Music Review: Grand opening for 31st festival
By Jim Lowe
Staff Writer | July 01,2013
KILLINGTON — Killington Music Festival opened its 31st concert season with three major masterpieces, each expertly played at Killington Resort’s Ramshead Lodge Saturday.
Killington is a summer chamber music school for high school and college age intermediate to advanced string players and pianists. Both student and faculty performances are open to the public, and its faculty recitals are among the best in the state.
Saturday’s major work was Brahms’ monumental String Sextet No. 2 in G Major, Opus 36. Violinist Daniel Andai led a fine performance of able virtuosity and unrestrained passion, joined by violinist Anat Malkin Almani, violists Yizhak Schotten and Chung-Hoon Peter Chun, and cellists Ashima Scripp and Emmanuel Feldman.
The playing was consistently of a very high level and, though it could have used a bit more rehearsal, the performance proved most sensual and rewarding and quite exciting. The slow movement, Adagio, in particular, was nuanced and deeply moving.
Still, most successful was Mozart’s Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 454, played by violinist Ben Sayevich and pianist Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich. Their approach was grand but sensitive and expressive, achieving the work’s grandeur. The performance was cohesive and matched, not surprising since they are husband and wife.
While the fast movements could have afforded a bit more breathing, the slow movement, Andante, sang exquisitely. Sayevich has a warm shimmering sound and Lisovskaya-Sayevich, a clarity and lyricism that make them ideal Mozart players. Theirs is not the prissy, careful approach, nor the overly Romanticized; theirs is a deep, rich and grand Mozart.
Pianist Heng-Jin Park, Killington’s artistic director of two years, led an impassioned performance of Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Opus 70, No. 2. Park played with clarity, virtuosity and sensitivity; cellist Scripp also proved expressive and nuanced; and violinist Almani, though a bit heavy-handed, was passionate. Though a bit driven, it was an exciting performance.
Killington is off to an excellent start. The July 6 program features Mendelssohn’s String Octet in E-flat Major, Opus 20, Park playing Chopin’s Fourth Ballade in f minor, plus works of Prokofiev, Gershwin and Johan Svendsen.
Killington Music Festival
The Killington Music Festival will present its “Music in the Mountains” faculty concert series at 7 p.m. Saturdays June 29-Aug. 3 at Killington Resort’s Ramshead Lodge (tickets are $20). The Young Artist Concert Series (free admission) features the students in chamber music concerts at 7 p.m. July 5-Aug. 1 at Ramshead Lodge: Fridays, July 5, 12, 19, 26; Wednesday, July 31; and Thursday, Aug. 1. For tickets or information, call 802-773-4003, or go online to www.killingtonmusicfestival.org.