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Choral and Vocal
SOMBER GERMAN POETRY IN SONG AT ROSCHMANN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Two weeks does make a hefty difference. Feb. 3 saw the diva Renée Fleming beguile a full Weill Hall house in a mix of Brahms, Broadway show songs and Dvorak chestnuts. It was a gala event with couture gowns and colorful extra-musical communication between singer and her rapt audience. Dorothea Rösc...
Chamber
NOVEL AND FAMILIAR WORKS FROM THE TILDEN TRIO
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 11, 2018
North Coast chamber music fans have the luxury of two fine resident piano trios, with the frequently performing Trio Navarro at Sonoma State, and the Tilden Trio at San Rafael’s Dominican University. The Tilden plays less often, but their Feb. 11 performance brought several hundred to Angelico Hall ...
Symphony
A FIFTH CONTENDER ENTERS THE RING FOR THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Saturday, February 10, 2018
In these international times, what makes a piece of music American? For Michael Christie, the answer is that it needs to have at least premiered on these shores, if not been composed here. Thus the rationale for the “all American” program that Christie--the fifth and final conducting candidate for t...
Recital
HAUNTING RACHMANINOFF WORKS IN HU'S MAO RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, February 08, 2018
Ching-Yun Hu made a return Music at Oakmont appearance Feb. 8 in Berger Auditorium, reprising a recital she made in the same hall four years ago. Many of the recital’s trappings were the same, but the music Ms. Hu chose to play was decidedly different. All afternoon the pianist was in an aggressiv...
Chamber
A COMPLETE ARTISTIC PACKAGE IN FLEMING'S WEILL HALL RECITAL
by Vaida Falconbridge and Mary Beard
Saturday, February 03, 2018
The diva Renée Fleming strode on the Weill Hall stage Feb. 2 in her first couture gown of the evening, a gray and swirling cream strapless sheath with flamboyant coordinating stole. For this concert, Ms. Fleming stayed to somewhat lighter fare, foregoing heavier dramatic and coloratura arias for a v...
Recital
ZNAIDER-KULEK DUO CHARMS AND CHALLANGES WEILL AUDIENCE FEB. 2
by Terry McNeill
Friday, February 02, 2018
Weill hall has mounted several exceptional piano recitals, with Garrick Ohlsson’s titanic Liszt concert, and of course Lang Lang’s two insouciant but also compelling performances topping the list since 2013. But arguably the virtuoso violinists have on balance been more impressive, and thoughts g...
Chamber
VIVID GERMAN ROMANTICISM IN VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT IN SCHROEDER
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Though not new to Sonoma County, the Valley of the Moon Music Festival (VOM) concerts are relatively recent in the Green Music Center’s Schroeder Hall. So the first of three spring concerts Jan. 27 provided a picture of what’s in the repertoire leading up to their Festival this summer at Sonoma’s Ha...
Symphony
MONUMENTAL NIELSEN SYMPHONY CAPS SO CO PHIL CONCERT AT SR HS
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Turning again away from conventional repertoire, the Sonoma County Philharmonic programmed Jan. 27 three works in what were local debut performances in Santa Rosa High School’s Performing Arts Center. Nielsen’s Fourth Symphony, Op. 29, called “Inextinguishable,” closed the program with an extravaga...
Chamber
ECLECTIC ANDERSON & ROE TRANSCRIPTIONS CAPTIVATE WEILL HALL AUDIENCE
by Nicki Bell
Sunday, January 21, 2018
From the first moment when Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe walked Jan. 21 on the Weill Hall stage and spoke to the audience about their two-piano program, it was clear that an afternoon of drama, humor, virtuosity, warmth, transcendence and excitement was in store. This dynamic and mesmerizing ...
Chamber
BALCOM TRIO HIGHLIGHTS DELPHI'S RAC CONCERT IN OCCIDENTAL
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, January 20, 2018
The Redwood Arts Council audience first met the Delphi Trio (Jeffrey LaDeur, (piano), Liana Berube (violin), and cellist Michelle Kwon) in 2013, and subsequent concerts in the same Occidental hall have become crowd favorites. The January 20th program before a capacity audience seemed to have enthus...
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.