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What have we done to deserve such musicians in our midst?! Easter weekend in Juneau, eight exceptional players combined their talents to carry the audience back a century or so to the outstanding music of half a dozen French composers.
Bravi, Con Brio 042617 AE 1 John D'Armand, for the Capital City Weekly What have we done to deserve such musicians in our midst?! Easter weekend in Juneau, eight exceptional players combined their talents to carry the audience back a century or so to the outstanding music of half a dozen French composers.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Story last updated at 4/25/2017 - 2:56 pm

Bravi, Con Brio

What have we done to deserve such musicians in our midst?! Easter weekend in Juneau, eight exceptional players combined their talents to carry the audience back a century or so to the outstanding music of half a dozen French composers. It’s hard to find fault with anything presented on this difficult and immensely satisfying program, which was part of the Con Brio Chamber Series, masterfully played, and dedicated to the memory of Ken Leghorn.

The concert opened with the strong, legato tone of Maia Wolf’s violin playing of “Le cygne” by Saint-Saëns. Following on its melodic heels was the third movement of “Piano Trio in G Major, Opus 3” by Ernest Chausson. Solid support was given violinist Lindsay Clark and pianist Lorrie Heagy by cellist Meghan Johnson, whose intonation throughout the concert was as fine as that which I’ve heard from any cellist.

Harpist Candace LiVolsi gave this Juneau audience a rare treat with her excellent performance of “Au matin” by Tournier. She played as though St. Peter had allowed one of his finest harpists to descend to earth for this one performance.

To end the first half, pianist Mary Watson, cellist Meghan Johnson, and flutist Sally Schlichting breezed authoritatively and delightfully through the difficult passages of “Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano” by Farrenc.

The latter half of the program was dominated by two compositions by Claude Debussy (“Syrinx” and “Sonata No. 2 for flute, viola and harp”). Flutist Sally Schlichting gave her typically superb performance of the first of these a cappella. For the sonata, she was joined by violist Sam Williams and harpist Candace LiVolsi to form a trio of musicians hard to surpass anywhere.

Between these two Debussy compositions was Lili Boulanger’s “Nocturne,” played excellently by violinist Lindsay Clark and harpist Candace LiVolsi.

Many reviews conclude with faint praise for the pianist. Typical is “Adequate accompaniment was rendered by so-and-so.” Well, the accompaniment in this concert was played outstandingly by Laurie Heagy and Mary Watson. Both lent power and line to enhance every composition they played.

This was as fine a musical tribute as Juneau might offer the beloved Ken Leghorn, who left us too soon but will be remembered gratefully by those who received the benefit of his friendship and good works.

Editor’s note: Ken Leghorn, whom this editor had the pleasure of knowing, was a well-known member of the Juneau community. He was a skilled violinist, a founder of the Juneau Community Foundation, the owner of Pack Creek Bear tours, and more. Ken was an outdoorsman, musician, philanthropist and adventurer. He died of cancer on April 11, 2017. Read a Juneau Empire article about his life here: http://juneauempire.com/news/2017-04-21/he-belongs-alaska-adventurer-wilderness-conservationist-ken-leghorn-dies-62