It probably wasn't my best idea to create this week’s roundup immediately after watching a particularly touching episode of Call the Midwife and then having a Mother’s Day FaceTime session with my grown son who lives 5,000 miles away. So please forgive me if my selections are a little sentimental and family-focused — with an emphasis on love, togetherness, and the joys of motherhood.
This week we feature a young mom (and fabulous violist) playing an incredible Chinese tune (with a tiny tot hiding in the wings). You’ll find a mother-son duo who prove the family that pizzicatos together, stays together. Another mom (a mainstay of the concert stage) collaborates with her talented daughter. Get ready for married violinists who’ve declared themselves "stand partners for life." And in between, hear a stunning 11-year-old cellist, a Celtic toe-tapping duo, and Dvorák’s glorious song honoring mothers. Stay tuned for the final clip, in which one of my favorite violinists and her partner send us off with a heartfelt rendition of "Until We Meet Again."
LA Phil Principal Violist Teng Li performs a piece that is close to her heart: Abing’s "The Moon Reflected in Er-quan Spring." It was arranged for viola by Teng's friend, composer Yanqiao Wang. Thanks go to Isaac See for the recommendation! (In the spirit of Mother’s Day, stay tuned for the precious outtakes at the very end!)
Cello student at the Seattle Cello Academy, Jesse Krentz, age 11 (yes, 11, really), gives an impressive, poised-beyond-his-years performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’ "The Swan." (In another familial connection, Jesse studies with his father, Kevin.)
Violinist Joyce Pan and cellist David Aks rock the Scottish gigue "Drummond Castle" and a contemporary piece titled "Wicked Weed." (Both classically trained artists, this duo discovered a mutual love for Celtic music and have completely made it their own.)
Colorado Symphony Concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams and pianist Tamara Goldstein perform Antonín Dvorák's "Songs My Mother Taught Me," arranged by Fritz Kreisler. (Beautiful song, beautiful performance, beautiful setting.)
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine and her adorable daughter Sylvia perform "Mother is a Priceless Jewel" by Godwin Sadoh. (I first fell in love with Sylvia when she and her mom shared their recipe for Peanut Butter Delight!)
Colorado Symphony Assistant Principal Violist Catherine Beeson and her violinist son Ari collaborate on "Little Suite for Autumn" by Peter Schickele (aka, PDQ Bach). (I took particular delight in watching the rapport between this wonderful mother/son duo!)
Married couple and LA Phil violinists Akiko Tarumoto (Assistant Concertmaster) and Nathan Cole (First Associate Concertmaster) demonstrate the virtuostic fireworks of Henryk Wieniawski’s "Etudes-Caprices." (These "stand partners for life" disclose they did some creative rewriting to make the parts more equal in nature. Marriage: saved!)
If you have read any of my articles on v.com, you know I love, love, love violinist Tessa Lark. Now I also love, love, love her musical and life partner, bassist Michael Thurber. A perfect close to this week’s roundup is their heartbreaking rendition of "Until We Meet Again." Feel free to scroll back to the beginning of the clip to hear other incredible songs. (I send this as a special gift to my dear friend, Michael Grant.)
With symphony performances almost universally on hiatus, we've put "The Week in Reviews" on hold and instead bring you this roundup of online "quarantine" performances. If you’d like to share links of performances you’ve enjoyed, please do so in the comments or e-mail me for possible inclusion in a later opus.
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