UBC School of Music
Pacific Spirit Concerts

Jane Coop piano

Angela Cavadas violin, Jason Ho violin, Isabelle Roland viola, Joseph Elworthy cello, Kenneth Friedman bass

Date and Venue 19 November 2006 @ 16.00 UBC Recital Hall

Reviewer Ed Farolan

The opening concert of UBC's Pacific Spirits Concerts for the 2006-07 season firmly accented the beautiful musicianship of prominent and distinguished Canadian pianist Jane Coop who heads the Keyboard Division at UBC's School of Music.

Her exuberant and passionate rendition of Beethoven's lesser known work, Sonata No. 4 in E flat, Op. 7 mesmerized the audience. You could hear a pin drop in the dramatic pauses of the first movement, Allegro molto e con brio in E flat major.

In her introduction, she mentioned that this movement was nothing else but rhythms; and yet, she played these "rhythms" in such a way that one couldn't help but focus on her delivery. The next movement, Largo, con gran espressione in C major was indeed long but fully expressive and emotional. Following this was Allegro (e minore) in E flat major and E flat minor where she manifested grace and a polished performance. The last movement Rondo: Poco allegretto e grazioso in E flat major was delightful and merited well deserved ovations from an audience mostly comprised of academics and students.

The second part of the concert was Vancouver composer Frederick Schipizky's Quintet for Strings, in three movements: Andante commodo Allegro, Andante con moto, Allegro molto - Rondo. Schipizky is a graduate of UBC's School of Music and currently plays Bass with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He was in the audience and was given a warm applause after the piece was performed by Angela Cavadias (violin), Jason Ho (violin), Isabelle Roland (viola), Joseph Elworthy (cello), and Kenneth Friedman (bass).

The quintet performed excellently, but I had some doubts about the composition, as I'm not a big fan of modern composers. There's that tendency towards atonality which perhaps is purposeful to many modern day composers as they try to reflect the chaos of modern society. Such compositions are disturbing and rightly so as their music represents the hurriedness and confusion of modern man caught up in the anguish and dissipation of life. This was how I felt and thought as the quintet played his piece.

The last part of the afternoon show was Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 21 which was performed in chamber version. Jane Coop with the String Quintet performed the three movements, Maestoso, Larghetto and Allegro vivace magnificently, and were given a standing ovation by half of a full house audience at the end of their performance.

During the post concert reception, I congratulated Coop for her performance and I asked her if the dramatic pauses in Beethoven's Sonata were written down in his notes, and she said yes, as I had thought she had created them herself. I also asked how she could deliver this little known Beethoven masterpiece without the book, and she simply smiled and said, "That's a long story."

© 2006 Ed Farolan