Outside, the cold rain and wind made spring seem invisible. Fortunately, there was ample available parking close by, so quickly I was inside the warmth of a cozy room and the atmosphere of a 19th-century salon. 

This evening the local cultural destination hosted the wonderful keyboard talents of Janna Pavlovska Moltz. Introduced by Henry Fogel, Chicago’s musical voice, the recital featured works of Chopin and Schumann, two of the piano’s most gifted spokesmen. The differences and strengths of the two composers were well highlighted by both the onstage conversation of Mr. Fogel and greatly illustrated by the masterful playing of Ms. Moltz.

 The three Chopin nocturnes played by Ms. Moltz were beautifully interpreted, showing the dark emotions the composer brought to his music. “Kreisleriana” by Schumann rounded out her program. This difficult collection of vignettes, representing the contrast of personalities that existed in the composer’s psyche, was played masterfully. Though the piece is technically difficult, the true test is letting the voices of Schumann’s split personality be heard in the performance. This task was skillfully accomplished by Ms. Moltz. It also should be mentioned that her playing was augmented by a beautifully tuned piano.

For those who frequent the cultural offerings that the 19th Century Club presents, the night’s high level of performance and conversation was no surprise. Certainly for all in attendance, it was fortunate that they came out on a cold, rainy April evening. All in the Oak Park area can look forward to the musical and other cultural gems the 19th Century Club has in store in the future.

Richard Schneider

River Forest

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