When attending a live performance of an artist you have never heard, you just don’t know what to expect. It’s not like we don’t prepare the audience for the evening, even if it’s a premier performance by a virtually unknown player. After all, we have Professor Larry Snitzler deliver a pre-concert lecture in which he talks about some of the works that will be played or other ancillary works that might shed light on the compositions themselves or the composer. Then, we print up a program, replete with program notes and smiling faces of our friends and patrons.
But when the artist steps upon the stage, all bets are off.
Who would have expected one artist to propose marriage to his girlfriend in the 5th row (She accepted…whew!) and who would have expected the artist to step on her skirt and do a nose dive as she descended the stage at the “pause?” (no damage…whew! Again)
And so it was on Saturday night when Yuri Liberzon, from Siberia, Israel, Baltimore, New Haven and Burlingame, California took the stage in the 4th performance of our 17th season of The Marlow Guitar series. It was clear from the first note that he was “in the zone,” and that we were in for a rare treat. He played virtually without flaws but not without taking risks. He played with warmth and musicality and a care for the notes, like a great chef preparing a marvelous musical banquet. Taking one bow after another, his youth became more apparent and his smile widened at hearing so many congratulatory waves of applause. One encore was all he afforded us, leaving us, as the presenters always recommend, wishing for “just one more.”