Mid-America Productions, Inc.
Margaret Cornils on Flute
(Margaret Cornils Website)
Sharon Jensen on Piano
Weill Recital Hall
(Carnegie Hall Website)
Press: Dale Zeidman, MidAmerica Productions
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 26, 2010
J. S. Bach: Sonata in B minor for flute and piano, BWV 1030, with
Kevin Price, Continuo.
C. Debussy: ”Syrinx” for solo flute (1913).
F. Poulenc: Sonata for flute and piano (1956).
G. Schocker: ”Musique Française” for flute and piano (1997).
Arr. P.A. Genin: ”Carnaval de Venise” for flute and piano, Op. 14.
Margaret Cornils and Sharon Jensen teamed up tonight for a flawless duo performance (joined on the first piece by Kevin Price on Continuo) at Weill Hall. I always enjoy being in Weill Hall, with its sparkling chandeliers, constructed from tiny lights within multiple chains of crystals that reflect the shimmering lights. On the walls, between the long blue velvet curtains, are additional crystal lighting designs, created with the same effect. Decorative moldings adorn the Hall throughout. Tonight’s elegant music was fitting for this refined venue.
The Bach piece, in three movements, was presented with floating, light flute passages, elevating the music over the piano’s steady rhythm. Ms. Cornils, Ms. Jensen, and Mr. Price momentarily paused between the Andante and Largo e dolce movements, moving quickly into the Presto finale. The audience seemed enchanted by this Sonata, with its repetitive flute refrains. The Debussy “Syrinx”, although brief, was an evocative flute solo, with exotic, sultry tones. The Poulenc Sonata followed, and it was my favorite work of the evening. Ms. Cornils played the melody, with a pleading, plaintiff quality. The music shifted from moody to light-hearted. The movements, Allegro malinconico, Cantilena, and Presto giocoso were each showcased with different musical emotions and tempos, from melancholy to ebullient to playful.
After intermission, the contemporary Schocker piece, with hints of Gershwin and Bernstein, was presented, in full Parisian flare. The three movements, Café Music, Chanson, and Dans Le Pays, were quite sophisticated. Ms. Jensen added upbeat dancing refrains to the first, while Ms. Cornils added melodic flute harmonies to the second. The third movement, with bucolic impressions, brought the piece to its pastoral conclusion. The Genin “Carnaval de Venise” was quite a challenge for the flute. It’s composed of numerous variations on a theme, becoming more and more breathlessly paced. This was a virtuosic performance, for both feverish flute and punctuated piano, as echoing notes replay, merge into ornamentations, and then transform yet again and again into more complicated variations, a true test for the artist. It was in this finale that Ms. Cornils seemed most relaxed and confident, as she breezed through each variation with enjoyment and energy.