Emotional Performance Delights
On Nov. 6, the Classical Concert Series presented Turkish-born cellist Efe Baltacigil and pianist Anna Polonsky.
The program was varied, running the gamut from Bach (17th century) to Saygun (20th century ). And in between there were Shostakovich and Franck.
The first selection was a "Sonata for Cello and Keyboard" by Johann Sebastian Bach. This was a representative piece by Bach, with lots of beautifully lyrical lines and lots of contrapuntal passages. Baltacigil and Polonsky played this with extraordinary finesse, letting each instrument take over from the other at the appropriate times.
The next piece was a "Sonata for Cello and Piano" by Dmitri Shostakovich, written in 1934. This is a powerful work with many interesting and complicated harmonies. It was played with extreme emotion by both performers, with wonderful intonation and sonority in the cello.
Ahmed Adnan Saygun was a contemporary Turkish composer and his "Sonata for Cello and Piano" was modern and interesting. A lot of dissonances and tricky rhythms showed off the artists' skill with their instruments.
Last, but certainly not least, was the "Cesar Franck Sonata in A Major." This was originally written for the violin and piano and has been transcribed for various other instruments, falling easily into the cello's rich range.
Written in 1886, it is full of beautiful melodies and fast tempos. These were played with compassion and skill by Baltaacigil and Polonsky. Baltacigil brought out the rich, singing qualities of the cello beautifully, ending the concert with the famous finale of the Sonata with its melodious canon between the two instruments and hectically virtuoso coda.
The audience at the Sunrise gave the performers a much-deserved standing ovation.
One minor observation: the performers should have been in evening dress to produce a truly polished performance.
The next concert in the Classical Concert Series 2006-07 season is Feb. 12 with the Zephryos Winds.
Martha Hall lives in Pinehurst.
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