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Recital
ELEGANT PIANISM IN WATER MUSIC CHARMS HOUSE RECITAL AUDIENCE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 03, 2017
A standard component of house concerts often involve listeners hearing the music but also smelling the lasagna and seeing the champagne in the adjacent kitchen. But it was not the case Sept. 3 at Sandra Shen’s Concerts Grand House Recital performance, as her riveting piano playing enthralled the sm...
Chamber
YOUNG MUSICIANS SHINE AT PIANO SONOMA CONCERT
by Lee Ormasa
Tuesday, August 01, 2017
The third in a series of four concerts by Piano Sonoma artists in residence, part of the Vino and Vibrato Series, was held August 1 in Schroeder Hall at the Green Music Center. Entitled “The Masters,” the program included works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn. Piano Sonoma is a summer artist-in...
Chamber
THRILLING PROGRAM CLOSES VOM CHAMBER FESTIVAL AT HANNA CENTER
by Lee Ormasa
Sunday, July 30, 2017
The finale of the two-week Valley of the Moon Music Festival closed July 30 with “The Age of Bravura” concert at the Sonoma’s Hanna Boys Center. The musical selections held to this year’s Festival theme “Schumann’s World - His Music and the Music He Loved.“ This summer Festival features chamber mus...
Chamber
PERIOD INSTRUMENTAL SOUND AT PENULTIMATE VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, July 30, 2017
In the Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival’s penultimate concert July 30 the perennial issue of period and modern instruments was apparent. But only in the concluding Mendelssohn Trio, as the performances in the two first half works easily avoided instrumental comparisons. Clara Schumann’s t...
Chamber
ECLECTIC REPERTOIRE IN FETCHING VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, July 22, 2017
One of the purposes of summer music festivals is to present unfamiliar music in an attractive and often small audience setting. The Valley of the Moon Music Festival delightfully met these requirements July 22 and 23 with two concerts in the small hall at Sonoma’s Hanna Boys Center. Classical Sono...
Recital
ADAMS' PHRYGIAN GATES HIGHLIGHTS MORKOSKI FESTIVAL PERFORMANCE
by Lee Ormasa
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Attendees at the Molly Morkoski Mendocino Music Festival recital July 22 were in for a treat, both pianistically and if they happened to buy a tasty cookie during intermission. The program included Beethoven’s Op. 27 Moonlight Sonata, Adams’ Phrygian Gates, a surprise add-on of Grieg’s Holberg Suit...
Symphony
SOARING VERDI REQUIEM CLOSES 31ST MENDOCINO FESTIVAL
by Lee Ormasa
Saturday, July 22, 2017
We speak frequently about how there is nothing like the experience of a live performance. Seldom was this truer than at the July 22 closing performance of the two-week Mendocino Music Festival. The Festival Orchestra, conducted by of Allan Pollack, joined with the Festival Chorus in a moving renderi...
Recital
ORGAN REGISTRATION MASTERY HEARD IN WALHAIN'S RECITAL
by Robert Young
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
A group of 65 lucky attendees July 18 had the pleasure of hearing Etienne Walhain’s recital at the Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa. Mr. Walhain is organist at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Tournai, Belgium, and played to a varied program Bach, Franck, and Reger. He used the tonal resource...
Opera
DONIZETTI'S DON PASQUALE HAS LYRICAL CHARM IN MENDOCINO FESTIVAL PRODUCTION
by Elly Lichenstein
Friday, July 14, 2017
Mendocino Music Festival's production of Donizetti's beloved opera buffa Don Pasquale - a one-night affair July 15 that was presented in an enormous tent on a greensward overlooking the Pacific Ocean - delighted an audience of more than 600 while doing some real justice to this frothy gem of commedi...
Recital
NOVACEK'S 2ND HALF TRIFECTA SCORES AT MENDO MUSIC FESTIVAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Modern classical piano recitals are in two parts, with longer and perhaps more profound music proceeding perhaps shorter and usually stimulating lighter fare. In John Novacek’s July 13 Mendocino Music Festival recital the best playing came unexpectedly in the eight abbreviated works comprising the ...
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.