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Chamber
FLORESTAN TRIO'S MENDELSSOHN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Friday, March 08, 2019
Spring Lake Village’s monthly concerts usually clock in under an hour, but the March 8 Florestan Trio’s performance was more extended as so much good music was on tap for the 125 residents attending at Santa Rosa’s premiere retirement residence facility. Four short pieces made up the first half, be...
Chamber
TILDEN TRIO'S BOHEMIAN ENERGY AT DOMINICAN CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Hard on the heels of the Trio Navarro’s late February concert in Sonoma State’s Schroeder Hall, Northern California’s other premiere resident piano trio, the Tilden, played an equally convincing program March 3 in Dominican University’s Angelico Hall. Clearly each hall’s acoustics, stage pianos and...
Recital
24 SONGS IN A MENKE-THOMPSON RECITAL ODYSSEY
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Sonoma County pop and country singing enjoys continued popularity but it rare to see a professional classical vocal concert announced. Diva Ruth Ann Swenson was once a local star, but she has long departed and not much virtuoso recital singing can be found in the North Bay. But the exception to th...
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...
Recital
GLOVER'S ECLECTIC PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHT'S CINNABAR RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Daniel Glover is arguably the busiest virtuoso pianist in the San Francisco Bay area, but rarely is heard in North Bay concerts. So 90 local pianophiles were anxious to hear him Feb. 17 in Petaluma’s charming small Cinnabar Theater, and they were rewarded with an eclectic program of sometimes unfam...
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...
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.