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SONGS AND ECHOES OF HOME IN AIZURI QUARTET CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, March 08, 2020
From the first richly layered harmonies of Dvořák’s Cypresses, the Aizuri Quartet held the March 8th audience at Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church in thrall. The church was more than half full, a good crowd considering present anxiety about the spread of the coronavirus. Taking precautions, the M...
Choral and Vocal
COLORFUL BORN BACH AT AGAVE BAROQUE'S SCHROEDER HALL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, February 28, 2020
Bach’s obituary records that “Johann Sebastian Bach belongs to a family that seems to have received a love and aptitude for music as a gift of Nature to all its members in common.” Agave Baroque presented their Feb. 28 concert, Born Bach, as a partial musical story of several generations in this rem...
ECLECTIC VIOLIN AND PIANO WORKS IN VIRTUOSIC MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Blending virtuosity with sublime artistry, violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky and pianist Wu Qian gave the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society audience many thrills February 23, performing four muscular and soulful works by four composers from four countries: de Falla, Schumann, Stravinsky, and Grieg. T...
PREMIER OF KAIZEN AND DRAMATIC MOZART HIGHLIGHT ECHO CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 16, 2020
As concertgoers took their seats in San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church for ECHO Chamber Orchestra’s February 16 program, they were surprised to see at center stage two bass drums, a tom-tom, bongos, high hat and cymbals. It was the occasion of the world premiere of "Kaizen," composed and perf...
BEETHOVEN'S VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT IN RAC SEBASTOPOL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, February 14, 2020
Continuing a season of Redwood Arts Council successes, the Kouzov Duo performed an eclectic Valentine’s Day concert in Sebastopol’s Community Church before an audience of 125. Beethoven’s charming Op. 66 Variations on Mozart’s “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen” from the opera the Magic Flute was a bouncy ...
LUSH BACH PERFORMANCE IN DENK'S WEILL HALL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Memorable artistic interpretations of musical masterpieces are often at extremes, and with the Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (WTC - Book I) that Jeremy Denk played in Weill Hall Feb. 13, the pianist was only sporadically at unique or ebullient musical ends. But his playing wasn’t exactly at opposite...
BROWNE, PAREMSKI HEAD STELLAR CAST AT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CONCERT
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 09, 2020
The Feb. 9 performance by the Santa Rosa Symphony offered a healthy dose of 21st century music firmly bound to the 19th. Matt Browne’s first symphony, “The Course of Empire”—based on a series of five paintings by Thomas Cole, who founded the Hudson River School of American painting in the 1820s—emp...
FRENCH ORCHESTRAL MUSIC A FIRST FOR THE SO CO PHILHARMONIC
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 02, 2020
Over many years the Sonoma County Philharmonic has played little French music, but perhaps this oversight was corrected Feb. 2 in a splendid all-Gallic program Feb. 1 and 2 in the Jackson Theater. Classical Sonoma reviewed the Sunday afternoon concert. In his eighth conducting season with the So C...
POLISH MUSICAL WORLDS GLOW BRIGHT IN NFM WROCLAW WEILL PERFORMANCE
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, February 01, 2020
The NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic, with conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, gave a concert of enormous energy and emotional impact on Feb.1 to a small audience in Weill Hall. This orchestra has been a major cultural force in Poland since 1949, playing under many renowned conductors and has been committed to pr...
EXTRAVAGANT ARIAS IN NEXT GENERATION TENORS GALA VALLEJO CONCERT
by Mark Kratz
Saturday, February 01, 2020
“Beautiful, strange, and unnatural…” said orchestra conductor Thomas Conlin when speaking of the tenor voice. One of the coveted voice types of the opera world, the tenor voice is known for it’s piercing tones and soaring, unnatural high notes. The iconic image of the Pagliacci clown (in the famed...
RECITAL REVIEW
Concerts Grand / Sunday, November 01, 2009
Elizabeth MacDougall, Pianist

elizabeth MacDougall Accepts Standing-Room Only Applause

MACDOUGALL'S MAGICAL SCHUMANN IN UKIAH RECITAL

by James Houle
Sunday, November 01, 2009

A composed and elegant Elizabeth MacDougall provided dramatic piano playing Nov. 1 to a capacity audience in Mendocino College’s Choral Room. Extra chairs were brought in, a rare event for a Ukiah piano recital, and the added attendees heard a sparkling recital of four formidable composers. Sponsored by Concerts Grand and the College’s Music Club, the afternoon’s program was carefully balanced and Ms. MacDougall was warmly greeted upon entering, the audience surely sprinkled with friends and students as well as piano aficionados.

The printed program was played entirely from score.

Bach's Prelude and Fugue in G Major from Book II of the Well-Tempered Clavier was opening piece and heated the overflow audience quickly. The Preludium was a little hurried, Ms. MacDougall avoiding any rubato and concentrating on finger staccato. The Fugue was expressive, the two-voice countersubjects heard clearly.

Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestüke (Op. 12) was definitely the jewel of the afternoon, and the opening Des Abends was a wistful tribute to evening hours. Aufschwung certainly soared out of Ms. MacDougall's hands like an angry cat springing into the air. The bass line of triplets was never blurred, never hurried. Warum was played as a dreamy and inquisitive thought, and the artist passionately performed In Der Nacht where the sixteenth notes in the bass ran into darkness and she deftly manipulated multiple layers of melodic writing in the same hand. It was a bravura reading. The Traumes Wirren displayed a most a skilled right-hand rotation technique and chimera sound, and the concluding Ende vom Lied with sturdy chordal writing was upon us much too soon.

Prokofiev's Sonata No. 3 in B flat erupted wildly, the audience still in peaceful repose after the final section of the Schumann. The third theme was particularly explosive and another theme then made me think of running mice with its rhythmic energy.

Following intermission the pianist seemed in a hurry to get into the Beethoven’s B-flat Sonata, Opus 22. She strode through the double octaves with frightening precision in the Allegro. The Adagio was given a thoughtful interpretation but lacked expressiveness despite the molta espressione notation. The final Rondo was effective but at times rushed. The audience seems disappointed to be at the end of the recital and clamored for Ms. MacDougall to reappear.

One encore was offered, an abbreviated Chopin Waltz, Op. 64, No. 1. Though already short, the famous “Minute” Waltz became one of 30 seconds as the second theme (marked sostenuto) and recapitulation were not played. A strange omission in an otherwise sterling concert.