Prize-winning pianist Goode to perform Sunday at HCC

Beethoven, Bach, Chopin on program for Candlelight Concert

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May 03, 2001|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SUN STAFF

Two weeks after being the host for Elmar Oliveira, a violinist's violinist, Candlelight Concerts of Columbia is poised to present a pianist's pianist Sunday.

Richard Goode is not known for his fire-breathing renditions of warhorses such as the Tchaikovsky 1st and Rachmaninoff 3rd piano concertos. He plays Chopin beautifully, but in a scrupulously crafted manner that's short on flash and dash, and I'm not sure he's ever closed a recital with a razzle-dazzle transcription of "Carmen" or Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever."

But when aficionados get around to comparing notes on, say, integral sets of Beethovens's 32 sonatas - the holiest of Holy Grails that only a select group of pianists has been invited to record - Goode's name invariably comes up.

"It is not just the power of Goode's playing that singles him out, but the beauty, when he has such subtle control over a formidably wide tonal and dynamic range," says the influential "Penguin Guide" of Goode's 10-compact disc set for the Nonesuch label.

Also notable in the pianist's discography are the half-dozen or so Mozart piano concertos he has recorded so sumptuously with the conductor-less Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and a probing, revelatory set of three Partitas by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Goode also values musical collaboration, which is attested by his program of songs by Schubert, Schumann, Mozart and Hugo Wolf with soprano Dawn Upshaw.

He has been awarded first prize in the Clara Haskil Competition, the Avery Fisher Prize and a Grammy that he shared with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman for their recorded collaboration.

In recent seasons, Goode has appeared with the orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Cleveland, and he is a regular visitor to such august venues as Vienna's Knozerthaus, Austria's Salzburg Festival and London's Wigmore Hall.

He continues to join Upshaw for recitals across North America and serves with the Japanese pianist Mitsuko Uchida as co-director of the Marlboro Festival, the American chamber music event that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Sunday's fare comes from composers with whom Goode is closely identified: Bach, Beethoven and Chopin.

Goode will play a pair of Chopin Mazurkas and the "Barcarolle" and E major Nocturne of the great Polish pianist-composer; Bach's D minor "French Suite" and 1st Partita; and Beethoven's Sonata No. 31, opus 110.

Candlelight Concerts presents Richard Goode at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Smith Theatre on the campus of Howard Community College in Columbia. Tickets are $24 general admission, $18 for seniors and $9 for students. For reservations or information, call 410-715-0034 or 301-596-6203.

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