Classical Review: Midwinter Night’s Dream

Joost makes the cello sing with a rich, full and warm tone, but also makes it sound pensive, lyrical, dramatic and intensely emotional.

January 1, 2013 21:07
1 minute read.

Piano. (photo credit: Wikicommons)


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A duo recital of cellist Ina Joost and pianist Allan Sternfield is a musical event so rare it borders on the sensational.

Entitled Midwinter Night’s Dream, it presented Mendelssohn’s non- Summernight’s Variations Concertantes.

Although mostly Romantic, except for Debussy’s Sonata, the program featured a work by a stil-lon- these-shores but little-known composer – Miaskovsky, a Russian whose style is not identifiably Russian.

His Sonata opens with a melodious, meditative movement, followed by an attractively agitated one. It was played with noticeable self-identification on the part of the artists.

Joost makes the cello sing with a rich, full and warm tone, but also makes it sound pensive, lyrical, dramatic and intensely emotional, though never sentimental or exaggerated, all according to what a work requires. Her sincere- sounding expressiveness injected vibrancy into the conclusion of Debussy’s Sonata, without getting trapped by the common cliche of impressionistic nebulousness. These captivating characteristics made Brahms’ Sonata a gripping artistic experience such as one is seldom privileged to hear.

Sternfield was a full-fledged musical partner, displaying utmost attentiveness and sensitivity. His impressive musical personality contributed his own profound interpretation of the works persuasively, yet without ever becoming domineering.

To sum up, this duo recital radiated the intimacy and artistic sincerity that the term “chamber music” stands for.

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