“Alexandra Mascolo-David gave a delightful concert Sunday, completing the Ames Town and Gown Chamber Music Association’s 51st season. The performance took place at the Martha Ellen Tye Recital Hall on the Iowa State University (ISU) campus. Portuguese by birth, Mascolo-David has studied in her native country and the United States and has performed as soloist and with orchestras in Europe and the Americas. She was a member of the ISU for two years and now teaches at Central Michigan University.
This reviewer was struck by her depth and coherence of interpretation, the clarity of her articulation, and the beauty of her touch. In the Beethoven Sonata No. 17 in D minor, “The Tempest,” she set forth the celestial serenity of theAdagio movement, then contrasted it with the drama and uncertainty of theAllegretto. She posed the simple calm of the Chopin’s Nocturnes in contrast with the complex rhythm and unstable harmony in his “Fantaisie-impromptu.”
There was both adversity and a unity in the performance that made for a most rewarding evening. The inclusion of works by the Portuguese composer António Fragoso and Brazilian composer Francisco Mignone made for diversity. At the same time, the experience of the concert was unified by the manner in which the works invited the listener to compare how the different composers interpreted similar emotions. Portions of the Fragoso’s “Petite suite” and of Mignone’s “Valsas brasileiras,” for example, displayed as dramatic an intense feeling as Beethoven’s “Tempest Sonata” or the Chopin “Fantaisie-impromptu.”