Michael Davidman - Summit Music Festival

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Donald Isler
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Michael Davidman - Summit Music Festival

Post by Donald Isler » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:03 am

The Classical Music Guide
Michael Davidman, Piano
28th Summit Music Festival
Purchase, New York
July 26th, 2018

Haydn: Sonata in C Minor, Hob. XVI:20
Rachmaninoff: Sonata No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 36
Chopin: Scherzo No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 31
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody On a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
with Pei-Hsuan Tsai, Piano

Michael Davidman is a 21 year old pianist who studies at the Curtis Institute with Robert McDonald. Before that, he studied for ten years at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege with Efrem Briskin. Though still a conservatory student, he has already been performing as a polished professional for some years. He is a brilliant player with a virtuoso technique, and a particular flair for Romantic repertoire. He plays with great confidence, and makes everything look easy.

The first movement of the Haydn Sonata had an elegance about it, and was very expressive. The development section was nicely animated, and Davidman led it back into the recapitulation in a very individual way. The second movement had lovely pearly trills, and some parts of it featured a rather dreamy quality, and a hushed sound. The third movement was impish, with fleet runs, and many mood changes.

Then, without standing up to take a bow, and after a quick glance towards the audience, he launched into the Rachmaninoff Sonata. Davidman has the technique, as well as the stylistic understanding requisite for this music, meaning, among other things, he can increase the speed whenever that's dramatically effective, yet knows to slow down in other places, such as for the second theme, which was solemnly stated, even more so in the recapitulation. In the second movement, he played the first theme simply and eloquently, later bringing it back with the wonderful elaborations Rachmaninoff created around it. From this movement, he went directly into the ferocious finale, which kept the audience on the edges of their seats. Particularly effective was the stretto, near the end, and the coda, during which one sensed he might blow up the instrument!

The popular B-Flat Minor Scherzo of Chopin was played in very good taste, meaning with interesting, individual ideas, but without Romantic excess. For example, the A Major section was played very softly the first time, but slower, and in a searching manner the second time.

I had not heard the Rachmaninoff Rhapsody On a Theme of Paganini in the version with piano reduction before. Pei-Hsuan Tsai was Mr. Davidman's very able, and vigorous colleague here. This work includes a remarkable variety of material, including the Dies Irae theme, which returns in octaves, the fluttering cadenza that leads into the D Minor variation, and the gorgeous D-Flat Major variation. As the solo piano part has an incredible number of notes, one would expect a pianist would be pushed to the limits of his ability. Yet, such is Davidman's technical prowess, and understanding of this music, that one never worried for him. You knew he could do it! It was as exciting as heck!

Michael Davidman played one encore, a beautiful warm and energetic reading of the first movement of Clementi's F-Sharp Minor Sonata.

Donald Isler
Donald Isler

Lance
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Re: Michael Davidman - Summit Music Festival

Post by Lance » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:40 pm

We know Michael Davidman and his family very well. He has performed for Classical Pianists of the Future on several occasions, performed for our NPR station WSKG for their "Exprssions" program. He is hugely talented and has a great future ahead of him. Thank you for posting this, Donald.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: Michael Davidman - Summit Music Festival

Post by Lance » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:30 am

Lance wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:40 pm
We know Michael Davidman and his family very well. He has performed for Classical Pianists of the Future on several occasions, performed for our NPR station WSKG for their "Expressions" program. He is hugely talented and has a great future ahead of him. Thank you for posting this, Donald.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

jbuck919
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Re: Michael Davidman - Summit Music Festival

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:35 am

What a program! People don't know Summit, which is in New Jersey, very well, but I do because one of my college classmates, who was a good friend, lived there and has moved back there after having conducted an orchestra in Florida for many years. She is a superb musician, far superior to myself, and her name is Susan Haig.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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