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Symphony
SADAVA CONDUCTS ELEGANT SO CO PHIL INAUGURAL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 17, 2023
Chamber
POTENT SCRIABIN INTERPRETATIONS AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Symphony
ODYSSEY IN THE SEARCH FOR YUNCHAN AT HOLLYWOOD BOWL
by Abby Wasserman
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Chamber
VOM FESTIVAL'S CLOSING CONCERT A CELEBRATION FOR STRINGS
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, July 30, 2023
Chamber
RITE OF SPRING FOR 88 KEYS AT VOM FESTIVAL
by Pamela Hick Gailey
Saturday, July 29, 2023
Choral and Vocal
A POET'S LOVE SONG CYCLE AT VOM FESTIVAL JULY 27
by Elly Lichenstein
Thursday, July 27, 2023
Other
CHARMING "BARBER" A MENDO FESTIVAL TRIUMPH
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Friday, July 21, 2023
Recital
RARE RAVEL IN MENDO FESTIVAL'S PRESTON HALL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, July 20, 2023
SCHUMANN QUINTET PERFORMANCE RESCUES VOM FESTIVAL'S SECOND CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, July 16, 2023
Chamber
VOM PLAYERS STRIP DOWN A SYMPHONY
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, July 15, 2023
RECITAL REVIEW

Pianist Anton Nel

IMPECCABLE ARTISTIC TASTE IN ANTON NEL SRJC RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reporting on a recital by the Austin-based pianist Anton Nel is a predictably satisfying task. His playing Oct. 19 in SRJCís Newman Auditorium mirrored a recital on the same stage nearly two years ago and showcased a high level of professionalism and artistry.

Beginning with Mozartís D Major "Duport Variations," K. 573, Mr. Nel continued just where he left off in 2012, offering an urbane and witty performance. A cornucopia of small details--just a touch of pedal at phrase endings, pearly scales and a smooth cross-hand technique--provided shape to the various touches the pianist used. In this late set of variations, written two years before his untimely death, Mozart radically changes Duportís theme instead of merely embroidering it. Mr. Nelís performance was flawless.

Five Debussy Preludes from the 12 of Book II came next, beginning with the sharp rhythms of General Levine Ė Eccentric. The pianist emphasized the dynamic extremes, very different from the lyricism of BruyŤres and the scherzo-like mood changes of the insouciant water sprite Ondine.

The imaginative La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune demonstrated Mr. Nelís sovereign control over chordal weighting and subtle thematic underlinings. The concluding Feux díartifice had glittering arpeggios and trills and explosive chords, frenetic when needed to convey a sound of Parisian fireworks. It was the most difficult of the set but seemed to be childís play under Mr. Nelís commanding pianistic control.

Can this artist play at any level below magisterial? Not at this recital. The first halfís concluding A Flat Chopin Ballade was a case study in Romantic pianism of repose and space. Using careful pedaling, he drew a burnished sound from the instrument. Nothing was out of place in this most lyrical of the four great Ballades. Mr. Nel eschewed pianistic heroics and extended ritards. His was a performance of impeccable conception and taste.

This reviewer was unable to hear the sole second half work, Schubertís mighty B Flat Sonata, D. 960, but others reported that it was a transcendent performance.