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Wednesday, January 18, 2017
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 Recent Reviews
CHAMBER
FAST BUT NOT ALWAYS FURIOUS IN OAKMONT CELLO RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, January 12, 2017
New England-based cellist Edward Arron played an encore recital Jan. 12 at Music at Oakmont’s Berger Auditorium that was a in almost every way a success and surely an audience delight. Beginning with Bach’s G Major Sonata gamba the cellist and pianist Jeewon Park played the work that rolls along wi...
SYMPHONY
SYMPHONIC SPLENDOR AND HARP VIRTUOSITY AT SRS CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 07, 2017
A rainy winter Weill Hall audience of 800 heard the Santa Rosa Symphony Jan. 7 in an eclectic program of four composers including a provocative harp concerto. The music was preceded by manifold stage announcements and somber recognition of SRS musicians that had recently died. A rollicking performa...
CHORAL AND VOCAL
A MAJESTIC ABS MESSIAH ORATORIO RESOUNDS IN WEILL DEC. 18
by Joanna Bramel Young
Sunday, December 18, 2016
San Francisco’s American Bach Soloists (ABS) presented Handel’s incomparable oratorio Messiah, HWV 56, to a sold out Weill Hall Dec. 18. It was a celebratory afternoon. In the fashion ABS audiences have learned to expect, conductor Jeffrey Thomas brought out the best of orchestra, chorus and solo...
SYMPHONY
HEAR THE TOLLING OF THE BELLS--IRON BELLS!
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 04, 2016
Thanks to the generosity of Don Green (as in Green Music Center), the Santa Rosa Symphony has for many years performed an annual choral program, usually during the holiday season. In keeping with this tradition, the orchestra and the SSU Symphonic Chorus featured Rachmaninoff’s choral symphony “The ...
CHORAL AND VOCAL
EARLY CHRISTMAS SEASON TRIUMPH FOR 24 ANGELS IN WEILL
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Weill Hall Nov. 27 was packed with an audience of young and old excitedly waiting for an early holiday concert by the Vienna Boys Choir, and this esteemed Choir is a five-hundred year institution which is based in a school of 100 choristers. Four touring groups divide their time between studying and...
SYMPHONY
SENSUAL OPERATIC BON BONS AT SO CO PHIL CONCERT
by Alan Bloom
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Music Director Norman Gamboa never fails to come up with interesting programs for his Sonoma County Philharmonic concerts. It was all opera music for the second concert set of the 2016-2017 season Nov. 19 in the Santa Rosa High School Auditorium. From the romantic opening swells of the Berlioz’ Ov...
SYMPHONY
ORION WEISS TAKES BARTÓK AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 06, 2016
Gifted pianists are everywhere these days, but few have the prodigious speed, stamina, and musicality of Orion Weiss. He exhibited all these qualities in a memorable rendition of Béla Bartók’s second piano concerto with the Santa Rosa Symphony Nov. 6 in Weill. Weiss is a no-nonsense pianist. He sea...
SYMPHONY
TADDEI TRIUMPH IN VSO SEASON OPENING CONCERT
by Elizabeth Warnimont
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Vallejo Symphony Orchestra's guest soloist Sara Davis Buechner wowed her audience Oct. 30 in a stellar performance of Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto, the second of three pieces comprising the symphony’s season-opening performance in Hogan Auditorium and the debut of its new music director, Marc Ta...
CHAMBER
TASTY TRIO NAVARRO CONCERT WITH SRS WIND VIRTUOSI
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 23, 2016
SSU’s resident Trio Navarro has a long history of presenting diverse programs in the piano trio format, with occasional out-of-area artists joining the mix. This familiar configuration was altered in an Oct. 23 Schroeder Hall concert with the deletion of the violin part and the addition of two ster...
RECITAL
SOUND AND FURY IN MATSUEV WEILL HALL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, October 22, 2016
A touring virtuoso’s reputation often precedes him or her, and usually that’s a good thing. The reputation of a Renée Fleming or a Yo Yo Ma can guarantee a sold out hall, and possibly a great concert. But not always, and so there was some concern at Russian pianist Denis Matsuev’s Oct. 23 Weill re...
Local Concerts  
CHAMBER REVIEW
Ft. Bragg Center For the Arts / Sunday, January 15, 2017
Carolyn Steinbuck, piano; Marcia Sloane, cello; Eric Kritz, clarinet

E. Kritz, C. Steinbuck and M. Sloane Bowing Before Preston Hall Audience

A MUSICAL ODYSSEY IN RIVITING PRESTON HALL RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 15, 2017

A standing room audience warmly greeted pianist Carolyn Steinbuck Jan. 15 in the season’s second Ft. Bragg Center For the Arts concert in Mendocino’s plebian Preston Hall.

Ms. Steinbuck, to be joined in the program’s second half by clarinetist Eric Kritz and cellist Marcia Sloane, programmed Schubert’s big B-Flat Major Sonata, D. 960. Schubert’s piano music is seemingly now on every recital program, but this is a recent development, and the first recording of a Schubert Sonata was as late as 1928. The pianist read extensive program notes and discussed the reasons for deciding to take the first movement repeat before beginning a 40-minute musical odyssey.

But the odyssey, although long, never dragged and underscored what pianists call the Schubert’s “heavenly length.” The tempos throughout the Sonata were judicious and never hurried, leaving room for many variations in the low bass trills and voice leading. The Hall’s resident piano was voiced warmly rather than brilliantly, and through the first two movements the playing was both dramatic and poetic. There were little artistic touches everywhere, including an arpeggiated chord before the Molto moderato’s concluding chords, and a beguiling and carefully shaped three-note repeated left-hand figures (played seco) in the Andante. The playing here was a highlight in the concert.

Ms. Steinbuck, a seminal figure in Mendocino County music for many years, pushed the tempo in the concluding Allegro but the music never got out of hand, and drew a raucous standing ovation. It was a workman performance that focused on the spirituality and often-delicate repose of the composer’s last and greatest Sonata.

Following a long intermission Mr. Kritz and Ms. Sloane joined the pianist for Muczynski’s Fantasy Trio, Op. 26, the work last heard locally with the Trio Navarro in 2015. The four-movement composition from 1971 received a reading that alternated aggressive rhythms and lyrical outbursts. It’s a free wheeling trio with constantly changing meter, and sporadically the clarinet line was lost in the sonic mix. Ms. Sloane played a long opening line in the Andante over pedal point in the piano, then Mr. Kritz performed a mournful theme over drone phrases from the cello. The music is not nostalgic, just sad, with a soft and haunting last cello and clarinet notes.

Strongly syncopated rhythmic playing and clipped phrases characterized the Allegro Deciso, the music jabbing with quick thrusts, and the Finale went from a bucolic beginning to a jaunty conclusion, with whiffs of sardonic Shostakovich. Ms. Sloane’s cello had the requisite low note growl.

Brahms’ late romanticism was on display in the concluding Clarinet Trio, Op. 114. Instrumental colors were foremost here with a wider cello vibrato and some pesky string pitch wavering in the high registers. Much of the lovely Adagio was question and response phrasing between Ms. Sloane and Ms. Kritz, with a subsidiary piano line. Mr. Kritz’s deft clarinet playing dominated the Andantino with phrasing of a tender dance.

A typical raucous Brahms Allegro ended the work with a perfect instrumental interplay of the many structural sequences of falling thirds. It was short, just under five minutes, but packed with energetic and at times virtuosic playing.

Another standing ovation brought this stellar Trio back for an encore, a droll and circus like piece (“Trickster”) by Ms. Sloane that not surprisingly featured her cello playing. It was spirited and a little spooky in a refined way, with a charming long decrescendo to a quiet finish.

Clearly Ms. Steinbuck’s Trio is a North Coast favorite and presented a performance that combined provocative programing, transparent ensemble and exemplary playing.

Events Calendar

RECITAL
Mastercard Performance Series
Friday, January 20, 2017
7:30 PM - Rohnert Park
Emanuel Ax, piano
Chopin: Impromptus, Op. 29 and Op. 36; Sonata in B Minor (No. 3), Op. 58; Schubert: Impromptus (Op. 142, D. 935) interspersed with new Samuel Adams compositions (based on Schubert): "10/17/2017"; "Af...
Details

CHAMBER
Redwood Arts Council
Friday, January 20, 2017
7:30 PM - Occidental
Miró Quartet. Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer, violin; John Largess, viola; Joshua Gindele, ce
Beethoven Opus #131, #132...
Details

RECITAL
Creative Arts Series
Sunday, January 22, 2017
3:30 PM - Santa Rosa
Daniel Glover, piano
Chopin: Grand Fantasie on Polish Airs, Op. 13; Haydn: E Minor Sonata, H XVl:34; Brahms Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79; Alkan: Barcarolle in G Minor , Op. 65, No. 6, and "Aesop's Feast"(Etude, Op. 39, No. 12);...
Details

RECITAL
Green Music Center
Sunday, January 22, 2017
3:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Wei Luo, piano
Shostakovich: selected Preludes and Fugues from Op. 87; Beethoven: C Major Sonata, Op. 53 ("Waldstein"); Albéniz: Iberia, Book 1; Prokofiev: Sonata No. 7, Op. 83, in B Flat...
Details

CHAMBER
D'Augelli Bassehes Duo
Sunday, January 22, 2017
3:00 PM - Lakeport
Barbara D'Augelli, flute; Sergei Bassehes, guitar.
Music by Emile Desportes, Mauro Guiliani, Radames Gnattali, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. All seats are reserved. Tickets are $20 and $15. Children 18 and under are free. A four-concert season tick...
Details

CHORAL AND VOCAL
Church of the Incarnation
Sunday, January 22, 2017
5:30 PM - Santa Rosa
Cantiamo Sonoma. Carol Menke, conductor
Choral Evensong. Music by Thomas Tomkins, Sweelinck, Healey Willan, Nicolas Custer, and Ola Gjeilo. Free will donation is requested....
Details

SYMPHONY
Marin Symphony
Friday, January 27, 2017
8:00 PM - San Rafael
Alasdair Neale, conductor. Midori Goto, violin
Bates: Devil's Radio; Britten: Violin Concerto; Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra...
Details

SYMPHONY
Marin Symphony
Saturday, January 28, 2017
8:00 PM - San Rafael
Alasdair Neale, conductor. Midori Goto, violin
Bates: Devil's Radio; Britten: Violin Concerto; Bartok Concerto for Orchestra...
Details

SYMPHONY
Sonoma County Philharmonic
Saturday, January 28, 2017
7:30 PM - Santa Rosa
Norman Gamboa, conductor. Roy Zajac, clarinet
Ravel: Suite from the Ballet "Mother Goose"; Mozart: Concerto for Clarinet in A Major, K. 622; Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. Ravel)...
Details

SYMPHONY
Symphony of the Redwoods
Saturday, January 28, 2017
7:30 PM - Fort Bragg
Alan Pollack, conductor. Livia Sohn, violin and Sharon Wei, viola
Weber: Overture to the Opera Oberon; Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E-Flat Major, K. 364 ; Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 82 ...
Details