touch that is one of the absolute highlights of chamber music.

 

The concert began with Adrian Daurov performing the Suite for Solo Cello by Max Reger. It is difficult to do justice, in words, to the beauty and intensity of his playing. From the first notes of the Prelude, all the way through to the playful quality of the last movement (Gigue) Daurov's music was moody and Romantic, a fascinating parallel and contrast to the Solo Cello Suite by JS Bach.

 

The Berlin Counterpoint played 2 movements of Mozart's Quintet for Piano and Winds, K. 452. (This is one of my personal favorites, as a former oboist.) It is wonderful to hear an ensemble of virtuosi, and this piece is the perfect platform. Each voice is celebrated for its own qualities, but the instrumental combinations, mixing and changing all the time, makes it seem like more than 5 voices. Also, the different camera angles really allow us to see their communication-which adds to the enjoyment.

 

The final piece, Techno Parade for Piano, Flute and Clarinet, by Guillaume Connesson, is just plain fun listening. Rhythmic, repetitive, fast...driving. Again, the use of several camera angles was a great feature. In fact, some of the angles would not have been possible at a live performance.

 

Many thanks to the CMSU for making these virtual concerts available. This was a truly enjoyable musical experience!

Susan Marson
Oboist and board member of Monday Evening Music Club

I’ve been a lifelong Yankees fan and the former great Yank, Phil Rizzuto would say after becoming their broadcaster, every time a Yankee would hit a home run,” holy cow”! Well, that’s what I say after hearing this phenomenal performance of all these wonderful 1st rate musicians! Every artist sings thru their instruments so beautifully. The blend of the ensemble was 1st class, including the energy, spirit and impeccable intonation.
 

So please consider this a rave review for all the musicians involved and also a bravo to the Chamber Music Society of Utica for presenting them including great sound engineers and video technicians.

Steve Hart

Former Associate Principal Clarinet, American Composers Orchestra,
Carnegie Hall, New York