Home  Reviews  Articles  Calendar  Presenters  Add Event     
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 / 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.