Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Feinstein & Hamlisch: Piano Virtuosos In Philly

There is no doubt that both Michael Feinstein and Marvin Hamlisch are piano virtuosos.
You know this as soon as Feinstein plays "I Love A Piano" on the Steinway concert grand.
You know this as soon as Hamlisch plays his adaption of Scott Joplin from the classic film The Sting.
Feinstein's sound is more Broadway, accompanied by his gentle, melodic vocals.
Hamlisch is more Hollywood, with clever riffs and jazz elements thrown in.
They are both superb entertainers.
Feinstein is a master historian of the great American songbook but he doesn't lecture. Instead he weaves his vast knowledge into the stories surrounding the music. Hamlisch incorporates a self-effacing humor and dry wit into his commentaries and they blend seamlessly with the music.
We saw the two of them in a performance at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia over the weekend and enjoyed every moment.
Feinstein the first half; Hamlisch the second.
But here's the best part: The two performed together for several numbers in the final portion of the program. It was perfection.
Every young person (at least every young person over 18) should be brought to a concert such as this and -- just once -- be exposed to masters of the great American songbook.
Our nation would be the better for it.
BTW: Speaking of a better nation, in the audience (at the other end of the row we sat at) were two of Philadelphia's finest citizens, former Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Sayde Ladov and her husband, Cozen & O'Connor law firm partner David Ladov. What a joy it was to see such good friends.

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