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Stage: Hot Ticket

By JOHN FLEMING

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 13, 2001


Cellist spotlights the traditional

Cellist spotlights the traditional

Cellist Lowell Adams has long been a champion of contemporary music, but his recital on Sunday afternoon has only one selection by a living composer, the Episode Cinquieme of Frenchwoman Betsy Jolas. The rest of the program has works by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Faure and Ravel.

"This is a more traditional program," said Adams, assistant principal cello with the Florida Orchestra and co-founder of Spectrum, a modern music ensemble. "I'm allowed to do that occasionally. I've concentrated on 20th century music for so long."

The big work on the agenda is Brahms' Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major. "Brahms had an affinity for the cello sound," Adams said. "He was somewhat of an amateur cellist, and that's why in all the symphonies and all the chamber music, there's always some really poignant, important low lines. But in the F major he uses the cello as more of a tenor voice, so it's written in a higher register."

Also on the program are Beethoven's variations on a theme from Mozart's opera, The Magic Flute, an appropriate choice, since Adams spent the summer as first cello with the Lake George Opera Festival in upstate New York. He will be joined in the recital by pianist Noreen Cassidy-Polera.

The performance is at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. Tickets: $7 and $15. (727) 896-2667.

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