These Musical Moments were gifts presented to concertgoers in the People’s Republic of China during a six-week tour in the summer of 2014.
From my heart to theirs.
This recording is a product of one final concert and one special microphone way above one beautiful Steinway in USC Thornton School’s Alfred Newman Auditorium.
The timeless composers of these works represent Austria, Russia, and Germany, as well as America and its jazz idiom so beloved by the Chinese.
While Schubert’s Moments Musicaux suggest the songs and dances of the Austrian countryside, the listener experiences subtle and complex emotions: playfulness, wistfulness, passion, reminiscence, profound sweetness, and a palpable sense of smiling through tears.
Rachmaninov bares the Russian soul: his Prelude in G-sharp minor evokes sleighbells intertwined with feelings of deep longing, his Moments Musicaux No. 1 in B-flat minor a slow but intense emotional journey, and his Moments Musicaux No. 4 in E minor a tornado of unbridled passion.
In his Souvenir de Porto Rico, Gottschalk depicts Puerto Rican peasants taking flights of fantasy to relieve the drudgery of their everyday reality.
Robert Schumann offers a collection of short “dances” depicting characters from the League of David, a society of artists (some real, some imaginary) reflecting aspects of his own personality. The second one is thought to express his deep love for Clara, the theme of which recurs towards the end of the entire work. The coda leaves us with a simple but profound message delivered through the soulful eyes of the introvert Eusebius.
At the time of my China tour, an American in concert there just had to include an encore by Gershwin!
Deep Thanks To:
My producer, Michael Patterson, a bright multi-talented star in this business of music.
My beloved daughter, Maureen, for creating yet another gem of a cover from her boundless imagination.
Sound engineers Arthur Alexander and Michael Aarvold, without whom this recording would have been a very different experience for the listener.
Piano technician Annie Hayden, without whose discerning ears this recording would never have come to be.
— Antoinette Perry