Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
The first half of this New York City-based chamber duo’s recent performance at Schroon Lake’s Strand Theater was a mix of 18th century works by Christian Gottlieb Scheidler and Mauro Giuliani. But right in the middle of the repertoire during the first half of the concert was Peter Schickele’s “Windows,” composed in 1966. Of course, Schickele’s alter ego was the comedic P.D.Q. Bach, a fictitious younger relative of the great Johann S. Bach, part of that historical German classical-music triumvirate – Bach, Beethoven & Brahms – that still influences classical musicians today.
After a brief intermission, the second set kicked off with more Mauro Giuliani, followed by a contemporary nod to the late jazz and classical Argentinean legend, Astor Piazzolla. His composition, “Cafe 1930,” caused more than a few toes to tap the rhythm of the composition soulfully interpreted by violist Louise Schulman and guitarist Bill Zito.
Zito sat under the spotlights and tuned his acoustic classical guitar for two pieces of solo virtuosity. Schulman walked off the stage with her 16th century hand-crafted viola and joined the audience for a listen. The room took on a different atmosphere with two Spanish classical compositions by Enrique Granados and Isaac Albinez, both 19th century composers, that made Zito’s fingers fly up and down on the fretboard shaping a tonal spectrum that encompassed the dynamic extremes of sound from gentle subtlety to aggressive arpeggios.