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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...
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...
Opera
PURCELL'S DIDO IN YOUTHFUL SSU OPERA
by Abby Wasserman
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
A doomed royal love affair, the theme of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, was brought to lovely life at Sonoma State University Dec. 5 in the school’s Schroeder Hall. Conducted by faculty member Zachary Gordin, who also played continuo, the performance was only the second opera production presented by the...
Symphony
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY HERALDS THE HOLIDAYS
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 02, 2018
Antlers are typical headgear during the holiday season, but the ushers and one bassist at the Santa Rosa Symphony concert on Dec. 2 sported apples atop their heads. The red fruits were festive but perplexing until the orchestra began Rossini’s “William Tell” overture, at which point even the dull-wi...
Symphony
A HERO'S ODYSSEY IN SO CO PHIL CONCERT
by Art Hofmann
Sunday, November 18, 2018
The audience at the Sonoma County Philharmonic’s Nov. 18 concert was warned at the outset that the old Santa Rosa High School auditorium boiler was turned off, and there was a steady eminently audible tone in the hall. Conductor Norman Gamboa said the tone was an A, a high one. But there it was, a...
Recital
MTA BENEFIT CONCERT FEATURES FAURE, DVORAK, JANACEK AND BARBER WORKS
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 11, 2018
In a splendid concert Nov. 11 the Music Teachers Association of California, Sonoma County Chapter, presented their sixth annual benefit concert before 40 avid listeners in the Santa Rosa home of Helen Howard and Robert Yeats. Highlights of the performances, involving eight musicians in various perf...
Recital
SERKIN'S SINGULAR MOZART AND BACH PLAYING IN WEILL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 09, 2018
Returning to Weill Hall following a fire-related recital cancellation in 2017, pianist Peter Serkin programmed just three works in his Nov. 7 concert, three masterworks that challenged both artist and audience alike. It needs to be said at the outset that Mr. Serkin takes a decidedly non-standard a...
Chamber
LUMINOUS FAURE TOPS LINCOLN TRIO'S SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, November 07, 2018
Familiarity in chamber music often evokes warm appreciation, and it was thus Nov. 7 when the Chicago-based Lincoln Piano Trio made one of their many Sonoma County appearances, this time on the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series. Regularly presented by local impresario Robert Hayden, the Lin...
Symphony
PEACE AND LOVE FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 04, 2018
Before the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Nov. 4 performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story,” Symphony CEO Alan Silow took a moment to acknowledge the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack and to observe that music offers a more peaceful and loving view of the world. Mr. ...
RECITAL REVIEW
Sebastopol Center For The Arts / Friday, November 19, 2010
Jazmin Aliakbari and Carolyn Tewari, piano

Carolyn Tewari and Jasmin Aliakbari in Sebastopol Nov. 19

ALIAKBARI AND TEWARI SHINE IN SEBASTOPOL ARTS CENTER RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 19, 2010

Carolyn Tewari must be the most active performing pianist in Sonoma County. In addition to teaching, she has a full schedule playing in retirement homes, churches and concert halls, and has a penchant for music by women composers and partnerships with colleagues.

On November 19 she joined her duo partner of long standing, Jazmin Aliakbari, in a joint recital of eclectic music in the Sebastopol Center for the Performing Arts. The two women switched at the piano from primo to segundo with an enthusiastic audience of 40 watching every solo and four-hand alignment.

Jane Savage’s Duet, Op. 6, opened the program and was immediately forgettable. Glenn Gould referred to such compositions as “dictation music.” Debussy’s First Arabesque and Beethoven’s “Pathétique” Sonata, Op. 13, both performed by Ms. Tewari, were of course works of different merit. The Debussy featured a slow tempo with the stress on tonal color, the arching right-hand runs played with grace, and the legato triplets were stylishly rendered.

The Beethoven C Minor Sonata has been played in parts around the County by Ms. Tewari, and it was good that she finally tackled the entire work in a public hall. There was palpable momentum and drama in the playing, and left-hand tremolo passages had verve. Ms. Tewari was careful in the Adagio to keep one tempo throughout, and the concluding Rondo had perhaps the Sonata’s most concise playing, the long trill telling.

Poulenc’s Sonata for Four Hands closed the first half, Ms. Aliakbari joining in a clangorous change from the controlled pianism of the Beethoven. There was some unstable playing in the initial Prelude and beguiling juxtapositions of ruminative sound in the “Rustique” second movement. The counterpoint was clear in the finale, with lots of rumbling passages in the low bass and echoes of Poulenc’s large Concerto for Two Pianos. The last chord was held to considerable effect, the playing on balance the best in the first half.

Solo performance returned after intermission when Ms. Aliakbari played Bach’s Toccata in E Minor (S. 914), Chopin’s Third Ballade and the “Suite de Danzas Criollas,” Op. 15, of Ginastera. Though the Bach had good differentiation of voices, and the A-Flat Ballade featured clear right-hand scale passages, neither seemed a work that was yet fully the pianist’s own. The footing in each seemed unsure, the phrases hurried when repose was needed, the dense Bach fugal section lacking a concrete shape. The Ginastera work, from 1946 and similar in parts one and five to the earlier “Danzas Argentinas,” had an idiomatic reading from the pianist, the Creole style palpable and the clusters in the Allegro Rustico powerful indeed.

Four pieces from Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46, concluded the formal program. The majestic nostalgia of “Morning Mood” and the singing treble line of the “In The Hall of the Mountain King” were salutary. No author of the transcription for piano four hands was listed.

A final charming work for both artists, the iconic “Tea For Two” from the 1925 Broadway show “No, No, Nanette,” was offered as an encore. It was a tuneful end to a pleasurable evening of rich solo and four-hand piano music.