Monterey Peninsula News


Carmel Music Society to present Elizabeth Wallfisch and David Breitman

9 Jan 2014 8:36 AM
Renowned classical pianist brings her improvisations to Santa Fe

Boasting an expansive music scene steeped in history and high culture, Monterey is often the city musicians are most excited to perform in when touring California. Though the Golden State is home to numerous metropolitan areas with respected concert halls and storied venues, this region routinely features some of the most skilled musicians who are known for their precise execution and deep understanding of classical arrangements.

This month, two such maestros will grace the stage at Carmel's Sunset Cultural Center, allowing all interested in attending the chance to begin 2014 by taking in sonata performances by revered composers. On Sunday, Jan. 12 and Tuesday, Jan. 14, internationally-renowned musicians Elizabeth Wallfisch and David Breitman will visit the space on San Carlos Street at 9th Avenue to present their takes on the masterpieces Beethoven titled, "Sonatas for Piano with Violin." The two soloists combine to produce an ethereal sound that promises to please all within earshot.

Two shows to be presented for attendees
Those hoping to catch a live performance by Wallfisch and Breitman will be afforded two opportunities to do so, as the musicians will offer a matinee concert on Jan. 12 and an evening show on Jan. 14.

Presented by the Carmel Music Society, each show will provide attendees with a display of modern playing techniques and contemporary instruments, which the two soloists will utilize to shed new light on classical masterpieces. Instead of violin sonatas accompanied by piano, this program will turn the table, and allow Wallfisch and Breitman to exhibit their deep understanding of the celebrated compositions. 

The Jan. 12 performance, which is slated to commence at 3 p.m., will cover some of the most popular pieces produced by Beethoven. According to the CMS, individuals in attendance can expect to hear the pair collaborate on Sonata in D Major, Op 12, No 1; Sonata in C Minor, Op 30, No 2; Sonata in G Major, Op 30 No 3; and Sonata No. 5 in F ("Spring"), Op 24. The subsequent show on Jan. 14 is expected to renditions of Sonata in A Major, Op 30, No 1; Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op 12, No 3; and Sonata No. 9 ("Kreutzer"), Op 47.

Tickets to both presentations are available for purchase, and range in price from $40 to $55. Those interested in attending one - or both - of the shows can confirm their admission online, or reserve seats by calling the CMS office at 831-625-9938.

First performance to be preceded by lecture
Prior to Wallfisch and Breitman's concert on Jan. 12, a pre-concert lecture will be presented for audience members. During this time, the speakers are likely to outline the afternoon's program, as well as provide some background to the selections and offer insight into the mind of the timeless composer. 

"We simply love these works with a passion," Wallfisch told the CMS. "You can't help falling in love with the music, being moved by its tenderness and whole-hearted openness. They are a window into Beethoven."

The discussion is expected to take place one hour before Sunday's show time, at 2 p.m. Classical music enthusiasts should be sure not to miss this lecture, as it will help them to gain a firm grasp on the varying styles and intricate subtleties these cultured pieces look to convey to listeners.

As an added benefit, the venue in which these performances are to take place is sure to heighten attendees' appreciation of the program. The Sunset Cultural Center features 718 seats in an intimate setting that is adorned with exquisite gothic architecture, which contributes toward the space's stunning acoustics. 

Each musician boasts impressive resume
Those who reserve their admission to one of these special performances are likely to enjoy a memorable experience, as the featured soloists each have garnered substantial praise for their previous works.

Wallfisch first emerged on the international scene as a youth in the early 1970s, and has since gained a considerable following during her double career as an accomplished violinist and established conductor of period music ensembles. She was tapped to serve as concertmaster of the Bach Festival Orchestra by Carmel Bach Festival music director Bruno Weil, and held the designation from 1993 to 2010. Music has enabled her to travel and perform overseas, having played with the London Mozart Players and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in England, in addition to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Boasting equally adept skills behind both the modern piano and the fortepiano, Breitman has more than 30 years experience as a soloist and collaborator. A native of Montréal, he currently teaches at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and directs the school's Historical Performance program. As one of the seven fortepianists who together share a complete Beethoven piano sonata cycle, he has had the chance to perform in New York City and multiple cities in Italy, as well as within the United Kingdom. In addition, he himself formerly served as a visiting lecturer in Performance Practice at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington.