Yamaha Artist Services, Inc.
The American Liszt Society NY/NJ
Liza Stepanova, Piano
(Liza Stepanova Web Page)
Laura Strickling, Soprano
Itamar Zorman, Violin
Yamaha Artist Services, Inc.
689 Fifth Avenue at 54th Street
NY, NY 10022
Press: Gila Goldstein
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 9, 2014
Program (By Performed Groupings):
Rastlose Liebe, Schubert.
Die Junge Nonne, Schubert, Arr. Liszt.
Gretchen am Spinnrade, Schubert.
Im Rhein, im schönen Strome, Liszt.
Die Fischerstochter, Liszt.
Ihr Glocken von Marling, Liszt.
Freudvoll und Leidvoll, Liszt.
None But the Lonely Heart, Tchaikovsky.
The Answer, Rachmaninoff.
Spring Waters, Rachmaninoff.
Les Jeux d’Eau à la villa d’Este, Liszt.
Die Loreley, Liszt.
Overture to Tannhäuser, Wagner.
Chère Nuit, Bachelet.
The American Liszt Society, NY/NJ Chapter recitals at the Yamaha Artist Services are lovely events, hosted by the Chapter’s founder and President, Gila Goldstein. Tonight’s recital was lovingly performed in tribute to the late, Professor Thomas Mastroianni, who was the Society’s President since 1999. The American Liszt Society was founded in 1964 to promote the scholarship and historical significance of Franz Liszt on the musical performances and compositions in the Western World. (Assisted by ALS Program Notes).
Tonight’s concert, featuring Liza Stepanova on a grand Yamaha, Laura Strickling, soprano, and Itamar Zorman on violin (a 1745 Pietro Guarneri), was an eloquent performance of several soprano-piano, two violin-piano, and three, sumptuous solo piano works. Composers were Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and Bachelet. English Translations of the sung poems (some by Goethe and Heine) were provided to the audience. A lively, upbeat Rastlose Liebe, Schubert’s homage to Goethe’s poem, “Restless Love”, opened the program. Among the lovely German refrains were phrases that would translate to “Crown of life, happiness without peace, Love, you are!”. It was immediately apparent that Ms. Stepanova has truly mastered this genre, performing on the Yamaha grand piano with confidence, poise, and subtlety. Ms. Stepanova performs around the globe with renowned orchestras and at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Strickling sings with vibrancy and flourish, warmth and stage presence. Ms. Strickling, also a global artist, is a member of Brooklyn Art Song Society. Three Schubert pieces were presented here in a grouping, with Die Junge Nonne, a melodic, dramatic piano solo, and Gretchen am Spinnrade, a soprano-piano piece, with such impassioned Goethe phrases that would translate to “And his mouth’s magical flow, his embrace, and ah! His kiss!”.
The next grouping was of four Liszt, soprano-piano works, performed sequentially, with varying volume, tempo, and expressiveness. The Freudvoll and Leidvoll, translated as “Joyful and Sorrowful”, included the German, Goethe phrases that would translate to such drama as “To long and to fear, suspended in agony, rejoicing to the heavens, grieved to death…”. Ms. Strickling sang with rapid resonance and fervor. Mr. Zorman was onstage for two violin-piano works, Tchaikovsky’s None But the Lonely Heart, in an arrangement by Mischa Elman, and Rachmaninoff’s Daisies, in an arrangement by Fritz Kreisler. Mr. Zorman, the winner of the 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia, played his Guarneri violin with poignancy and sumptuous tonality. Ms. Stepanova, in turn, accompanied both works with inspired romanticism. Two soprano-piano pieces followed, by Rachmaninoff, in sung poems by Hugo and Tyutchev. The latter, Spring Waters, sung in Russian, included phrases that would translate to (thanks to Ms. Stepanova’s accompanying translations), such as “We are the messengers of young spring”.
The Debussy Apparition, for soprano-piano, a Mallarmé poem sung in French, would translate to such phrases as “My reverie, loving to martyr me, drink cleverly of its perfume of sadness…”. Ms. Strickling sang with increased dramatization, and Ms. Stepanova performed with eloquent piano trills and energized, tonal beauty. The Liszt Les Jeux d’Eau à la villa d’Este, for piano solo, exuded rhapsodic expansiveness. The following Liszt and Wagner grouping began with the vivacious, soprano-piano duo in Liszt’s composition of Heine’s Die Loreley, with Ms. Strickling’s impeccable German phrases, plus her accompanying translation that featured such phrases as “The air is cool, the twilight comes, and quietly flows the Rhine” It was Wagner’s challenging, theatrical piano solo, Overture to Tannhäuser, arranged by Liszt, that showcased Ms. Stepanova’s astounding talent. She brought out the unique clarity of the highest, whispering notes, as well as the propulsive, chordal refrains in this operatic work, with all the theatricality one might imagine. The evening’s performance closed with the Bachelet work, for soprano, violin, and piano, to generous audience acclaim. Kudos to all.