LUBEC – This final Mary Potterton Memorial Concert will feature, as always, cellist Peter Lewy and pianist Bruce Potterton, joined also by cellist David Bakamjianat 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1,Â at the Lubec Congregational Christian Church.
SummerKeys founder Mr. Potterton invited Mr. Lewy to Lubec in the second summer of his new creation, where the latter â€śfell in love with the place.â€ť Cello was the first instrument, other than piano, to be added to the â€śadult music campâ€ť program, which this year was awarded a governorâ€™s award for â€śinnovation and excellence.â€ť
Mr. Peter Lewy has taught cello at the United Nations International School. He is the Principle Cellist of several NYC orchestras, freelances actively, collaborates with artists in every genre of music, and has given numerous solo and chamber recitals in the New York Metropolitan area. He has been called by Jazz legend Jaco Pastorious â€śthe best improvising cellist Iâ€™ve ever heard.â€ť His solo CD release, â€śNow and Thenâ€ť (Classical Jazz Records, Amazon.com), won an ASCAP award. For over 25 years he has maintained a large teaching studio for students of all ages and levels.
Mr. Lewy spends part of his summers playing in Italy, and runs two marathons a year. He always enjoys returning to Lubec, saying that the people here are his â€śfavorite audience of any place Iâ€™ve performedâ€ť, and that the students are â€śso refreshing to teach because of their enthusiasm.â€ť SummerKeys is happy to welcome Mr. Lewy back for the seventeenth year in a row.
Baroque and modern cellist David Bakamjian is principal cellist of the New York Grand Opera. The American Record Guide recently praised Mr. Bakamjian for playing “double-stops and aggressive passagework with abundant ease” on Brooklyn Baroque’s “The Pleasure of the French”.
The concert will begin with Mr. Lewy and Mr. Potterton playing â€śThe Swanâ€ť by Camille St. Saens, the French composer, conductor, organist, and pianist. â€śThe Swanâ€ť is the thirteenth of fourteen movements in â€śThe Carnival of the Animals,â€ť which was performed for the first time in 1922, after the composerâ€™s death in 1921. The â€śCarnivalâ€ť was written during a vacation St. Saens spent in a small town in Austria, in February of 1886. St. Saens, valuing his reputation as a serious composer, refused to allow the full set into publication, and only â€śThe Swanâ€ť was, in his opinion, refined enough to be played for close insiders, such as Franz Liszt, who was St. Saensâ€™ friend. It is a wonderful floating piece, and considered the most famous of the movements.
Next is the â€śGrande Tangoâ€ť by Argentinean composer and Bandoneon player Astor Piazzolla, written later in his career, in 1982. It is dedicated to Russian cellist Mtislav Rostropovich, who is credited with being one of the greatest cellists of the twentieth century. Piazzolla premiered the â€śGrande Tangoâ€ť in New Orleans in 1990. The title sums up the piece. Piazzollaâ€™s works are unique for their adoption of jazz, classical, and tango styles, which he somehow managed to mesh together in a phenomenal way. The â€śGrande Tangoâ€ť provides quite the contrast to the preceding piece.
Mr. Lewy will then play his original composition, â€śFantasy Tango.â€ť This piece is from Mr. Lewyâ€™s CD, â€śNow and Then.â€ť
Following intermission, it is Mr. Lewy and Mr. Potterton together, playing the â€śAriaâ€ť by Jacques Ibert, French composer. The â€śAriaâ€ť was written in 1930, when Ibert was forty years old. Ibertâ€™s works, like Debussyâ€™s, focus strongly on expressing the other arts through music, so you might respond to this piece as you would to a painting or a dance, for instance. Ibert has been referred to as the most â€ścompleteâ€ť of French composers (The New Grove Dictionary).
Mr. Lewy will play a second original composition, to be announced.
Next up is the â€śSuite #4 in E Flat Majorâ€ť by J.S. Bach. The Suites were presumably written between 1717 and 1723, when Bach was music director for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Kothen.
To finish off the concert, Mr. Bakamjian joins Mr. Lewy and Mr. Potterton on the Aria Movement of the â€śSuite for Two Cellos and Pianoâ€ť by Gian Carlo Menotti. This Suite was written in 1973, during Menottiâ€™s teaching career at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he was also educated, alongside Samuel Barber (who became a life-long friend) and Leonard Bernstein. Menotti wrote the Suite for Gregor Piatigorsky, a fellow teacher, who later performed it to high approval from Menotti.
Intermission refreshments will be provided by The Inn at the Wharf. Concerts are always free, but, if you like, you may express your appreciation by contributing to very helpful tuning funds in the basket by the doors.
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