Abraham Stokman | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Abraham Stokman 

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Abraham Stokman is one of the city's best-kept musical secrets. For years the Israeli-born pianist has zealously championed new works, particularly those of local composers; I still remember vividly his performance in the late 70s of Ralph Shapey's Fromm Variations, in which he played nonstop for more than an hour and managed to make sense of the elusive structure of a monumental and devilishly difficult score. None of the works on Stokman's solo recital program is quite that epic, but each demands virtuosity. The list includes two of Bach's chorale preludes, in arrangements by Ferruccio Busoni that heighten their sense of grandeur; Liszt's Dante Sonata; four of Debussy's preludes, those miniatures of impressionism; and Gershwin's Three Preludes (1926), which encapsulates the composer's celebrated sound. All in all, this (free) concert--part of a new chamber series at the public library--should serve as an enjoyable reacquaintance with Stokman's pianism. Monday, 12:15 PM, auditorium, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State; 747-4850.

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