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Symphony
SO CO PHIL BON VOYAGE CONCERT AN ODYSSEY OF CONTRASTING SOUND
by Terry McNeill
Friday, June 15, 2018
In a splashy bon voyage concert June 15 the Sonoma County Philharmonic Orchestra launched its June 17-25 Costa Rica tour, performing gratis in Santa Rosa’s Jackson Theater the repertoire for tour concerts in San José, Costa Rica’s capital, and in surrounding towns. Conductor Norman Gamboa pr...
Chamber
COMMANDING CHOPIN AND DEBUSSY IN SLV RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Concerts at the classy Spring Lake Village Retirement Home in Santa Rosa have admission limited to residents and a few guests, but the chance to hear a first cabin North Bay pianist June 6 brought a Classical Sonoma reviewer into the audience of 100. The crowd numbers were unusually low due to a ba...
Recital
MUSICAL ALCHEMY INSIDE A HIDDEN GEM
by Kayleen Asbo
Friday, May 25, 2018
The Petaluma Historical Library and Museum is a hidden gem of Sonoma County, a gracious building that is one of Sonoma County’s loveliest venues for chamber music concerts, with a fine period piano particularly suited to Romantic music.  Of the surprisingly large array of festivities there, one of t...
Chamber
FINAL VOM MUSICIANS CONCERT IN SCHROEDER A SCHUBERT DELIGHT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, May 12, 2018
It's rare to have the opportunity to compare in a short period two performances of the same major Schubert work, in this case the great B Flat Piano Trio, D. 898. The chance came May 12 when the Valley of the Moon Festival musicians played it in Schroeder, just over a month since the Hall’s residen...
Symphony
FERRANDIS BIDS ADIEU WITH MAHLER’S FINAL SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 06, 2018
Sonoma State students in graduation robes posed for pictures and hugged each other at the university’s stone gates on Sunday afternoon, mirroring the prolonged farewells within the university’s Green Music Center, where Bruno Ferrandis bid adieu to the Santa Rosa Symphony after a dozen years at the ...
Symphony
SONIC SPLENDOR AT MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE
by Abby Wasserman
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
The Marin Symphony Orchestra ended the current season with a flourish, interpreting big and small works by Richard Strauss and Stravinsky. Strauss and Stravinsky were contemporaries for 40 years, but inhabited different worlds. Both composers were affected by cataclysmic changes and war, and musical...
Symphony
ORGAN SYMPHONY IN SSU ORCHESTRA CONCERT IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Though Classical Sonoma seldom reviews student concerts, as ample North Coast concerts keep the staff of 11 reviewers busy. But the chance to hear the Sonoma State University Orchestra tackle St. Saëns’ majestic Organ Symphony April 29 was a rare opportunity and not easily to be missed. Avec l’...
Recital
HEAVENLY SCHUBERT AND DEMONIC CHOPIN
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 21, 2018
One of the anomalies in the long ago “Golden Era” of romantic pianism (about 1905 to 1940) is that the virtuoso giants of the time didn’t play Schubert. It took the German pianist Artur Schnabel to bring the beauties of Schuber’s work to the public’s attention, and now they seem to be on almost ever...
Symphony
SPLENDID JUPITER AND ZOOMING CONCERTO AT VALLEJO SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Over the past two years the Vallejo Symphony has made big changes, moving from a stark middle school auditorium to the snazzy remodeled 1911-era downtown Empress Theater, and engaging Marc Taddei as its seventh conductor. April 15 was the season’s final concert of the 86th season. In a programmin...
Chamber
VIRTUOSO CELLO AND GUITAR TRANSCRIPTIONS AT RAC SEBASTOPOL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Listeners and yes even music critics usually prepare for a concert with research, checking recorded performances, looking at artist biographies and even reviewing sheet music. This was a difficult task for the April 14 Redwood Arts Council concert in Sebastopol’s Community Church, as the performers...
RECITAL REVIEW
Sebastopol Center For The Arts / Saturday, February 19, 2011
Antonio Iturrioz, piano

Pianist Antonio Iturrioz

GODOWSKY TRANSCRIPTIONS HIGHLIGHT SEBASTOPOL ARTS CENTER RECITAL

by Richard Wayland
Saturday, February 19, 2011

Guerneville pianist Antonio Iturrioz exhibited masterful playing Feb. 19 in a Sebastopol Center for the Arts recital. The venue with 100 in attendance was small, as was the marginal piano, but Mr. Iturrioz’ control of phrasing and attention to detail was formidable.

He began melodiously with a Schumann Romance, OP. 28, No. 2, making it sound so simple, and then performed the Godowsky arrangement of Schumann’s “A Flower to Me Thou Seemest.” It was clearly more Schumann than Godowsky.

Chopin’s Etude in A Flat, Op. 25, No. 1 (Aeolian Harp) was shimmering and sparkling, everything smooth. It was the best live performance of the work that I have heard since 1954 when I got my hand slapped for turning the page a bit early for the performer who was my teacher. Liszt’s popular Consolation No. 3was a good demonstration the Liszt was not all splash and show. It was presented as a mellow, melodic and dreamy inspirational work.

The last piece before the intermission was “Symphonic Metamorphoses on the Artist’s Life Waltzes” of Johann Strauss, arranged by Godowsky, and a test of pianistic prowess. It is exceptionally difficult, and few many pianists attempt it, but it is a staple of Mr. Iturrioz’s repertoire, and he keeps its musicality without meretricious display.

Regarding the performance of Liszt's 2nd Legend (St. Francis Walking on the Waves) one could paraphrase the putative comments in the movie "Amadeus" where Emperor Nicholas II says there were too many notes. Here for Mr. Iturrioz there were many but not too many, and the pianist made the most of them, His range of expression from rippling brook sounds to the roar of torrential cascades was breath taking.

Scriabin’s Nocturne for the Left Hand, Op. 9, was so well done that it was difficult to realize that I was listening to a single hand doing all that work.

The program’s next work, the Schumann Kinderszenen (Op. 15) is also demanding for the performer, but in a far different way than other works on the program. It is not a virtuosic show piece but 13small sections require quick changes in mood in style, and Mr. Iturrioz did each elegantly.

The final item on the program was A Flat Polonaise Fantasie, Op. 61, of Chopin. The work was Chopin’s last large scale work for the piano, composed in 1846, and must have been raised a few eyebrows when introduced. Mr. Iturrioz’ performance made it clear that Chopin was, as Liszt said, taking music in a new direction.

Two encores were offered, Lecuona’s “Noche Azul” and Gottschalk's El Cocole.