A couple of really strong concerts this week.
Mark-Andre Hamelin, who seems to have become one of my favorite pianists, offered a refreshingly intriguing program of Chopin and Alkan for Pro Musica Hebraica on Monday night. If I were going to carp, my one reservation was that his playing of the Nocturne in D-flat Major was a little more earthbound than Leon Fleisher’s, but that’s not really a fair criticism, particularly given my vulnerability to the charge of personal bias.
And eighth blackbird brought their “Pierrot lunaire” to the Kennedy Center on Tuesday: a dark intense fully-staged cabaret reading of this seminal century-old work. Taken together, these reviews should briefly silence those readers who complain that I never seem to like anything.
Joan Reinthaler, meanwhile, heard the Kennedy Center Chamber Players in a strong performance of their own, playing a lively joke by Martinu, a long Romantic exegisis by Sinding, and Saint-Saens.