Monterey Symphony's 'Season of the Piano' ends with artistic perfection

The Monterey Symphony's glorious 2012-2013 "Season of the Piano" came to a sensational conclusion Sunday afternoon at Sunset Center with a program featuring the extraordinary Slovenian keyboard virtuoso Dubravka Tomsic.

The symphony's splendid maestro, Max Bragado-Darman, led the ensemble in Leonard Bernstein's fervent "Overture to Candide" opening the first half of the concert. Maurice Ravel's arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky's masterpiece "Pictures at an Exhibition" completed the concert after intermission.

The heart of the program was Sergei Rachmaninoff's gorgeous "Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor." A great favorite of classical music lovers, this concerto flows like a river through evocative landscapes interweaving beautiful themes and textures.

The composer imbued it with a powerful integrity of being that makes it a healing and renewing experience for listeners. It is both deeply introspective and heroically human.

This final program was aptly called "Ecstasy," for that is exactly what Tomsic delivered in her exquisite performance.

But it was not the ecstasy in the form of celestial bliss realms, though some might describe it this way. It was the ecstasy of being in the presence of pure artistic perfection offered with love and soul.

This beautiful woman, who has graced our concert halls for many years, is an international treasure. We are so lucky she returns to the Monterey Symphony from time to time.

Barbara Rose Shuler, Monterey County Herald
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