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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...
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...
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.