Alon Goldstein | Bennett-Gordon Hall, Ravinia Festival | Classical | Chicago Reader

Alon Goldstein Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Wed., Sept. 1, 6 p.m. 2010

Israeli pianist Alon Goldstein highlights the relationship of Brahms to Robert and Clara Schumann by including works of all three in his recital in honor of Robert’s 200th birthday. There has been speculation about a love affair between Brahms and Clara ever since Robert’s death in 1856—an event that devastated both of them—and whatever the case, they remained lifelong friends. Goldstein uses the movements of Robert Schumann’s Fantasy in C Major, op. 17, to bookend this evening’s program, beginning with its passionate first; it’s followed by Clara’s short Scherzo No. 2 in C Minor, op. 14, and Brahms’s lengthy Scherzo in E-flat Minor, op. 4. The second half starts with the three elegant pieces of Brahms’s Intermezzos, op. 117, and ends with the last two movements of the fantasy. This music requires a large tonal range and immense sensitivity, traits evident in much of Goldstein’s playing, particularly in Schubert’s Impromptus, op. 90 (on a 2009 promotional CD of a live concert), and Sonata in C Major (“Reliquie”), D. 840, which appears on a 2005 CD produced by the Jerusalem Music Centre— though both recordings also reveal that at times he can sound a bit restrained. Born in 1970, Goldstein made his orchestral debut at 18 with the Israeli Philharmonic; he’s a graduate of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University and Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory, where he was a student of Leon Fleisher. —Barbara Yaross

Price: $10

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