Reviews


FROM TRIOS TO QUINTETS, ARTISTS SWOOP IN FOR AN IMPRESSIVE CHAMBER CONCERT

Naples Daily News
By Harriet Howard Heithaus
16 January 2013

A faint, acrid smell of wood smoke met the audience exiting the Sugden Community Theatre after the Classic Chamber Concerts performance Monday night.

Was it the Bechstein piano that Philipp Kopachevsky had just lit sparks on during the Beethoven “Archduke” Trio?

No – just one of the grass fires that keep Southwest Florida on olfactory alert during the bone-dry winters here. Still, Kopachevsky could have been indicted as a conspirator.

The Tchaikovsky competition veteran made his piano deliver both whispers and thunder at precise, perfect moments. Kopachevsky is barely an adult, but he is the soloist to count on for serious interpretation, starring simultaneously in the ArtsNaples World Festival here in May and in the Miami Piano Festival. After the performance Monday, there are no questions why.

It didn’t matter whether you subscribed to the assessment by Classic Chamber Concerts Artistic Director William Noll of the Trio’s four-section breadth and depth (“It’s a symphony!”) or the Bella Trio’s recent blog about the divergence of the piano hands into separate voices (“It’s a quartet!”) It was stellar music all the way, lavished with the love it deserves.

The ideal colleagues for this work were Daniela Shtereva on violin and Adam Satinsky on cello. Both are core members of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra – Satinsky is, in fact, principal cellist – and both have mastered a rich sound at every register of their instruments. Shtereva gives her violin a vibrato so sweet you could stir it into coffee and has foolproof timing that dovetailed into Satinsky’s laser-sharp cello openings in the second movement.

These are two people whose primary work is as part of a full-size orchestra at the Philharmonic Center, so it’s a treat to hear their talents individually. The new Philharmonic policy that allows its members to star outside the hall has created unlimited potential for outstanding music in Naples; let’s have a standing ovation for that decision.

At this concert, there was no better half. To open the program, a quartet comprising Sarasota Orchestra and Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra woodwind players took on the oh, so civilized Mozart Quintet for Piano and Winds without turning it into audial assembly line work. Adam De Sorgo, oboe; Scott Radloff, bassoon; Stacey McColley, clarinet; and Charyle Naberhaus, a beautifully controlled French hornist, gave the evening a smart start with their tightly woven rendition, with Kopachevsky behind them on the piano.

Then De Sorgo and Radloff, working again with Kopachevsky, launched a blitzkrieg version of the Francis Poulenc Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon, the performances rolling over each other in a tag team and flying in formation with speed harmonies. They forged an amazing blend of virtuosity and teamwork.

It was a master class in woodwind performance. The only lament is that this was a one-time show.


SOARING WITH SHOSTAKOVICH, PADDLING WITH MOZART

Naples Daily News
By Harriet Howard Heithaus
12 May 2009

Despite the fact this area is tinder-dry, the Philharmonic Center for the Arts programmed Adam Satinsky to perform the Shostakovich Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major last Friday and Saturday, definitely raising the fire index. Satinsky and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, for which he is principal cellist, smoked on Shostakovich’s primal requiem in a way that wrapped the entire hall in its figurative cloud. The cellist’s familiarity with this concerto was obvious in his alternating projections of concentration, delight and, occasionally, just plain hard work. Satinsky wasn’t partying alone, either. The orchestra and guest conductor Stuart Malina wrapped themselves around Satinsky’s lead with the chops critical to Shostakovich’s fascinating, paranoid opus.

There’s nothing small about this work. The cello is an instrument that channels emotion deeply, and Shostakovich’s first concerto for it, published in 1959, telegraphs angst and despair and longing. It was fanned into flame, no doubt, by the knowledge some Soviet apparatchik was scanning every note for political insolence. Music analysts point out unsettling allusions to mortality in every movement, including phrases from death songs to a sick child and to a drunken peasant as he succumbs to a freezing snowstorm.

The opening Allegro sets the tone with an insistent call and a four-note theme from the cello, against percussive marches from the oboes. Bass subthemes suggest swarming bees, the brass sounds danger calls, and a corps of flutes and piccolos leads a chorus of menacing little motifs.

The next three movements are played without a pause, churning the tempo from its introspective Moderato into the expressive, urgent Cadenza before its final movement. Satinsky is on his own for 148 bars in the middle of that. He works with every technique his instrument will take – double-bowing, strumming, plucking – in an intimate, primal solo. Satinsky immersed himself in the concerto as though he were listening to whispered instructions from the composer, with vigor and clarity and depth. After a triple ovation, he helped ratchet down the musical adrenaline a bit with an unscheduled solo, a Sarabande from Bach, to crown a thoroughly rewarding first half.


CHARLOTTE SYMPHONY RISES TO A NEW LEVEL

Charlotte Sun
By Sandy Copperman
23 February 2009

Maestra Janita Hauk conducted the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, with Adam Satinsky, cellist, as featured soloist, to a new performance level, in Cello Concerto in E minor by Edward Elgar Feb. 15 at the Center for Performing Arts and Education in Punta Gorda. The concert was entitled “Rule, Britannia!”

After the orchestra began with a too-slow “God Save the Queen” and a graceful “Fantasia on Greensleeves,” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Satinsky took his time to settle down on stage. With deliberate intensity, and coordination between him and the Maestra, he delivered what appeared to be a nonpareil interpretation of the four parts of Elgar’s last major work.

Satinsky mined the rich range of the cello for poignancy, backed by the full depth of the orchestra. The cello’s plaintive theme continued. The orchestra, although sounding strong, did not overpower the soloist.

After Satinsky began plucking the strings of his instrument, he produced a remarkable series of virtuosity in a study of introspective disillusionment.

Satinsky expressed in turn depressed lethargy, deep pathos, soft sensitivity, and sincere heartbreak, as he traveled over the full range of the strings. His repetitive motif and the orchestra’s repetitive responses emphasized the musical anguish. The soloist and orchestra resolved the music into a theme of sorrow. This ended the first set.

The orchestra opened the second set with three country dances from “Nell Gwynn,” by Edward German, an unusual and surprisingly pleasant selection, played mainly by strings and percussion.

Next, Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” Parts 7, 8 and 9, were too brief, but their brevity was compensated for by perfection in their execution. Hauk brought together the orchestra’s expression and technique: virtuosity in 7, relaxation in 8 and the warmth of camaraderie in 9.

Percy Grainger’s sprightly and entertaining “Mock Morris Dance,” and the pomp of William Walton’s “Crown Imperial March,” finished a satisfying concert.

During the preliminary introductions, Judy Roth and the Roth Family Foundation were recognized for their sponsorship of tonight’s concert and for her support and participation on the board of directors for the past eight years. Kate Mondello, board member and past president, was called up for her induction into CSO’s Emeritus Society.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: SPECIAL EVENTS

Naples Daily News
By (anon.)
15 July 2008

If we forget …

Editor, Daily News:

Sunday, as I had planned, I was at the Naples Depot. The occasion was history-making for all of Southwest Florida, and I am pleased that I was there to witness the boxcar dedication.

To take something like this boxcar, that was used for transporting the innocent to their deaths, and turning it into an educational tool to promote tolerance and understanding by teaching the history and lessons of the Holocaust is a good thing. It brings tears to my eyes when I think of the terror the people went through. It is all so unthinkably horrible, but if we forget what happened, it will happen again.

The solo by the master cellist Adam Satinsky left not a dry eye in the audience. He played wonderfully. The choir was also amazing and heart-wrenching. The entire ceremony was very touching and solemn.

Sorry to say, I have no idea of why Roosevelt Andre Credit, who has a fantastic voice and performs beautifully, sang John Lennon’s “Imagine.” For me, it was a very odd selection.

It is my hope everyone in our area, and those visiting Naples, will take the time to view the boxcar at the Naples Depot, and then go to the Holocaust Museum. We all need to keep our eyes wide open to what is happening in the United States and around the world.

Indifference is an attitude we cannot afford.


CHARLOTTE SYMPHONY HERALDS SPRING WITH FINE TRIO

Charlotte Sun
By Sandy Copperman
2 March 2008

The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestra Janita Hauk, performed a concert entitled “Anticipating Spring,” at the Center for Performing Arts and Education in Punta Gorda on Sunday night. James Zhang, violinist, Adam Satinsky, cellist, and Mingshan Kong, pianist and Zhang’s wife, were the featured performers during the first set in Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Triple Concerto in C Major, Op. 56.” The other work in the program was in the second set, Robert Schumann’s “Symphony No. 1, ‘Spring.'”

Beethoven’s “Triple Concerto” consisted of three movements. In the first, “Allegro,” the orchestra smoothly developed a mellow introduction by the stringed instruments. It was melodic and majestic, a prelude to the trio of solo instruments.

Satinsky played the first theme on cello. Zhang followed with the same on violin, ditto Kong on piano. They balanced their sounds together and with the orchestra. They had all performed together in the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, and they sounded accustomed to performing with each other.

All three soloists showed technical proficiency in playing difficult passages. Their tone varied from sweetness to grandeur. The interplay between them was sheer delight. Keeping to the composer’s strong rhythm, they developed the theme with increasing intensity to a crescendo with the orchestra, to end the “Allegro.”

In the second movement, “Largo,” the orchestra sweetly introduced Satinsky playing the second theme, which was euphoric. This was expanded by Zhang and Kong, without orchestral background. The trio’s music reflected tranquility and gracefulness.

The trio then segued into the final movement, “Rondo alla Polacca,” in a spirited dance tempo. Their rapid play, seemingly an act of wizardry, expressed joy, and then the orchestra broke forth into a similar jubilant celebration. Zhang’s violin sang effectively, followed with reiteration by the cello and piano. Kong’s playing brought out the virtues of the Steinway.

As the trio and orchestra reprised the themes, the soloists took turns to perform technical fireworks. The rhythm of the Polonaise became more pronounced. The intricacies of rhythm, melody, harmony, counterpoint, volume and emotional expression were performed in a marvelous way.

The concerto ended to a standing ovation and to smiles and comments of satisfaction from the audience.

In the lobby during intermission, Satinsky was asked what he felt about his performance. He said, “It felt like an otherworldly experience.”


BRAHMS, DVORAK A PERFECT FINALE

Naples Daily News
By Peg Goldberg Longstreth
25 May 2006

SEVEN members of the Philharmonic Orchestra were front and center for two hours in back-to-back sterling performances of two primo chamber selections.

If you were awed by the glorious first selection, “Brahms Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25,” imagine having the intellectual and emotional wherewithal to have created it when you were just twenty. Not in a hundred lifetimes could the ordinary mortal have such a rarified vision, let alone be capable of sharing it with the world.

Concertmaster Glenn Basham (violin), principal cello Adam Satinsky, principal viola Jessie Goebel and pianist Jodie DeSalvo combined their talents to give an absolutely top drawer performance.

Its first movement should have been sufficient to transport concertgoers to nirvana. Satinsky never sounded better, as he opened the movement with an absolutely lush musical phrase, soon followed by Goebel and Basham repeating the same melody line. Throughout the entire four movements, Brahms programmed numerous unison lines, an interesting contrast to the remainder of the score.

Alternately strident with an almost military cadence, its other emotional tone was that of a love song, full of longing and passion.

And then came the blistering fourth and final movement, a furious gypsy dance, DeSalvo continuing to demonstrate her pianistic talents, the keyboard fairly exploding while the strings literally sounded like scurrying bees. Just as suddenly they once again dissolved into sweetness.

The normally staid audience roared its approval.


BAROQUE OPENER NOURISHES HURRICANE WEARY SOULS

Naples Daily News
By Peg Goldberg Longstreth
21 September 2004

ENTITLED “Corelli by Candlelight,” thirteen members of the Naples Philharmonic Symphony have joined forces to become the Phil’s Baroque Ensemble, featuring the earliest period of music performed to date at the Philharmonic. The Ensemble consists of Glenn Basham, concertmaster; Ming Gao, David Mastrangelo, Erik Berg, James Zhang and Joel Fuller, violins; Jessie Goebel, Lisa Mattson and Monica Biacchi, violas; Adam Satinsky, John Marcy and Thomas May, cellos; Debra Stehr, bass; and James Cochran, harpsichord.

This may have been their first performance as a Baroque Ensemble, but they were wonderfully attuned to each other, giving a finely balanced performance.

. . .

Adam Satinsky, principal cello for the Naples Philharmonic, was the ensemble’s featured soloist for Antonio Vivaldi’s beautiful “Cello Concerto in G Major, P.V. 120.” Vivaldi (1678-1741) was a reluctant priest, and an obsessive violinist and composer extraordinaire. He composed an astonishing number of concerti, nearly 400 in all, 35 of which were for cello. This concerto, which is essentially a descending scale concerto in three movements, was pure ecstasy. Satinsky offered up another in a long series of fine performances, the audience practically purring its delight, lengthy applause following the number’s conclusion.


CONDUCTOR HANGEN CREATES MAGIC IN PHIL POPS CONCERT

Naples Daily News
By Peg Goldberg Longstreth
19 February 2004>

WOW! Bruce Hangen, the recently named principal guest conductor of the Boston Pops, showed an initially noticeably tense, standing-room-only Naples audience, how to kick back and really enjoy good music Tuesday evening at the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts.

. . .

Next up was Rossini’s “William Tell Overture,” which opened with a beautiful solo by principal cellist Adam Satinsky, soon joined by the remainder of the cello section and double basses, as one by one the individual orchestral sections joined until . . . you’ve got it . . . ZAP! The music everyone knows as the theme from the Lone Ranger brought on cheers, more applause during the score, all “ordered” by Hangen.


CELLO AND PIANO COLLABORATION PROVES MASTERFUL

Barre Montpelier Times Argus
By Jim Lowe
3 September 2002

WHILE MANY WERE AWAY celebrating the last weekend of summer, a select few were enjoying a splendid cello and piano recital Sunday evening at the Unitarian Church.

Montpelier pianist Mary Jane Austin and Florida cellist Adam Satinsky achieved the real grandeur of one of the great Brahms cello sonatas, while Satinsky delivered an inspired performance of one of Bach’s sublime solo cello suites.

. . .

Brahms’ two cello sonatas are among the biggest in the repertoire, and of the two, the Sonata in E minor, Opus 38, is the more rhapsodic. Satinsky and Austin, seeming to perform with one voice, were quite successful in achieving the magnificence of this masterpiece.

Austin played with clarity and accuracy, imbuing her lines with color and power, while Satinsky’s cello sang with passion. Still, the performance seemed a little on the polite side, with Austin in particular restricting herself, losing some of the work’s rhapsodic feel. This may come from the fact that both are more accustomed to playing in restricted situations. But, this is nitpicking. These two fine artists delivered a powerful performance.

Satinsky achieved more freedom in Bach’s Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011. Bach’s six cello suites are among the purest of musical expressions, and the fifth is among the most difficult, technically and musically. The work takes a master to make musical sense out of it, and Satinsky delivered.

Satinsky’s approach was conservative but expressive. His subtle rhythmic fluency and light sound gave life to the six Baroque dance movements, while his restrained passion gave it power. Particularly haunting was the trio from the first gavotte, but the whole performance proved potent and truly touching.

. . .

Satinsky and Austin also performed a number of shorter works, most showing off Satinsky’s easy virtuosity. Tchaikovsky’s Pezzo Capriccioso and Dvorak’s Rondo, Opus 94, in particular fit that bill, and Satinsky and Austin delivered them with panache and character. But it was Faure’s elegiac Apres un Reve that sang in that way that only a cello can.

This was certainly a rewarding recital.


MUSIC LOVERS ATTRACTED TO EMOTIONAL PULL OF “THE MESSIAH”

Naples Daily News
By Corrine Dunne
18 December 2001

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN’S virtuosic “Concerto for Cello” in D Major was performed by Adam Satinsky, the Naples Philharmonic’s principal cellist [at Saturday’s “Mostly Messiah” performance at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts]. Playing with discipline and drive, Satinsky made his foray into the work’s three lyrical movements that offer interesting opportunities for solo display.

As the work was written for Haydn’s friend Anton Kraft, a well-known virtuoso, this showpiece makes enormous demands with rapid scales, double-stops, and florid melodies in a high register. The interplay between soloist and orchestra was warm and resonant.

There were standing ovations for both the Messiah portion of the concert and for Haydn’s Cello Concerto.


DETROIT CONDUCTOR BRINGS INSIGHTS TO PHILHARMONIC

Naples Daily News
17 October 1998

EACH CONDUCTOR puts his or her own stamp on the music performed in concert. Ya-Hui Wang, assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and a protoge of the illustrious conductor Daniel Barenboim flew into town to condct the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Casual Classics II” concerts at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts on Thursday and Friday.

. . .

It is always a special treat to hear one of our orchestra’s principals in a solo role. Adam Satinsky, principal cellist, a prodigy who made his debut at the age of 12, made a fine impression in Tchaikovsky’s rhapsodic “Variations on a Rococo Theme, op. 33.” Tchaikovsky wrote this famous work for his friend, Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, a famous German cellist. Satinsky’s playing was compellingly subtle and refined and obviously appreciated by his fellow players, who gave him admirable support.

The audience responded to Satinsky’s performance with a standing ovation.