Oregon Ballet Holiday Revue
Mars is accompanied superbly by a three-piece combo: Bower, who is the show's music coordinator and arranger, on piano; the satisfyingly subtle Gordon Rencher on drums and other percussion; and the very fine cellist Hamilton Cheifetz, who moves between lush romanticism on the likes of Jerry Bock's "Far From the Home I Love" (from "Fiddler on the Roof") and some expert, lightly swinging pizzicato on several tunes in which he carries the bass line.
Debussy Sonata
The concert began with cellist Hamilton Cheifetz and Coleman playing Debussy’s Sonata in D Minor. In this quirky piece, Cheifetz deftly played notes that ranged all over his instrument. Some of the lowest notes were extremely resonant and the highest sounded serene and centered. He played extended pizzicato passages that ranged from very loud to very soft. Overall, Cheifetz conquered the virtuosic demands of this piece with style and put a zing on the ending too boot.
Oregon Music News
45th Parallel concert: Jan. 13, 2012
Speaking of chamber music, the local presenting organization 45th Parallel brought a fine concert of contemporary and classic sounds to downtown Portland’s Old Church that same weekend. Cellist Hamilton Cheifetz again showed why he’s one of Portland classical music’s most valuable players, with a vibrant performance (with splendid accompaniment from pianist Janet Coleman) of Claude Debussy’s elusive, darkly beautiful Cello Sonata, one of his final works.
Coleman also accompanied the fine Portland soprano Angela Niederloh Hayward in contemporary composer Jake Heggie’s 2004 song cycle Winter Roses, which sets poems by by Emily Dickinson, singer Frederica von Stade, the great Northwest poet Raymond Carver, and Charlene Baldridge, who came up from San Diego for the show and gave a touching reading of her title poem. Heggie’s music here leans as much toward Broadway as the Met. Hayward and husband Matthew gave a knockout performance of an antic duet from Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville, their outsize voices threatening to knock down the intimate space’s walls. Coleman and 45th parallel founder Greg Ewer opened the second half with a vivid performance of a Fritz Kreisler virtuoso showcase, and the pair joined Cheifetz and Portland Baroque Orchestra violist Adam LaMotte with an good performance of Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E flat.
Oregon Arts Watch
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