|Lea McKenna Garcia|
Classical Corner this week by Mark Janas was all about relations- how the friends and lovers of musical pieces relate to one another. In order to maintain the original color and mood of a piece when re-orchestrated for more or less instruments, one can either change the instrumentation, or change them to something that sounds like the original instrument. Mark played through a Schumann concerto, then played through a Magritte (I think?) concerto which was in the same key and which utilized the same structure of first few bars: big note followed by a candenza, which then flows into the first theme. In many ways these two pieces are a matched set, and are often put on the same recording (ie the A and B sides of a vinyl album). In many ways, Claude DeBussy's "Claire de Lune" in Db is paired with "Girl With The Flaxen Hair" in Gb by Jean-Yves Thibaudet - the planing (or how the chords fit), Impressionistic style, and the feel all have allowed these two to be married in Marks' mind. He also showed how a Beethoven piece (Opus 132 String Quartet) and a Brahms piece both disorient the listener's rhythm by playing with the location of the downbeat. Two passages are obviously related, and there was a lot of headbanging and swaying in the audience to find where the downbeat would be. He then played a Brahms sister piece, written as a study for the left hand only on a transcription of Bach's solo violin "Chaconne." The difficulty in playing the left hand only is meant to mimic the difficulty one would have playing it on the violin - and while page turning was easy, it looked to be an amazing feat - Mark made it sound like two hands were playing! Amazing.
After the break, we heard again from our co-host Carole Demas, who with music director Ian Herman at the piano, sang "Something in the Way (He) Moves" from The Beatles collection of hits. And while Carole is best known for Sandy in Grease, she was also the very first person to perform the title character of Stephen Schwartz's The Baker's Wife in Los Angeles, before it moved to New York. So, she sang "Meadowlark," with so much beautiful storytelling and emotion. She then sang "There's a Man Who Loves Me"and closed with the rousing and feisty country rock song "Whatever Happens."
Tanya Moberly, Producer extraordinaire, then sang "The Waiting Room," by Gwen Stefani (which was hard-core enough to match her awesome shoes). She will have several shows in October and November of her solo show, and is directing Marnie Klar's rock-infused debut show at Don't Tell Mama in October, November, and December. Check out TanyaMoberly.com and MarnieKlar.com for details! After Tanya, Kevin McMullan yuked it up with some economy-based jokes, and then sang the late Jim Fradrich's "Til A Moment Ago." Kevin has recently produced recorded pop versions of Jim's work - sung by some amazing singers - and will begin a Kickstarter campaign for his CD version of "Twist of Fate," his gypsy show originally performed at the Beechman. We next heard from Erin Lee Kelly, who is a songwriter and guitar player who works with tweens in Brooklyn. She channeled her inner 11-year old to sing "Tell Me," a song she wrote about the kids on the schoolbus, and all the gossip that ensues amongst their friendships.
Deb Berman, resplendent in bright blue, then stepped up with Sean Harkness to the stage and sang an amazingly beautiful Rogers & Hart song (originally removed from the 1930s show Simple Simon) entitled "He Was Too Good To Me" with smooth, mature, and gorgeously controlled vocals. Ian Herman next sat and played "Checkered Shirt," a country solo piano piece he wrote which was played so fast his fingers were a blur! Erin Cronican then returned to the stage to sing the comedic ballad "Even Though," a funny love song about a unique man. Erin is currently in rehearsals for "Closer," which opens on September 21 here in New York and will sing in Tanya's shows in October and November! Next, Marya Zimmet once again showed off her smooth jazz vocals on Cole Porter's "(I've Got You) Under My Skin," making us all yearn for whatever she had under there too. Sierra Rein (me, again) and Brian Allan Hobbs returned for one last time (sniff!) performing a duet on our own script and song version of "Movin' Right Along" from The Muppet Movie. And then Bill Zeffiro sang his hilariously biting "Have You Met You?" - he's performing piano each Tuesday at La Mediterrannee, and will have a Noel Coward show at the Oak Room (!) on October 23rd. To close the evening, Carole Demas sang "Bridge over Troubled Waters" by Paul Simon, with Ian on piano and Sean on guitar, a fantastically powerful end to an evening of new and old friends (and maybe some lovers mixed in) alike!
|Deb Berman and Sean Harkness|
|Carole Demas and Sean Harkness|
|The Marvelous Wonderettes|
The Blogette for The Salon
Spelling mistakes? URL's I missed? Did I mess up? Please email me.