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SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
#2810817 02/05/19 12:59 AM
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I attended SiFi's Brahms recital, which was at The Lyceum in Alexandria, Virginia yesterday. With his permission, I made the video of the performance below and am posting it on PW.

It was a wonderful and moving performance of the Op. 79 Two Rhapsodies and the Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34, by him and his colleagues in the Friday Morning Music Club (FMMC). SiFi's performance of the Two Rhapsodies was stormy and passionate, while the Piano Quintet performance was very exciting - I especially liked how they brought off the 3rd movement Scherzo. I look forward to their next performance!



FROM THE PROGRAM HANDOUT:
(start & stop times from the video for each section have been added below)

Friday Morning Music Club (FMMC)

Lyceum - Sunday, February 3, 2019, at 3 p.m.

PROGRAM

Rhapsodies, Op. 79 - Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
1. B Minor, Agitato (0:00 - 9:17)
2. G Minor, Molto passionato, ma non troppo allegro (9:33 - 14:53)

Simon Finlow, piano

Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34 - Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
1. Allegro non troppo (15:08 - 30:34)
2. Andante, un poco adagio (30:56 - 39:21)
3. Scherzo: Allegro (39:43 - 47:45)
4. Finale: Poco sostenuto-Allegro non troppo-Presto, non troppo (48:13 - 59:30)

Simon Finlow, piano; Robyn Tessin and Carolyn Esko Carlson, violins; Julia Moline, viola; Valerie Matthews, cello

Artists:

Carrie Esko Carson began studying the violin at the age of 5 in New York City. She attended the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division as well as festivals including Interlochen and Tanglewood. She is also a member of Avanti Orchestra, the Pan American Symphony Orchestra, and the Lady Quartet. She received her undergraduate degree in economic from Columbia University and a graduate degree in international affairs from the George Washington University. She currently works at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative covering trade policy in industrial goods.

Simon Finlow started learning piano at age 4. After studying with Imogen Cooper from 1972 to 1973, he attended Oxford University as an undergraduate and subsequently earned a PhD in music from King's College, Cambridge. Dr. Finlow performed regularly while at university; highlights include concert performances of the Brahms B-flat Concerto, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, and Mozart's Concerto K.488. In 1985, he immigrated to the US, where he obtained a Masters degree in computer science, became a US citizen, and worked as an IT professional for the next 25 years. In 2014, he began to practice piano seriously again. With the support of his teacher, Dr. Michael Adcock at the Washington Conservatory, he set about rebuilding his technique and his repertoire after a 30-year hiatus. Since then, he has performed in recitals throughout the Washington area and competed in several competitions, including the 7th Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition (2016) and the 9th Boston International Competition (2017). Simon has also performed in master classes with distinguished artists Joaquin Achuccaro, John Owings, Brian Ganz, Ann Schein, Simone Dinnerstein, Santiago Rodruiguez, and Olga Kern.

Cellist Valerie Matthews grew up near Washington, D.C., studied cello with Robert Newkirk, and earned her degree in mathematics at the University of Maryland. She served as principal cellist of the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra for ten years, and was a faculty member of the Community Music School in Nashua, NH as well as a frequent performer on its chamber concert series. She also studied voice and was codirector of the Digital Equipment Corporation Spit Brook Singers. She returned to the Washington area in 2001, where she performs regularly as a chamber musician and soloist with the Friday Morning Music Club. She also plays double bass in the Montgomery Philharmonic and in a Hungarian folk band. She is principal sales engineer at Nuance Communications, Inc., specializing in the implementation of artificial intelligence technology in electronic health records systems.

Julia Moline, viola, lives in Washington, DC and is a performance analyst at FEMA. She grew up in Alexandria, VA and earned undergraduate degrees in civil engineering and economics from Columbia University. She also holds a masters degree in technology and policy from MIT. When she is not playing Brahms, she plays with the Avanti Orchestra and the Lady Quartet.

Robin Tessin, violin, performs regularly with the Avanti Orchestra and various chamber music ensembles. Originally from Illinois, she lives in Washington, DC with her husband and works as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. She received a juris doctor from the University of Michigan Law School and a bachelor of science in Finance from the University of Illinois. When she's not reviewing health care policy or playing music, she enjoys biking and exploring the great outdoors.

SCORES & NOTES:
The artists at the conclusion the recital:

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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2810837 02/05/19 03:37 AM
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Thank you for a great posting! thumb wow

Last edited by Animisha; 02/05/19 03:38 AM.

Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2810887 02/05/19 08:18 AM
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Outstanding all around!



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Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2810955 02/05/19 11:49 AM
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Thank you so much for posting this, and Simon - incredible work! It's great to be able to see and hear this from so far away (yes, I'm old - I still marvel at the possibilities of the internet!) smile


Sibylle


"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2811026 02/05/19 02:40 PM
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Now I have had the time to listen. wow Beautiful! heart


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2811305 02/06/19 10:15 AM
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Very nice, beautiful playing with the strings as well. Wish I were there!


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Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2811346 02/06/19 11:47 AM
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Awesome! How do we find out about future events? I'm in DC and could easily attend this!

Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
StartwithBach #2811371 02/06/19 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by StartwithBach
Awesome! How do we find out about future events? I'm in DC and could easily attend this!



Future Concerts


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
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Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2811839 02/07/19 10:21 AM
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Thank you for editing/posting this, Tyrone. And thanks to everyone who has commented so kindly. It was a tremendous experience performing with these extremely talented "amateur" artists.

One request: Please note that the YouTube video is unlisted and the other performers have asked that it not be shared publicly outside of the intended audience. Thanks! thumb


SRF
Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2811898 02/07/19 12:33 PM
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Thanks for the link, cmb13!

Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2812174 02/08/19 01:31 AM
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SiFi - I finally was able to carve out some time this week to listen to the entire video. While I enjoyed your renditions of the two Rhapsodies, I was blown away by the performance of the Quintet. The string players are excellent "amateurs" - but YOUR overall approach to the piano part of this monumental work, including your phrasing, articulation and accuracy was truly outstanding !!!!!! I've loved the Scherzo movement since I first heard it almost 60 years ago - and your performance didn't disappoint. This was quite an achievement - you should be proud. thumb

Also - the Boston piano sounded very good.

Tyrone - thank you for posting this !!


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Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2812473 02/08/19 06:46 PM
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Very much enjoyed the entire concert, SiFI! The Op 34 is one of my favorite pieces of chamber music, and the two Rhapsodies were just loaded with passion and good ideas. Thanks to Tyrone Slothrop for providing the video!

Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Carey #2812561 02/09/19 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey
SiFi - I finally was able to carve out some time this week to listen to the entire video. While I enjoyed your renditions of the two Rhapsodies, I was blown away by the performance of the Quintet. The string players are excellent "amateurs" - but YOUR overall approach to the piano part of this monumental work, including your phrasing, articulation and accuracy was truly outstanding !!!!!!

Also - the Boston piano sounded very good.

Thank you Carey, and Tim also, for the kind words. I want to give full credit to my collaborative partners (I think that's the new PC-acceptable expression) for really helping me take this project to the decent level that I genuinely believe we achieved. The slow movement was one of the few times I've experienced one of those in-the-moment tingly "Surprised By Joy" frissons, actually the only time in recent years. My teacher, who is a bat-eared Medusa disguised as a human, coached us formally on two occasions and said to me privately afterwards that I needed to make the most of this opportunity because chamber music performers of this quality don't come along that often. It's good to know that you feel I did them justice. I'd almost forgotten how much chamber music just rocks!!


SRF
Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Carey #2812566 02/09/19 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey
your performance didn't disappoint. This was quite an achievement - you should be proud.

Tyrone - thank you for posting this !!

Carey, this is the first time in a long while that I've actually felt good about a performance. And Tyrone, I am so grateful that you captured it.


SRF
Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Carey #2812640 02/09/19 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey
but YOUR overall approach to the piano part of this monumental work, including your phrasing, articulation and accuracy was truly outstanding !!!!!! I've loved the Scherzo movement since I first heard it almost 60 years ago - and your performance didn't disappoint. This was quite an achievement - you should be proud. thumb

Yes! As I mentioned in my first post, that Scherzo movement was a revelation! It was the bright star in the entire piece. And done so well! I think all of the artists should be proud of how that carried it off smile


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2812674 02/09/19 12:25 PM
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Wow, that's a wonderful performance!
Every moment of the op. 34 is amazing but the 4th movement is very special here. I wish I could have been there.

Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2812679 02/09/19 12:40 PM
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This is really great. I hope people understand how difficult it is to get an ensemble up to this level for a live performance!

Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
computerpro3 #2812689 02/09/19 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by computerpro3
This is really great. I hope people understand how difficult it is to get an ensemble up to this level for a live performance!


SiFi had mentioned 8 months of work on this piece.

SiFi, can you tell us a bit more? Clearly this was a major effort of practicing and rehearsing. I couldn't help but notice your Henle looked well-worn at the recital! smile


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
Tyrone Slothrop #2814920 02/14/19 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by computerpro3
This is really great. I hope people understand how difficult it is to get an ensemble up to this level for a live performance!


SiFi had mentioned 8 months of work on this piece.

SiFi, can you tell us a bit more? Clearly this was a major effort of practicing and rehearsing. I couldn't help but notice your Henle looked well-worn at the recital! smile

Hey, Tyrone. Sorry it took me so long to respond. Yes, computerpro3 is right!! All of my collaborators are professionals in other fields, and they are hidebound by their work commitments. Figuring out rehearsals was a total b.i.t.c.h. I think we started rehearsing together sometime last July at my house. Very cramped, but we managed. I remember in all the rehearsals we'd be apologizing, like "I'm sorry I wasn't prepared," etc. Then in December last year, we had the opportunity to rehearse and then perform a house concert in the home of the mother of one of the string players. Oh, and we also had two tutoring sessions from my piano teacher, which were great and funded 50% by the Associated Chamber Music Players. We got together for a dress rehearsal the Saturday before our scheduled performance. We'd all done a ton of practicing and verything went well except for one bad incident. Next day, the performance was cancelled because of the snow storm (if you really want to call it that!). This was devastating to all of us, as you can imagine.

When we got word that FMMC was actually going to reschedule us, we were like the guys in the Battle of Britain: Scramble!! I had a recital in Fairfax VA on the Saturday, which finished around 5:15, then drove the beltway at high speed to Silver Spring MD for a rehearsal that was supposed to start at 6:00 but eventually started at 7:00. We had about 40 minutes on the Sunday for sound checks and cue rehearsals. That was it.

I don't usually admit this, because I always want people to think I'm better than I really am, but I was prepared for that performance of Op. 34 as much as I've ever been prepared for anything. More seriously, my collaborators had worked incredibly hard individually, and much of our rehearsal time towards the end involved them literally fine-tuning their parts in a way that was eye-opening to me.

Anyone out there who hasn't done chamber music, even duo, you should try it. It will blow your mind!


SRF
Re: SiFi's Brahms Recital 3 Feb 2019 - Op. 79 & 34
SiFi #2815103 02/14/19 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by SiFi
[I don't usually admit this, because I always want people to think I'm better than I really am, but I was prepared for that performance of Op. 34 as much as I've ever been prepared for anything. More seriously, my collaborators had worked incredibly hard individually, and much of our rehearsal time towards the end involved them literally fine-tuning their parts in a way that was eye-opening to me.
Your preparation and confidence were obvious throughout the entire performance. smile

Quote
Anyone out there who hasn't done chamber music, even duo, you should try it. It will blow your mind!
Absolutely !!!! thumb


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