The recently re-dubbed CMSV, the result of adding to the annual late-June Silicon Valley Music Festival a spread-out year-round season, held its official launch on Friday in Santa Clara University's strange little recital hall. Though the auditorium is small, it wasn't close to being filled. That's a pity, as there's good stuff in here, and I know from seeing Bing sold out that there's an audience. What CMSV needs is more publicity, and I wish I had the magic wand to give it. At least I can link to their next concert and the Festival in June.
The highlight of this program was its conclusion, a trio for flute, cello, and piano by Weber, one of his few chamber works, with a really bang-up scherzo and finale, especially in this performance by Ray Furuta, Jonah Kim, and Christina Dahl (respectively). The rest of the concert sort of unpacked this ensemble. Kim played a Beethoven cello sonata with a lovely textured tone, but not as entertainingly as in the Weber. Furuta was joined by his one-time flute teacher, Carol Wincenc, for a two-flutes and piano suite by the contemporary Japanese composer Yuko Uebayashi, a tremendously impressive little piece, enough to crown its author as the best composer I know to begin with a U. It alternates quiet Debussyean impressionist harmonies, long a Japanese specialty, with a lively, bouncy style strikingly reminiscent of mid-20C Japanese composers like Hashimoto or early Akutagawa. (I love throwing these names around!) Wincenc also played a couple characteristic pieces by Casella.
All these were with piano accompaniment played by Dahl. The composers often kept her in a self-effacing role, but her rhythmically energetic playing did much to keep the music going. She got one solo spotlight, William Bolcom's entrancing Graceful Ghost Rag.
Nice little concert with some pleasant surprises.