• On Friday, Feb. 19, if you weren’t at Knowles Memorial Chapel on the Rollins College campus to enjoy the Bach Festival’s Concertos by Candlelight, you were in the wrong place.
Symphony in B-flat Major by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach opened the program and gave ample proof that his father, Johann Sebastian, wasn’t the only musical talent in the Bach family. CPE Bach’s little symphony is sprightly and good-humored and gives the impression that all is right in the world — a fine way to start an evening!
Albinoni’s Adagio for Organ and Strings in G Minor provided concertmistress Routa Kroumovitch-Gomez with ample opportunity to display her wares, which were impressive indeed, and the organs lush, beautiful pensiveness brought a breath of fresh air.
A nice touch was next added when the Bach Festival’s Youth Choir’s young voices chimed in on Pergolesi’s Suite.
Before the Intermission came Poulenc’s prodigious Concerto for Organ, Timpani, and Strings in G Minor demonstrating the fully capable hands of organist Ken Cowan. Crashing chords echoed throughout the chapel.
Beethoven’s monumental Triple Concerto brought to the stage the always welcome Kalichstein-Laredo- Robinson Trio who have delighted Central Florida audiences for many years with their extraordinarily beautiful playing. Here elegance was personified in every run and trill.
Sharon Robinson’s sensitive playing of the cello solo at the beginning of the second movement was especially moving. Violinist Laredo, and pianist Kalichstein were their stalwart selves, abetting the other splendid forces. Conductor John Sinclair led the orchestra in a noble accompaniment. The breathtaking coda received necessarily excellent performance of this truly spectacular work. What a privilege to hear these great artists again!
• At 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, in the Tiedtke Auditorium at Rollins College, husband and wife team, Sharon Robinson, on cello, and Jaime Laredo, on violin, collaborated in a duet program on the Bach Festival Society’s Guest Artist Series. Not having knowledge of the repertoire for violin and cello, I was a bit unsure, but I need not have concerned.
The opening Halvorsen’s Passacaglia for Violin and Cello set a high standard for what was to follow. Next came Mozart’s Duo for Violin and Cello in G Major, a delightful melodious composition that captivated the audience.
The last piece before intermission was Erwin Schulhoff’s Duo for Violin and Cello. The piece was perhaps, a concession to well-rounded programing. Schulhoff died in a concentration camp. His Duo is a “modern” composition, and the mood is melancholy, folkish in nature.
Of course, the Duo was given full virtuosic treatment.
After intermission the concert closed in highly successful fashion with Zoltan Kodaly’s Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7. Composer Bela Bartok called this composition, “a true Hungarian masterpiece ” — and it was performed to perfection. These two great artists don’t need an orchestra — they are one!