Friday, 14 June 2024

Hawley delights CLPA concert goers

KELSEYVILLE – Lake County diamonds can be found in a few places here, but concert goers discovered a hidden gem in local pianist Carolyn Hawley in a concert sponsored by Clear Lake Performing Arts Oct. 19.


Her nearly flawless performance in the intimate confines of Galilee Lutheran Church gave the small but enthusiastic audience a chance to get up close enough to see and admire her exquisite fingering.


She opened her program with Ludwig von Beethoven's monumental Sonata, Op. 53, delicately delivering its initial stately and sonorous measures before graduating to the signature thunderous chords for which this composer is noted.


After getting this thorough opening workout, Clear Lake Performing Arts' grand piano faced more of the same from Hawley's second selection, the Toccata by Russian composer Aram Katchaturian, followed by even more of the same from another contemporary Russian Sergei Prokofief, whose Prelude, Op. 12 gave Hawley yet another chance to demonstrate her complete control over both herself and her instrument.


A surprise addition to the program was a dazzling display of piano artistry on Brazilian composer Hector Villa Lobos" "Pulcinella."


Following the traditional intermission with cookies and juice provided by the CLPA Auxiliary Hawley returned to the keyboard to render just a few of the hundred-plus pieces she has composed herself, opening with her "Nature Suite" in four brief movements invoking the natural beauty of Lake County and its wildlife. "Flamenco" was a fairly traditional approach to that popular style, but a second piece – “Palmas” – employed intricate Latin rhythms.


"Three Lullabies" – the fifth number of her self-composed selections – reverted to a more melodious styling, after which she inserted a more foreboding sound with "Two Night Pieces."


Her finale was a jazz sonatina consisting of three light-hearted odes to drinking which did indeed draw musical pictures of "one too many" and a "Night on the Town" with the latter invoking a party in full swing at the Fairmont or the Top of the Mark in San Francisco.


Hawley is a graduate with an MA in music from Oakland's prestigious Mills College and spent most of her adult life in the Bay Area before retiring in Lake County


The next CLPA concert will take place on Sunday, Nov. 16, when the Lake County Symphony, under the direction of John Parkinson, helps to celebrate the organization's 30th anniversary in a concert at Clear Lake High School in Lakeport.


Additional information may be found at the CLPA Web site, at www.clearlakeperformingarts.org, or by calling 279-0877.


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