The 2015 Santa Fe Chamber Music series closed this evening at the Lensic Theater with what was supposed to be an all Schubert program. But alas the best laid plans of mice and musicians often go astray. Violinist William Preucil was indisposed which caused the program to be altered. “Indisposed” in the music business means almost anything that falls within the domain of human behavior. Regardless, the Schubert Piano Trio in B-flat was cancelled. Thus, the Schubert Quartet #13 (Rosamunde) was moved to the second half of the program and pianist Ran Dank, who was supposed to play the piano part in the defunct trio, gave a solo piano recital as the first half of the evening’s concert.
Dank played two short Chopin pieces and then the famous Polonaise Op. 53 in A flat major. The Israeli pianist started a little slowly, but by the time he got to the great Polonaise he was in full gear. I don’t know how much time he had to prepare for his program, but it must have been less than is usual or ideal. Nevertheless, he played with elan and great technical proficiency.
He then performed Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Sonata in its revised 1931 version. This might be considered a suicide gesture considering that this recital was a last minute thing. The piece is as difficult as four dimensional chess. After all the composer wrote it for the greatest pianist of the 20th century. Yet Mr Dank swallowed it whole. It’s runs, chromatic passages, and lyricism interspersed with pianistic explosions were brilliantly realized by Dank who was appropriately rewarded by the audience. The initial disappointment at losing the Schubert trio was wiped way by his fine performance which did far more than save the show. I’d like to hear Mr Dank when he’s had the proper time to prepare his program.
The Schubert Quartet #13 was performed after the intermission by the Dover Quartet. Joel Link and Bryan Lee are the violinists. Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt played the viola. The cellist is Camden Shaw. These young artists gave a fine performance of Schubert’s lyrical quartet. This lovely and gentle piece quotes several of Schubert’s earlier works, including the incidental music for Rosamunde which gives the quartet it’s nickname.
In summary, a fine if unplanned conclusion to another outstanding season of chamber music in Santa Fe which now has more than opera to offer the visiting music lover.