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Chamber
UNEXPECTED ARENSKY AND MENDELSSOHN BY THE NAVARRO
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 17, 2019
The 100 people entering Schroeder Hall Feb. 17 for a Trio Navarro concert were handed a program that appeared to feature two popular piano trios, Mendelssohn and Arensky. But continuing the Navarro’s tradition of repertoire exploration, the pieces were not the usual first Mendelssohn and first Aren...
Symphony
MENDELSSOHN'S SCOTTISH SAVES THE EVENING IN SRS WEILL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Monday, February 11, 2019
The audience entering Weill Hall for Santa Rosa Symphony concerts Feb. 9-11 were presented with a program that on first glance appeared a curious patchwork – a great symphony mixed with a seldom heard concerto and two disparate overtures, and a guest conductor unknown locally. Monday night’s concer...
Recital
INTRIGUING BELL-HAYWOOD RECITAL BEFORE FULL HOUSE IN WEILL HALL
by Abby Wasserman
Friday, February 08, 2019
A big portion of the capacity audience in Weill Hall February 8th came to hear violinist Joshua Bell’s virtuosity, and were treated as well to splendid playing from Sam Haywood, Mr. Bell’s regular pianist since 2010. The duo performed three engaging sonatas, highlighted by Mr. Bell’s sterling techn...
Symphony
TRIPLE PLAY UKIAH SYMPHONY CONCERT AND TCHAIKOVSKY SERENADE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Over the years the Ukiah Symphony’s concerts have been in the Classical Sonoma Calendar sections, but rarely has this Orchestra, now in its 39th season, had a full winter season concert review. The provocative Jan. 27 program in Mendocino College’s Center Theater seemed a good reason to reacquaint ...
Symphony
JACKSON THEATER WELCOMES A NEW RESIDENT ORCHESTRA
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Moving to a permanent new performance venue can be a perilous undertaking for an orchestra, with different acoustics, the loyal audience finding the new spot and infrastructure challenges of lighting and lobby and backstage operations. In their first concert Jan. 26 in Windsor’s Jackson Theater the...
Symphony
ECLECTIC PASSIONATE PROGRAMMING AT MARIN SYMPHONY CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, January 26, 2019
The Marin Symphony’s second Masterworks concert of the 2018-19 season featured works by John Adams, Sibelius and Brahms, a masterful assembly. In a spoken introduction before the program’s first half, conductor Alasdair Neale primed the audience for the “terra incognita” of Adams’ The Chairman Dance...
Symphony
A SLICE OF HEAVEN FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Under its vibrant new music director, Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Santa Rosa Symphony this past Sunday offered a nearly perfect afternoon of Mozart (Symphony No. 40) and Mahler (Symphony No. 4). While the two works share a common digit, the only element uniting them is genius. They made for a dazzlin...
Recital
KHOZYAINOV'S BRILLIANT PIANISM IN MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, January 13, 2019
In its third concert of the season the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society Jan. 13 presented Russian virtuoso Nikolay Khozyainov. His intelligent and sensitive interpretations, masterful pedal work, and virtuoso technique left the near-capacity audience in Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church astounded and ...
Chamber
A COMPLETE MUSICAL PACKAGE IN ARRON'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Cellist Edward Arron has been a welcome artist at the Music at Oakmont series, and after his Jan. 10 recital it’s easy to understand his popularity. His artistry is a complete package, with potent instrumental technique wedded to integral musical conceptions. In a nearly flawless concert with pian...
Choral and Vocal
COMPELLING WEILL HALL MESSIAH ORATORIO FROM THE ABS
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Each holiday season when a Classical Sonoma reviewer is assigned to cover a concert with Handel’s seminal Oratorio The Messiah, the question arises about what new commentary can possibly apply to the often performed choral work. Well, if it’s the American Bach Soloists performing the piece, written...
SYMPHONY REVIEW
Marin Symphony / Sunday, February 28, 2010
Alasdair Neale, conductor
Hoyt Smith, narrator

Marin Symphony Flutist Monica Daniel-Barker

RICH ORCHESTRAL PORTRAITS IN MARIN SYMPHONY CONCERT

by
Sunday, February 28, 2010

The fourth “chapter” of the Marin Symphony’s “Season of the Scribe” continued Feb. 28 when Alasdair Neale conducted an inspiring program of Debussy, Copland, and Tchaikovsky in the Marin Civic Center Auditorium.

Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” began the concert with the Orchestra painting one of Debussy’s most impressionistic and popular orchestral works. Principal flutist Monica Daniel-Barker opened the Debussy with an evocative solo, a descent to a tritone below the original pitch, and was joined by oboist Margot Golding, setting the mood of subtle shadings in Debussy’s 1894 masterpiece. The familiar faun motif in its sylvan forest continued throughout, the theme being traded between members of the Orchestra. It was a feast of languorous melodies and shimmering orchestral playing.

In recognition of February as President’s month, Mr. Neale led the Orchestra in Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait,” skillfully narrated by KDFC radio announcer Hoyt Smith. Composed in 1942 during the initial American entry into World War II, this short orchestral work is a musical portrait of America’s 16th president, quoting “Campdown races” and “Springfield Mountain” among other songs.. It’s a beautiful piece with Copland’s discipline of simplicity and clarity setting the mood for Lincoln’s simple but always elegant prose.

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Op. 64, in four movements, completed the program. A passionately lyrical composition, the E Minor Symphony is from 1888 and mirrors the composer’s fascination with man’s fate. Working without a score, Mr. Neale paid special attention to the dotted rhythms, originally heard in the first subject group. The horn solo that begins the second movement (dolce con molto espressione), perhaps the most famous in the symphonic repertoire, was hauntingly played by Alan Camphouse. It later became the melody Tin Pan Alley’s “Moon Love,” and Mr. Camphouse was subsequently joined by Ms. Golding’s oboe in a poignant theme combined with strings.

Mr. Neale led the finale, a majestic march begun in the strings with a hectic rhythmic drive. The brass heralded the development, ending this momentous work in orchestral splendor.