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Recital
SLAM BANG SONORITY IN HAOCHEN ZHANG'S SCHROEDER RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Piano Competition winners are in ample supply, and it’s often a hit and miss proposition as to their sterling interpretative qualities. However, the quadrennial Van Cliburn Competition in Ft. Worth has continually produced top-level artists, and the 2009 winner Haochen Zhang proved a formidable per...
Symphony
FOREIGN AFFAIRS CHARACTERS OF THE BAROQUE
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, known as Akamus, played a Weill Hall concert March 12 in a program called "Foreign Affairs -Characters of the Baroque.” The ensemble, that began in 1984, has 15 musicians led by concert master Bernhard Forck. Attired in elegant black with red accents, ranging from tie...
Recital
MUSCULAR PIANISM DOMINATES MILL VALLEY CHAMBER SOCIETY RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Piano recitals since the beginning of the genre open with finger pieces - Scarlatti or Soler Sonatas, Bach, a Mendelssohn Prelude and Fugue or perhaps Mozart or Haydn. Sarah Daneshpour’s March 12 opening work at the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society series abruptly avoided the norm with the 10-minut...
Recital
NOVEL HAYDN AND SCHUMANN IN YARDEN'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Israeli pianist Einav Yarden has been a frequent Sonoma County visitor, playing private recitals for Spring Lake Village and Concerts Grand, and twice performing for Music at Oakmont. The Berlin-based artist returned to Oakmont’s Berger Auditorium March 9 with a program that was neither for connois...
Chamber
CONSUMMATE ENSEMBLE FROM THE MIRÓ IN WEILL
by Sonia Tubridy and Nicki Bell
Sunday, March 05, 2017
A March 5 Weill hall audience of 350 leaned in to share an intimate musical space and to hear the Miró String Quartet’s sterling concert. Starting with Haydn's Op. 20, No. 4, the four musicians seemed to want listeners to be enveloped in their music. The Miró plays with the feat of being four dist...
Recital
BRILLIANT VIOLIN AND PIANO ARTISTRY CHARMS SCHROEDER HALL AUDIENCE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 26, 2017
A tiny Schroeder Hall audience heard a flawless recital Feb. 26 by Yu-Chien Tseng, arguably the best recent local violin recital since Gil Shaham’s transversal of the complete Bach Suites in Weill and Frank Almond’s Oakmont recital in 2015. Muscular playing was the afternoon’s norm, and with pianis...
Chamber
MUSIC AND ART MELD IN ZUCKERMAN TRIO CONCERT
by Nicki Bell
Friday, February 24, 2017
A Feb. 24 Weill Hall concert by the Pinchas Zuckerman Trio juxtaposed formidable music making with palpable associations about visual art. Brahms’ C Minor "Sonatensatz” (Scherzo) is a short youthful work for violin and piano, and was an opening call to action. Lively and vigorous playing alternated...
Chamber
THREE BEETHOVEN TRIOS BEGUILE AUDIENCE IN FEB. 19 WEILL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Chamber music concerts featuring one composer can be tricky, but the Han/Setzer/Finckel trio made a Feb. 19 Weill Hall audience of 500 hear and to a degree see the boundless creativity of Beethoven. The G Major Trio, Op. 1, No. 2, opened the afternoon’s Beethoven odyssey and one wonders why it is t...
Chamber
AUTHORITATIVE BARTOK HIGHLIGHTS TETZLAFF VIOLIN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Christian Tetzlaff’s Feb. 18 violin recital rolled along with lively and fresh readings of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert when the specter of Bartok’s granitic Second Sonata intervened. The sonic shock to the audience of 250 in Weill was palpable. Composed in 1923 the 20-minute two-movement work i...
Symphony
WHAT SOUND DO STAR-CROSSED LOVERS MAKE?
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so the Santa Rosa Symphony feted the occasion by telling and retelling the story of Romeo and Juliet, a tale ever the more poignant during our era of stark divisions. The first telling was from Berlioz; the second from Prokofiev. In between was Brahms’ monu...
RECITAL REVIEW
Concerts Grand / Sunday, April 03, 2011
Daniel Glover, pianist

Daniel Glover on San Rafael's J-B Piano Stage April 3

UNCONVENTIONAL REPERTOIRE FEATURED IN DANIEL GLOVER'S SAN RAFAEL PIANO RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 03, 2011

San Francisco’s Daniel Glover arguably plays more concerts than any classical pianist residing in Northern California, and his wide repertoire of concertos and solo works are the envy of many musicians. San Rafael’s J-B Piano Emporium was fortunate to host Mr. Glover’s artistry April 3 and 35 music lovers heard an uncompromising program short on familiarity but long on intriguing music.

In the long awaited final recital of the eighth Concerts Grand season, Mr. Glover cast down a provocative gauntlet by beginning with Bartok’s Piano Suite, Op. 14, a four-movement piece that quickly wakes up indolent hearing. The first three sections are pointillist and at times a brash jester appears, finally giving way with the pianist’s touch to a leisurely conclusion and an inconclusive and dissonant halt.

Mr. Glover’s pianism is not at first hearing easy to embrace. He is not a colorist, shuns swooning rubatos and is far more the architect than the poet. These characteristics were apparent in his tackling of Tchaikovsky’s big Sonata in G Major, Op. 37, a work rarely played due to its encompassing scope and often hammering repetition of phrases. The last local public performance I can recall, in a great 1982 Davies Hall recital, was from the mercurial Shura Cherkassky. Mr. Glover is never mercurial, his interpretations being the result of conscientious thought, extended finger work in the studio and his innate curiosity. The bold proclamations of the opening march were perfectly captured in the pianist’s propulsive playing, Tchaikovsky’s debt to Schumann’s early piano music everywhere apparent. The Andante non troppo was chastely played, the lacy long arpeggios were both marcato and cantabile as indicated in the score. The pianist played this movement, as in the entire afternoon, without score. The repeated sixths cords at the end were softly beautiful.

Concluding the Sonata were a bight Scherzo, abetted by the unique treble timbre of the J-B stage piano, and a fast and bravura tour of the finale. This section reflects the declamatory character of the opening movement with syncopated chords and dashing runs in both hands, and Mr. Glover gave his fingers (and feet) full rein. In this last movement there was more playing of a vocal character but an absence of voice leading, an approach that would have lent breathing space to the headlong journey to the coda, preceded by nine clangorous chords in sforzando. Mr. Glover had his arms around this thorny piece and made a strong case for it, albeit with palpable apprehension in the audience. Perhaps an acquired taste for the assembly?

Following intermission Kodaly’s arcane 1907 Méditation sur un Motif de Claude Debussy was played, a richly impressionist work that sounded as if the pianist was improvising. It followed intriguing harmonic paths and Mr. Glover lavished loving care in the details, especially in the ruminative soft notes deep in the bass. A highlight of the afternoon and a rarified work for most in the hall.

Three reasonably familiar Liszt works were played, the first two from Volume One of the Années de Pèlerinage and one, Harmonies Du Soir, from the Transcendental Etudes of 1851 (revised version). Mr. Glover favored left-hand clarity in Au Lac du Wallenstadt and washes of sound in the Au Bord d’une Source. Both were admirable interpretations, convincingly slow in the first and lacking the last bit of charm and prismatic color in the second. The Etude, the 11th of 12 daunting studies, received a formidable performance. Mr. Glover’s running left-hand chords at forte carried throughout the hall and his deft control of soft passages was telling. Here and there sonic smudges appeared in the broken chords and the pianist wasn’t note perfect, but “Evening Harmonies” needs the shimmering repose that it received.

The formal recital ended with two rarely-played Liapunov works, Berceuse and Lesghinka. Both are from an Op. 11 set of Etudes d’exécution transcedante, the Berceuse airy and lyrical and disclosing playing from Mr. Glover removed from the presentation of previous compositions. In introductory remarks to the Lesghinka the pianist alluded to a comparison with Balakirev’s famously virtuosic Islamey and highlighted the Russian folk music derivation and how devilish the piece is to bring off in a live performance. He solidly nailed it, sparks flying with an arsenal of octaves, skips and rapid scales. It was Islamey “light” and compelling.

Two encores were offered, both surprising to the small throng that had previously heard mostly muscular music. Gershwin’s Second Prelude in C-Sharp Minor was followed by an early 1921 Copland work, “Jazzy” from the “Three Moods.” Both received a subtle “hip swinging” performance from Mr. Glover, his rhythms both intoxicating and languorous and his identification with the jazz elements persuasive.

A season-ending Champagne reception followed with ample time for the audience to play the store’s instruments and exchange commentary with an artist that treats every aspect of musical performance as a quest for honesty and esthetic truth.

The reviewer is the producer for the Concerts Grand series.