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Chamber
ECLECTIC INSTRUMENTAL COMBINATIONS IN VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, July 20, 2019
A Lovely summer afternoon in Sonoma Valley, an excellent small concert hall, enthusiastic audience, exciting musicians and creative programming with interesting story lines. All these were combined July 20 at a Valley of the Moon Festival concert titled “An Italian in Paris.” This is the fifth seaso...
Opera
'ELIXIR' A WELCOME TONIC IN SPRIGHTLY ANNUAL MMF OPERA
by Terry McNeill
Friday, July 19, 2019
In most of the Mendocino Music Festival’s 33 seasons a single evening is given over to a staged opera, with bare bones sets, lighting, costumes, minimal cast and short length. No Wagner or Verdi here, no multiple acts and complicated production demands. Light and frothy are the usual, and so it wa...
Recital
PUNGENT WALTZES AND VIRTUOSITY IN LADEUR'S SLV RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
San Francisco based pianist Jeffrey LaDeur has become one of the most sought-after North Bay virtuosi, and cemented that reputation July 17 in a short but eclectic recital in Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Village Chamber Music Series. Before 140 in the Village’s auditorium Mr. LaDeur began with Schubert...
Choral and Vocal
NOBLE BRAHMS REQUIEM PERFORMANCE CLOSES SONOMA BACH'S SEASON
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Saturday, June 01, 2019
Sonoma Bach, conducted by Robert Worth, presented a truly grand finale to their 2018-19 "Light Out of Darkness" season in two sold out Schroeder Hall performances June 1 and 2. The program "A Human Requiem" was received rapturously with a well-deserved standing ovation for the main work, Brahms' ...
Chamber
THREE SONG CYCLES HIGHLIGHT VIBRANT SLV RECITAL
by Pamela Hicks-Gailey
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
An ambitious recital of vocal and piano music was presented May 8 at Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Village by mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich and pianist Jeffrey LaDeur. The duo engaged the enthusiastic audience with scholarly friendliness and artistry in performances of Beethoven's short cycle of six song...
Symphony
ALEXANDER TORADZE DELIVERS A LESSON IN SERENITY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 05, 2019
An entire concerto movement consisting of serene piano melodies over a soothing backdrop is probably not the first thing that springs to mind when seeing Shostakovich’s name on an orchestra program, but that’s exactly what pianist Alexander Toradze delivered--twice--at Sunday’s Santa Rosa Symphony c...
Symphony
MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON CLOSES WITH AUTUMNAL ELGAR AND THEATRICAL BEETHOVEN
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, April 28, 2019
Mozart’s enchanting Overture to his opera The Magic Flute, a miniature tapestry of gems from the 1791 work, opened the Marin Symphony’s final concert of the 2018-2019 season. Under conductor Alasdair Neale, the playing of the sprightly seven-minute piece by a reduced-size classical ensemble sparkled...
Recital
SHAHAM-EGUCHI DUO'S EXCITING MUSICAL GENEROSITY IN WEILL
by Abby Wasserman
Friday, April 26, 2019
Violinist Gil Shaham may be the most modest virtuoso on the concert stage today, and it is the great music he most wishes to put forward, never himself. Generosity, a quality he is known for, was abundantly clear in Weill Hall April 26 when he performed, with pianist Akira Eguchi, a generous program...
Recital
GLITTERING PIANISM IN LI'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Piano prodigies have always been a fascination for the music public, and the greatest of them (some were Mozart, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Saint Saëns, Hofmann) went on to legendary fame. George Li, who made is local debut at a Music at Oakmont recital April 11, was a remarkable recent keyboard prodigy t...
Symphony
SO CO PHIL'S SEASON CLOSER WITH EXPANSIVE PROKOFIEV 5TH IN JACKSON
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 07, 2019
Closing their 20th season with their usual programming aplomb, the Sonoma County Philharmonic played a provocative set of concerts April 6 and 7 in the Jackson Theater, the Orchestra’s new home at the Sonoma Country Day School by the Sonoma County Airport. Local composer Nolan Gasser’s Sonoma Overt...
SYMPHONY REVIEW
Marin Symphony / Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Alasdair Neale, conductor
Robin Sutherland, piano

Sage Mace (left) and Robin Sutherland at J-B Piano (Michael Phillips Photo)

ALASDAIR NEALE CONDUCTS HAYDN AND MOZART AT MARIN SYMPHONY CONCERT

by
Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Poignancy and passion, or possibly “Sturm and Drang,” was certainly the intended focus of the Marin Symphony’s third concert of the season Feb. 1in San Rafael’s Marin Center’s auditorium.

Music Director Alasdair Neale led the orchestra in three works by Haydn and Mozart that typify this late 18th-Century movement of emotionalism and passion. It was the beginning of a new form replacing the old. Haydn’s Symphony No. 49 in F minor (La Passione) began the evening and the four movements, all in the dramatic key of F minor, makes this work the archetypical example of the composer’s emotional and dynamic imagination. The orchestra seemed to perfectly capture the emotion of this infrequently heard but important example of middle-period Haydn. It set the stage for the two Mozart works that followed.

The centerpiece of the concert of the season was the Mozart Piano C Major Concerto, No. 25, K 503. Robin Sutherland, the orchestra pianist of the San Francisco Symphony, performed this masterpiece concerto with deft technique and tonal beauty. No wonder Mr. Sutherland is known as “the perfect Mozart pianist.” The work is one of Mozart’s longest and it was a tour de force performance. The cadenza at the end of the first movement was perhaps unexpected as Mr. Sutherland chose to follow the out-of fashion tradition of the soloist improvising, or writing out, his own cadenza discarding the many printed versions.

It should also be noted that Mr. Sutherland was also the guest of the “Piano Contest Winner,” and an 11-year year-old student, Sage Mace, won the contest with her answers to the question, “What does the piano mean to you?” One of the prizes included meeting Mr. Sutherland at San Rafael’s J-B Piano Emporium, the event hosted by J-B owner Glenn Woodruff.

Mozart’s 41st Symphony in C Major, K. 551 (Jupiter) completed a classic evening. While the orchestra had performed Mozart’s G minor Symphony, No. 40, during the last season, tonight’s performance completed a triptych of masterful symphonies, all composed in 1788. The first movement opened with a theme played with vigorous chords and then was answered with a delicate and soft response from the string section. The conductor and the orchestra were terrific in bringing out just the right balances and intonation was excellent. Woodwind playing was exceptionally rich in this performance, especially in the Andante cantabile slow movement. Mr. Neale showed his appreciation by personally giving each woodwind player a handshake at the end.

The audience, nearly filling the hall, provided a standing ovation following the elegant Mozart performance.