We are here to encourage the development of gifted young singers and to stimulate the growth of New York City's invaluable chamber opera companies. But we will not neglect the Metropolitan Opera either. Get ready for bouquets and brickbats.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Jan Roszkowski
Peter Fancovic
Gina Perregrino
Hosted by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, and having been postponed because of Hurricane Sandy, the Gala Concert took place Saturday night.  And gala it was!

The gorgeous Madison Avenue mansion, all cream and gilt-- complete with painted ceiling, elaborate crystal chandeliers and putti galore, is a delight to the eye and the music was a delight to the ear.  The well-chosen program included works by Robert Schumann, Claude Debussy, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Hector Berlioz, Pietro Mascagni and, of course, our personal favorite Frederic Chopin whose Sonata for Violoncello and Piano in G minor, Op. 65 was our personal favorite.

Slovakian pianist Peter Fancovic enraptured the audience in his solo works, particularly Two Preludes for Piano by Debussy; his duets with cellist Jan Roszkowski were magnificently modulated and balanced.  Mr. Roszkowski is not only a fine cellist but a composer of note.  The program ended with an all-too-brief 2011 composition entitled The Aquarian Age which to our ears sounded more anxious than "spiritual".

Mezzo Gina Perregrino added substantially to the evening's delights with three very different selections--Brahms' "Wie Melodien zieht es Mir", Berlioz' "Le spectre de la rose" and Pietro Mascagni's "O, Pallida" from L'Amico Fritz.  This enabled her to show her skills in German, French and Italian and her facility with lieder as well as opera.

Our only disappointment was that the concert was too brief.  We would have preferred a few more selections.  But then, we must confess to never getting enough Chopin!

(c) meche kroop

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