“Night” Release 3: Folk and Classical –The best of Both Worlds


PHOTO CAPTION: Tift Merritt (l) a folk singer/song writer who has often been compared to Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris, is joining Simone Dinnerstein (r), arguably the best-selling classical pianist of the past three years, in a concert debuting their new CD Night.  The concert, presented by ClaverackLanding, takes place at Club Helsinki, Hudson, on Saturday, March 23rd beginning at 8 pm.   For tickets ($30.00 each) and further information go to www.ClaverackLanding.org or call Club Helsinki directly at 518.828.4800.   Photo Credit Lisa Marie Mazzucco.

Folk and Classical –The best of Both Worlds

HUDSON – On Saturday, March 23rd, Club Helsinki will host two of the best performers in their fields.

Tift Merritt, a folk singer/songwriter and Simone Dinnerstein, a classical pianist known for her vision, originality and expressive interpretation, will be appearing together to introduce their collaborative CD, Night.  The recording, a Sony Classical production, is being released on March 19th, just days prior to this appearance.

A powerful folk musician known for her thoughtful songs and strong style, Merritt has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris.  In fact, the first time Harris heard Merritt, she said, “She stood out like a diamond in a coal patch.”  Her recordings have frequently landed on Top Ten Lists including those published in Time and The New Yorker.  She’s opened for the legendary Elvis Costello and even participated in the epic Dylan tribute concert, I’m Not There.  Her selection was notable – “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”.   Merritt has been called “a force to be reckoned with” more than once and The Wall Street Journal featured her on a list of songwriters that included Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Leonard Cohen.

In addition to Merritt’s singing and songwriting skills, she is an accomplished photographer and also hosts an artist-to-artist interview radio show called The Spark with Tift Merritt that is broadcast and produced in the burgeoning art colony of Marfa, Texas.  Stream the show at www.marfaspark.com.

Dinnerstein burst on to the classical music scene in a flash of brilliant light.  Her first recording, Bach’s Goldberg Variations, for which she raised the funds herself, skyrocketed to the top of the 2007 charts.  It ranked No. 1 on the Billboard Classical chart its first week of sales and was named to many “Best of 2007” lists including those of The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. Since then, she has released three additional recordings, all of which have landed on “top” listings.  Most significantly, in 2011, Dinnerstein’s work on Bach: A Strange Beauty, was included in NPR’s 100 Favorite Songs from all genres.

Such exemplary recognition indicates two minds constantly striving to be the best.  And, in so doing, each of these women is noted for pushing the boundaries of her genre – giving fans a new approach to traditional sounds.  It is this common need to explore and expand that brought the two performers together.

Merritt, who learned to play the guitar by ear from her Father, and Dinnerstein, formally trained in classical schools including The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music, were both booked to appear at a fund-raiser for Barack Obama in 2007.  Backstage, while awaiting their separate introductions, they started playing together – just to pass the time.  The result was a recognition that both the similarity of their constant quest for pushing boundaries as well as their disparate learning styles might make for an interesting collaboration.

Shortly after that, the two got a 5-day residency at Duke University – complete with funding for two composers with whom they could work, and the considerable support and enthusiasm of the Director of the Arts program, Aaron Greenwald.  That gave them a chance to explore and rehearse – and, not coincidentally, present two concerts displaying the result of their time together.

The process since then has been one of growth.  Merritt, who only plays by ear, needs to record their rehearsals, then step back and learn the notes each evening before moving on to the next  improvisation.  Dinnerstein has had to revisit  her  understanding of how classical music is constructed.  In fact, she says she’s  had to “give up some of the notes” in order to make the collaboration work.

She even added  string plucking – from the bowels of the piano, as a suitable accompaniment on one song.  (And boy,” she says, “It’s not easy to make the strings hit the same notes each time you pluck them.”)

The concert, just the second since the CDs debut, will include not only songs played together, but songs each musician will present solo.  So the range of music extends from classical to folk to a whole new genre – ripe for further exploration.  And these two women are more than willing to continue doing what they do best – pushing boundaries, pulling disparate sounds together, melding the best of both worlds.

The concert takes place on Saturday, March 23rd beginning at 8 pm.  Presented by ClaverackLanding, it is being held at Club Helsinki, 405 Columbia Street, Hudson.  Tickets are $30.00 each and can be obtained at www.ClaverackLanding.org or by calling Club Helsinki at 518.828.4800.

Concerts and education programs of ClaverackLanding, great music in great spaces, are supported in part by Herrington’s, Hudson River Bank & Trust Company foundation, T.Backer Fund, JSL Computer Services, and many generous individuals and business sponsors.

“Night” Release 2: Unusual Musical Collaboration Presented at Club Helsinki


PHOTO CAPTION: Simone Dinnerstein (l) and Tift Merritt (r), powerful musicians – each in her own genre – join forces on the newly released CD Night (Sony Classical) and in a local CD debut concert at Club Helsinki, Hudson, on Saturday, March 23rd beginning at 8 pm.  The concert, presented by ClaverackLanding, showcases a collaboration between one of classical music’s most recognized and gifted pianists and a folk music singer-songwriter who has worked with Elvis Costello, Joan Baez and Kris Kristofferson.  For tickets ($30.00 each) and further information go to www.ClaverackLanding.org or call Club Helsinki directly at 518.828.4800.

Unusual Musical Collaboration Presented at Club Helsinki

HUDSON – Tift Merritt learned to play guitar by ear from her Father. She has spent almost her entire life writing songs, recording and exploring the world of folk music.  Her debut album, Bramble Rose, was on the top ten lists in both Time Magazine and The New Yorker.  Her second album, Another Country (including songs written during a voluntary residency in Paris) prompted Emmylou Harris to say, “She [stands] out like a diamond in a coal patch.”  Not content to sit on her laurels, album number three gave The Wall Street Journal an opportunity to place her “in the tradition of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Leonard Cohen.” Pretty good creds.

Simone Dinnerstein, on the other hand, learned to play classical music first at the Manhattan School of Music, then at Julliard, and finally, in London with master teacher Maria Curcio.  Her professional recording began with a self-financed CD of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in 2007.  The disc rapidly appeared on a number of “Best of” lists including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Amazon.com’s Best CDs, and Barnes & Noble’s Top 5 Debut CDs of 2007.

Her album Bach: A Strange Beauty, released in 2011 by Sony Classical, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Chart.  She went on to garner the No. 1 top selling spot at Barnesandnoble.com and No. 2 over-all on Amazon.com – in the unlikely company of Cake, The Black Keys and Bruno Mars.

Still, back in 2008 when they decided to work together, these two strong women, each with solid standing in her genre, were  taking a substantial risk.  Beginning with a curiosity about each other’s process (discovered while performing at an Obama fundraiser), the collaboration became more concrete during a residency they shared at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

The school’s Director of Arts, Aaron Greenwald, was captivated by their unique proposal and worked at sourcing funds in order to commission two composers to write songs for the pair.  Most important,” says Merritt, “we had a 5-day residency – time for us to rehearse and work together.”  As a result of their exploration, the pair presented two concerts.  But more importantly, they were hooked on the collaborative process between classical and folk.

“Simone didn’t play anything off the page in the beginning,” Merritt explains.  “And I didn’t play anything on the page.  We had to trust each other so much.  It was an exciting and emotional collaboration.”  And given Merritt’s need to play by ear, exhausting, too.  “I would record our rehearsal, then go back and practice on my own to catch up with Simone.  I found it fascinating.”

Fast forward to 2012 when the results of the two musicians’ explorations bore fruit on the new album, Night. Dinnerstein says, “This album has been about pushing our creative boundaries. I’ve learned from Tift to be a good band member, not use too many notes, let the words come through and keep an edge and rawness to the improvisation.”  Not the standard mantra for a classical pianist.

At Club Helsinki, where the ClaverackLanding sponsored concert will be only the second live performance of the just released CD, the audience will be able to judge for themselves how these two independents have become a “genreless” duo.  Pieces from the album will include music written by Merritt as well as other folk song writers.  Also included will be a CD world premiere of The Cohen Variations by Daniel Felsenfeld, commissioned and performed exclusively by Dinnerstein and based on one of her favorite songs, Suzanne.

“It’s a beautiful moment of a classical musician loving folk music and storytelling,” says the guitarist.  “And Cohen was a singer/songwriter telling a story from his own experience.  It all comes together then.”

The evening begins at 8 pm on Saturday, March 23rd.  Presented by ClaverackLanding, Simone Dinnerstein & Tift Merritt will be at Club Helsinki, 405 Columbia Street, Hudson.  Tickets are $30.00 each and can be purchased on line at www.ClaverackLanding.org.  Call 518.828.7513 for more information or Club Helsinki directly 518-828-4800 to purchase tickets.  Watch an excerpt of NIGHT from WNYC, New York Public Radio at http://bit.ly/NIGHTWNYC.

Concerts and education programs of ClaverackLanding, great music in great spaces, are supported in part by Herrington’s, Hudson River Bank & Trust Company Foundation, T. Backer Fund, JSL Computer Services, and many generous individuals and business sponsors.

“Night” Release 1: Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt Join Forces at Club Helsinki

CAPTION:  Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein(r) has joined forces with singer-songwriter/folk music powerhouse Tift Merritt (l).  Together, they have created a new genre of music with elements of classical, folk and rock.  The pair will be performing work from their newly released CD NIGHT on Saturday, March 23rd beginning at 8 pm at Club Helsinki in Hudson. For tickets, go to www.helsinkihudson.com or www.ClaverackLanding.org .    Call 518.828.7513 for more information.

Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt Join Forces at Club Helsinki

HUDSON – “Intimate, introspective and heart-felt.”  These are the words classical pianist, Simone Dinnerstein uses to describe the work she and folk artist Tift Merritt have recorded and will be performing at Club Helsinki in Hudson on Saturday, March 23rd.  The concert is presented as part of the 2013 ClaverackLanding season.

“Though the music isn’t at all classical,” she adds, “the songs have a really strong narrative.  They’re intimate – almost confessional.”   Not descriptions usually associated with a Dinnerstein concert.  Her reviews run more to exclamations like…”majestic originality”, “wonderfully expressive interpretations” and, of course “triumphant”.

The American pianist put her name on the classical map in 2007 when her first recording – self-produced – was ranked No. 1 by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The New Yorker.  Bach’s Goldberg Variations was such a success that her subsequent recordings Bach: A Strange Beauty, and Something Almost Being Said opened at high positions and easily topped the classical charts.  Dinnerstein has subsequently become Best Selling Instrumentalist of 2011 on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart and was included in NPR’s 2011 100 Favorite Songs from all genres.

So how did she come to collaborate with Tift Merritt, a folk artist and song writer who has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris? You can thank President Obama.

“We were both in Columbia, Missouri doing a benefit for the Obama campaign,” says Dinnerstein.  “We were all going to perform separately.  Then Tift and I decided to collaborate.  We figured out how we could play together and what that would sound like.  By the time we got on stage, it seemed completely natural.”  That was the beginning.

Five years later, the two have a new release (Sony classical) entitled Night.   Included are original Merritt songs, songs written specifically for the duo by Brad Mehldau and Patty Griffin, and the world premiere recording of The Cohen Variations  – a solo piano piece commissioned by Dinnerstein and based upon one of her favorite songs, Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne. 

“It’s been one of my favorite songs for awhile,” says the pianist.  “Long before Tift and I began working on this CD, I had commissioned a composer, Daniel Felsenfeld, to write me some variations on Suzanne.  It took me awhile to figure out how to present them.  Then when Tift and I got together, I, all-of-a-sudden realized that this piece was a perfect way of presenting both genres.”  The piece is performed in a solo section of the CD.

Each of the performers has had to adjust to working outside of their comfort zones for this collaboration.  Dinnerstein says that every time they perform together, “it feels like a risk.”  That said, she adds, “I don’t think that’s a reason not to do it.”

Instead, they are learning how to approach new material from different perspectives.  When trying to interpret Merritt’s song, Feel the World, for example, Dinnerstein was initially stumped.  “In classical music,” she explained, “I don’t improvise.  Interpret, yes.  But deciding how to present the feelings of a song in partnership with a vocalist/guitarist was completely outside my realm of education.”

Songwriter Merritt had a little more experience in this area.  Her advice? ‘Less is more.’  The result is a pianist who is able to support the vocalist while still lending a strong personality of her own.  Together, the headliners are thrilled to have created a new genre of music.  “That’s what is so beautiful about this album,” concludes Dinnerstein.  “These songs can’t be pinned down to a specific category.  They exist in another world.  They’re special.”

Presented by ClaverackLanding, a Hudson, New York non-profit founded by Gwen Gould and dedicated to the presentation of great music in great spaces, the Helsinki event will be only the second time Dinnerstein and Merritt will be introducing their new recording.  In fact, the CD is scheduled for release on March 19th, just days before the March 23rd event.   And, if two headlining recording artists weren’t enough to sell NIGHT, the CD was produced by Grammy-winners Adam Abeshouse and Ryan Freeland.   All together, NIGHT is a risk worth taking.

For tickets, go to www.ClaverackLanding. Org or www.HelsinkiHudson.com.  For more information, call 518. 828.7513.  The show starts at 8 pm on Saturday, March 23rd.  Club Helsinki is located at 405 Columbia Street in Hudson, N.Y.

Concerts and education programs of ClaverackLanding, great music in great spaces, are supported in part by Herrington’s, Hudson River Bank & Trust Company foundation, T. Backer Fund, JSL Computer Services, and many generous individuals and business sponsors.

Bard’s Concordium is harmonious in Hudson

Published on November 24th, 2012 | by Tatiana Klacsmann
The TMI Arts Page The Millbrook Independent

Members of Concordium ensemble in front of a photograph by Roy Volkmann. Photo by Tatiana Klacsmann

Members of Concordium ensemble in front of a photograph by Roy Volkmann.
Photo by Tatiana Klacsmann.

ClaverackLanding, established in 2010 by artistic director Gwen Gould, sponsors chamber music  in an informal atmosphere. Programming includes both guest artists and musicians drawn from the Columbia Festival Orchestra. On November 17, at the First Presbyterian Church in Hudson, ClaverackLanding hosted musicians from the Bard College Conservatory of Music. The ensemble group, Concordium, comprises Greg Drilling and Alex Meyer, oboes; Noémi Sallai and Molly Wyrick-Flax, clarinets; Josh Hodge and David A. Nagy, bassoons; Ferenc Farkas and Jimmy Haber, horns; Bence Botár, double bass; and Frances Lee, piano. Oboist Stephen Hammer coaches the young musicians. Hammer performs with groups including the New York Collegium and Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society and has been affiliated with Bard since 2003.

Concordium is a harmonie ensemble—a group mostly made up of wind instruments. The group’s name relates to Concordia, Roman goddess of agreement, whose Greek counterpart is Harmonia. The harmonie is a large ensemble with up to nine members on stage at a time and, as an ensemble, performs without a conductor. The goddess of cooperation and accord is an apt patron for the group, which played beautifully in unison by staying alert to cues from fellow musicians while each maintaining his or her own intricate part.

The concert, titled The Streets of Vienna, included late 18th- and early19th-century music written and performed in Vienna. Vienna was a hub of musical activity and home to Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. It was also the city where the harmonie type of ensemble was popular.  Hammer, who selected the three pieces by Mozart, and one each by Beethoven and Franz Krommer, considers the harmonie group to be in some ways analogous to an iPod in that it offered music on the go. Originally these wind ensembles performed out-of-doors and helped popularize music commissioned by and performed for the aristocracy. The contemporary audience was likewise treated to arrangements of popular pieces for symphony orchestra, including the overture from Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

Program notes written by Michael Collier accompanied the music, providing more information about the composers and each piece. These notes could be helpful to anyone who might be new to classical music or just needed a reminder of the particulars. I found them particularly useful in learning more about Czech composer Krommer, who spent part of his productive years in Vienna as well as Hungary.

The program’s integrated offering of both music and historical information reflects Bard’s approach to conservatory education.  Established in 2005, the Bard College Conservatory of Music offers a five-year program during which students complete both a bachelor of music and a bachelor’s degree in a nonmusical subject. Bassoonist David A. Nagy, a Bard senior, describes first becoming acquainted with the program while living in his native Hungary in a conservatory where one needs to know math. Nagy is in the midst of applying to Juilliard for graduate school. At Bard he studied linguistics and will receive a degree in Japanese literature.

ClaverackLanding’s The Streets of Vienna, performed by the Concordium ensemble, offered the audience classical Viennese music. The students engaged with a receptive and enthusiastic audience. ClaverackLanding and Concordium is a win-win situation. Concordia would be pleased.

For more information about ClaverackLanding.com including upcoming concerts: http://claveracklanding.org/.

Concordium brings golden sound to Hudson

by John Paul Keeler
for Hudson-Catskill Newspapers
Friday, November 23, 2012





Bard’s Concordium Wind Ensemble came to the Presbyterian Church on Warren Street as part of the 2012-13 season of the ClaverackLanding Music Series.  It was an evening of golden sound featuring Greg Drilling and Alex Meyer oboes, Noemi Sallai and Molly Wyric-Flack clarinets, Josh Hodge and David A. Nagy bassoons, Ferene Farkas and Jimmy Haber horns, along with Bence Botar double bass and pianist Frances Lee.

Music for wind instruments was the rage in late 18th Century Vienna.  These itinerant musicians could be found on the street corners in the gardens and outside the palaces throughout the city serenading the citizens.  Mozart was getting ready for bed on his name day when he heard in the courtyard the first chord of his serenade for winds and he jumped from his bed to enjoy and reward the musicians.  Mozart’s operas were so popular that arrangements for wind instruments from these works were played all over town.  The gorgeous “Overture to the Abduction from the Seraglio” began the program with sparkling sound and stunning energy and humor.  Next came the rarely heard “Partita in F Major op 57” of Franz Krommer (1759-1831).  This delightful four movement work put the players through their paces with infectious joy.  The first half of the program ended with Beethoven’s only Quintet for Piano and Winds in E flat Opus 16.  The quintet is modeled after Mozart’s “Quintet K452” of 1784.  Like Mozart, this quintet was the only one Beethoven composed for winds and piano.  It is a festive work spilling over with beauty and poetry quite normal for Beethoven the 22 year old genius.  The young musicians took to the piece as a fish to a hook.  In the midst of glorious wind sound, Frances Lee at the piano was simply brilliant in this exciting performance.

After intermission came Mozart’s “Sonata for Two Bassoons K292” performed by Josh Hodge and David Nagy.  The work might have been a study for a concerto for Bassoon.  Although the piece delightfully played seemed somewhat slight, it is important to think of Mozart’s incomparable writing for the bassoon in all his wind works symphonies and operas.  In his biography of Mozart, Sacheverli Sitwell declares “No other composer has ever understood the qualities of individual instruments as did Mozart.”  He goes further saying, “When Mozart writes for the bassoon it is like a sea-god speaking.”

The concert ended with “Overture and Arias from the ‘Magic Flute’ of 1791”.  This wonderful wind octet was the high point of a fabulous concert.  The Overture though truncated sounded grand.  the Bird Catcher’s Song was infectious delight and the humming scene with Papageno’s mouth locked up didn’t need words to project its great message.  The beautiful scene of the magic flute in action was ravishing and the final scene for Papageno and his finally found Papagena brought the audience to their feet.  One was delighted in the beauty of the church and glad they ripped the old carpet from the floor revealing the splendid wood and adding greatly to the acoustics for music in the church.  the reception following the concert at the beautifully restored Rowles Studio on Warren Street was a food and beverage delight and wonderful time of conversation with the artists and their audience.

Release: Award-winning quartet opens ClaverackLanding 2012-13 Season

PHOTO CAPTION – ClaverackLanding’s first presentation of the 2012-2013 season will feature the Amphion String Quartet.  This virtuoso ensemble was selected to join the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two program beginning with the 2013 season.  The concert takes place on Saturday, October 13th at the First Presbyterian Church, Hudson.  For further information and tickets, go to claveracklanding.org

Award- winning Amphion String Quartet Scheduled to Appear in Hudson

HUDSON – ClaverackLanding, the well-regarded chamber music organization headquartered in Hudson, is about to debut its new season.    On Saturday, October 13th, beginning at 7 pm, the First Presbyterian Church will be filled with the sounds of The Amphion String Quartet, one of classical music’s skyrocketing new talents.

The four Yale School of Music players have been together for only three years.  But, in that time, their exquisite presentations have gained them plenty of recognition and a loyal following.  The result? They were declared the winner of the 2011 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, the group has been chosen as Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts for this year, and they will be joining the roster of the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two program beginning with the 2013 season.  Not bad for a group that isn’t even four years old yet.

Such positive buzz doesn’t happen by accident.  This group lives and breathes chamber music.  Violinist Katie Hyun, for example, went to see the Colorado Symphony when she was six-years-old and never looked back.  “I was thrilled,” she says.  “Even though my parents didn’t play instruments, the turntable was always spinning with classical music.  Once I saw the music I had heard at home being created live on stage, I knew I wanted to perform.”

David Southorn’s school music teacher told him it was about time to start thinking about conservatories when he was a fledgling violinist in the fifth grade. Wei-Yang “Andy” Lin studied both viola and the traditional Chinese two-stringed ehru as a young boy in Taiwan, and, Mihai Marica, a Romanian native, asked for a cello when he was three.  (His Father made him wait until he’d reached the age of 7 before granting his wish.)

Such dedication will make for great music at the quartet’s Hudson presentation.  And ClaverackLanding’s founder, Gwen Gould, has made sure to showcase their talents.  “She asked for a program with lots of contrast,” says Hyun, “something for everyone.  So we’ve put together pieces reflecting several different styles.”

The program includes not only the Italian Serenade of Wolf, Mendelssohn’s Opus 44 #1, and Quartet No. 2, ‘Intimate Letters’ by Janacek, but George Gershwin’s Lullaby as well. “We decided to add that last week,” says Southorn.  “We were asked to play it for Symphony Space and we loved how it sounded.  Besides, it’s a big contrast with the intensity of Janacek.” He goes on to describe the latter as “a challenge to play” in “crazy keys.”

Altogether, this is a world-class group challenging itself and presenting the Hudson audience with widely diverse chamber music – the best way to grab an audience’s attention.

ClaverackLanding has lined up a season that is aimed at showcasing some of the newest as well as some of the most established stars in the chamber music firmament.  Bard’s Concordium will appear on November 17th.  The annual Messiah Sing, a staple of the Chatham Christmas season in the past, is moving to Hudson on December 22nd.  Simone Dinnerstein and Tiff Merrit will perform in March, followed by a second presentation in association with Bard, “Einstein’s Mozart: Two Geniuses.” And, in May, Arnold Steinhardt and Lincoln Mayorga will present highlights from a long and varied classical career.

The non-profit is offering discounted tickets for the entire season until October 11th –  5 events including post-concert receptions.  Or, tickets for each event can be purchased separately.  The website is claveracklanding.org.  Call 518.828.7513 or E-mail: info@claveracklanding.org.






Oliveira’s violin brings noble classical beauty to Hudson

by John Paul Keeler
Hudson-Catskill Newspapers
Friday, May 18, 2012

One of the most astonishing musical events in the history of Hudson occurred on May 12 in a great room at the Hudson Armory which is currently being changed and fitted for a library amongst other interesting things in construction.

Gwen Gould brought to town for her ClaverackLanding concert series the great American Violinist Elmar Oliveira whose recitals and orchestral appearances around the world are already legendary.  He is the only American Violinist to win the Gold medal at Moscow’s prestigious Tchaikovsky International Competition.  He is also First Prize Winner at the Naumberg International Competition and the first violinist to receive the coveted Avery Fisher Prize.  His acclaimed CD recordings run from the Baroque to the present.

The recital opened with Handel’s “Sonata No. 1 in D Major for Violin and Piano.” Oliveira’s sound was thrilling, like that of the greatest full throated opera singers.  His violin mastery places him in the exalted company of the greatest violinists of the 20th Century from Fritz Kreisler, Menuhin, Zimbalist, Francescatti and Joseph Szigeti.  He has no rivals in the present century.

In the Handel Sonata the beautiful pulsing long lines of bel canto purity touched the heart and the subtle touch of piano and forte from his fiddle reached poetry.  The zest of the two allegro movements was sheer magic and the Larghetto a serene reverie.  The audience at the end of the Handel rose and shouted their bravos and the applause here and throughout the concert was thunderous.

The Dvorak “Sonatina for violin and piano Op. 100” is a late work the composer created in tribute to his children.  It is brilliant and playful and the Larghetto second movement reminds of Rachmaninov’s great song “To The Children” bringing a passing sadness as though like in the Rachmaninov song “The children are children no more.”  But joy returns quite quickly to the initial playfulness.  The final movements Molto Vivace and Allegretto sweep merrily dramatically and lyrically covering the full gambit of violinistic expression.

After intermission the Debussy “Sonata for violin and piano of 1916” was a tour de force with all the stops pulled out and the sonata seemed a fantastic whirligig.  This fantastic Impressionist piece was all creative lightnings falling from the sky with no melodic development but intense brilliance of sound and technique again bringing the audience to their feet.

The concert ended with three interesting single movement works.  First Brahms’ “Sonatensatz Scherzo” had a majestic blazing brio.  Then Tchaikovsky’s “Melodie Op 42 No. 3” with its ravishing melody gave Oliveira a chance again to make music soar heavenward.  Pure poetry again without a trace of sentimentality and surely the highest taste and sure musical penetration.  The final work on the program the violist-composer Wieniawski’s wonderfully humorous “Mazurka Op 19 No. 2” celebrates with aplomb a rustic primitive fiddle maker up in the mountains with a telling sparkle not unlike Mozart’s “A Musica Joke” – again the audience loved it.  Encores came next and two delightful pieces by Fritz Kreisler the violinist-composer were just right.

Pianist Robert Koenig who played the recital with Oliveira is a great artist and their perfect ensemble collaboration was just as marvelous as the concerts Robert Casadesus and Zino Franciscatti played together and recorded in the 1960’s.  Mr. Koenig brought splendid sonority from his instrument and rythmic and musical dovetailing to every work on the program.

This spectacular music making must return again to Hudson in the near future.


Elmar Oliveira with Robert Koenig
Saturday, May 12th – 5 p.m.
The Hudson Armory
51 North Fifth Street, Hudson, NY

Elmar Oliveira, the only American violinist to ever win the Gold Medal at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky International Competition (1978), will be performing in Hudson as the finale of the 2011-2012 season of ClaverackLanding.  The musician, who began his study of the violin at the age of 9, has been a Grammy nominee and is Artist-in-Residence at the Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida.

Come listen to an “old fashioned” violin concert.

Oliveira has chosen a traditional program beginning with a Handel Sonata.  “It’s a piece that used to be played quite often,” he says, “but is seldom on programs these days.  He’s following that with Dvorak Opus 100 for violin and piano – another piece not performed often.  “They are both beautiful, but seem to be out of favor,” he explains.  After intermission the program will continue with Debussy.  Oliveira says the choice is “very impressionistic” and “Stylistically very different from what comes before.”

“Finally,” he says with a laugh, “are the pieces that I consider dessert.  “Included are Brahms – Scherzo from the FAE Sonata, Tchaikovsky – Melodie, Opus 42, No. 3, and Wieniawski – Mazurka Opus 19, No. 2.   “They are all short pieces,” he explains.  “Once I’ve finished with the more substantial and complicated sonatas, these allow me to have much more fun with the audience.”

Please join us for the fun.

The violinist, and his accompanist, pianist Robert Koenig, will be performing in The Hudson Armory, 51 North Fifth Street, a building that is about to embark on a major make-over.  “We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to use this historic space,” says Gwen Gould, founder of ClaverackLanding.  “The room we’re using has wonderful acoustics and most of its original detail.  It’s a great venue for this season’s final performance.”

The concert begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 12th.  A reception, also in The Hudson Armory, will follow the performance and will be an opportunity for those attending to meet the musicians.  Tickets for the concert are $30.00.  An additional $15.00 is required to attend the reception.  For information and tickets, go to www.ClaverackLanding.org.

And Don’t Forget our TEN DOLLAR FUND DRIVE!

If you haven’t already contributed, please consider helping us raise funds for the continuation of ClaverackLanding.  We’re asking everyone to contribute $10.00 (more, of course, if possible).  Any amount is welcome and will help fund future concerts.  CLICK HERE TO DONATE.

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you.

The Music Lovers of ClaverackLanding


Thanks for adding your Hallelujah!

Hello and Thanks for Coming!

Whether you are an alto, soprano, tenor, bass or listener, we’re glad you joined the crowd of more than one hundred at the Messiah SING last Saturday evening.  All those voices sure sounded GREAT!  It’s a pleasure to hear good music –  and even more joyful, when it comes from a community full of enthusiastic singers.

Conductor Gwen Gould and all the hard working volunteers are already coming up with suggestions on how to make next year’s SING even better – and more fun.  Of course, we’ll keep you posted.

We also wanted to let you know we’re putting together some great classical concerts for this coming spring.  Virtuosos including the string ensemble “Intimate Voices;” co-founder of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, flutist Paula Robison; and Avery Fisher Prize recipient and violinist, Elmar Oliveira are all on the roster.  And, we’re going to add some of educational events, too.  If you’re interested, season tickets and further information are available right here.  Click on Buy Tickets.

Thanks again for lending us your voice!

Best wishes and Happy Holidays.

The music lovers at ClaverackLanding

P.S.  We tried our hardest to decipher the handwriting of those of you who gave us your e-mail addresses.  If you receive our notices, but your friends who attended the SING with you didn’t, it’s probably because we just didn’t get the right combination of words and numbers in the e-mail.  Feel free to send the correct address on to us, or aski them to sign up here on our site.  We’ll make sure to include any of your friends in future e-mails.