Rindt & Friends opens tomorrow

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Rindt & Friends opens tomorrowNew music, and one encore piece, will be on the program for Patrick Rindt & Friends, to be presented this weekend on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Ridgecrest United Methodist Church.

For this second collaboration of Rindt & Friends, the local pianist-composer will once again collaborate with David Hodgson for another song cycle set to the poetry of Edwin Arlington Robinson. Patrick will also unveil to Ridgecrest audiences a cello sonata featuring Beth Vandervennet.

Patrick and Beth will be joined by violist Darcy Rindt for a piano trio, and the Rindt siblings will once again perform Patrick’s viola sonata — a crowd pleaser from the 2017 performances.

Patrick graduated from Burroughs High School before going on to study piano performance at the prestigious Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. His promising career as a concert pianist was cut short when an injury limited him to left-hand performance. But after a while, that led to his venturing into composition.

“It may sound odd, but I think I was born to be a left-hand pianist,” he said. “While it was crucial to be trained as a typical two-handed pianist, ultimately it was most productive for me to suffer an injury that led to the relatively uncharted possibilities of left-hand composing and performing.”

He cited Igor Stravinsky’s famous conjecture that constraints on an artist can lead to more robust creativity.

“But there’s also a sense in which the virtuosity of left-hand-alone composing and performing suits my personality,” he said. While several of his pieces are challenging to play, he said, limiting the piano part to one hand prevents an over-the-top display of virtuosity that can cross into less elegant territory. “As the Emperor said in ‘Amadeus’ — ‘Too many notes!’”

Instead, his musical companions — which have so far ranged from mezzo soprano voice to trumpet to clarinet, along with his above-mentioned collaborators — can help carry the melodic strains supported by his pianistic harmonics (although in his solo works he manages both).

“You’ll hear terms like ‘Neoclassical’ and ‘Neoromantic’ used to describe various postmodern styles of compositions,” he said, noting that those styles can ironically or self-consciously evoke more accessible classical music of past centuries.

He instead characterizes his own throwback style as Classical Revival — “meaning, my own goal is to try to continue the tradition of classical music that somehow went off the rails during the 20th century.”

Patrick said that he introduces some of the new elements introduced in the 20th century — greater freedom with harmony, rhythm, form and texture — without taking these innovations to extremes.

He said he is pleased by the feedback from his audiences who find emotional satisfaction in both his classical and popular compositions. “I think this indicates there is really no difference in the artistic quality of good classical music and good popular music.”

“The 2017 concert was wonderful — both because the music was wonderful and because there was a freshness to the music: an exploring of new territory, which always makes the arts more charming,” said Dr. Larry Cosner, who joins the “Rindt & Friends” team this year as emcee and poetry moderator.

Cosner joined Patrick in 2018 as a founding member of the Ridgecrest Robinson Society, which studies and celebrates the work of one of Patrick’s primary muses.

Cosner said he had the chance to listen to Patrick perform the Robinson-inspired “Llewellyn and the Tree” with Hodgson at a sneak preview. “It was fabulous!” he said.

“Robinson’s poetry — his storytelling — is a curious and engaging mix. He uses many of the traditional elements of classical poetry — the meter and the rhymes and all — yet it tells stories and paints images that are clearly of our era,” said Cosner.

“And this fits perfectly with Patrick’s music, which draws from the richest, greatest wells of classical music and puts a 21st-century shine on it. They are a great combination!”

He said he believes the upcoming performance will be “a couple of hours of supreme pleasure” for all who attend.

“But more, they will come away with an appreciation for Robinson the poet and Rindt the composer — and their combined art — that will deepen the enjoyment of any other music and poetry. Because in many ways, that is what great artistry does — it makes all other art around a person that much more vibrant. So it is with Patrick’s work.”

Tickets are $25 general admission, with a reduced cost of $20 for seniors, military and youth, available at Cosner-Neipp Corp.

Pictured: Patrick Rindt in his composing studio — Photo by Rebecca Neipp

Story First Published: 2019-08-16