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Music a la Carte: Andrea Clearfield's Salon in Philadelphia

By Published: February 1, 2009
Nicole Sauder, violin, with Jean Schneider, piano play the first movement of Beethoven's "Spring" Sonata, Op. 24. (Just beautiful straight-ahead classical music; Sauder is a young woman who is destined for concert-hall success.)

Theresa D'Amico, soprano with Akiko Hosaki, pianist perform works by Barber, Quilter, Rorem and Martin. (A fine and subtly articulated hommage to our best American composers in the German "lieder" tradition.)

Kenny Ulansey, sax with Paul Butler, clarinet play klezmer and more. (Two wild and crazy guys doing everything imaginable and whose takeoffs on Stravinsky make him into an anachronism.)

Lenny Seidman's Tabla Choir with Lenny Seidman, Mike Nevin and Dan Skholnick. (Simply astonishing ensemble percussion work.)

HuDost: Jemal Wade and Moksha Sommer perform alternative world music. (Absolutely incredible; middle eastern belly dance music followed by a country and western tune- who else does that?)

Lindsay Gilmour, vocals and Jim Fogarty, guitar perform contemporary folk music. (A variety of traditional and original songs done with sophistication and flair.)

Take the Lead Dancers: Jennifer Jansen and Garincha Hilaire perform Latin dance. ("West Side Story" meets "Swan Lake"- a creative and expressive mix of aggressive, modern, and traditional ballet.)

Tom Lawton plays solo piano improvisations and deconstructions of Haydn's Sonata in C Major. (Lawton stated the classical theme, and took it into boogie-woogie, hypermodern, and ultra-dissonant grotesque stratospheres that constantly startled and amazed the listeners.)

Michelle Lewis performs original acoustic folk/rock. (A real comer- studied at the prestigious Berklee Conservatory; has a "lost child" style all her own.)

John Conahan (voice/piano) plays original and holiday music with Michele Bishop (violin), Eliza Cho (violin), Scott Wagner (viola), and Andrea Weber (cello). (Conahan rendered his cabaret-type songs with passion and humor; and his rendition of Joni Mitchell's "The River" with string quartet was done with great sincerity and emotion.)

The Salon is held monthly. The performers and the types of music will vary considerably. The suspense about who and what will be involved is part of the excitement, although Clearfield sends the salon-goers an advance email with details of each upcoming program. For more information about the Salon, visit Clearfield's website.

Photo Credit
John Hayes

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