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Choral and Vocal
A SEASONAL MESSIAH WITH BALANCE AND HEFT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, December 10, 2017
The mid-December concert season seems for jaded reviewers to invariably include a Messiah performance, and perhaps a Messiah in a long string of similar and mundane performances. This was decidedly not the case when San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque mounted Handel’s eminent three-part 1742 Orato...
Symphony
ANDREW GRAMS FINDS HIS GROOVE SR SYMPHONY IN RACHMANINOFF
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 03, 2017
Last Sunday’s Santa Rosa Symphony concert featured two elegant and refined guests: music director candidate Andrew Grams and pianist Stewart Goodyear. Both displayed dazzling technique and consummate artistry, but Goodyear was the more consistent of the two. Some of Grams’ inconsistency may have st...
Symphony
SONIC SPLASH AND ENSEMBLE DELICACY AT SO CO PHIL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Franck’s wonderful D Minor Symphony is a rarity on today’s concert programs, and I can’t remember a North Bay performance in many years from any of the six resident area orchestras. So it was good to see the Sonoma County Philharmonic feature it in their Nov. 18 and 19 concerts at Santa Rosa High S...
Chamber
TETZLAFF QUARTET'S MASTERY IN MOZART AND SCHUBERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 11, 2017
German violin virtuoso Christian Tetzlaff presented a critically successful Weill Hall recital Feb. 18, and returned to the same venue Nov. 11 with his admirable Tetzlaff Quartet in a program of Berg, Schubert and Mozart. Clarity of ensemble has always been a hallmark of this Quartet, and contrapun...
Chamber
RAVISHING SHORT OPERAS FROM FRENCH TROUPE IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 10, 2017
Standard Weill Hall fall and winter classical programs are pretty routine – symphonic music, chamber, solo recitals – so it was a rare treat Nov. 10 when just two works from the 17th century were gloriously presented. With such specialized compositions, period performers with commanding authenticit...
Symphony
MEI-ANN CHEN PROVES A WORTHY CONTENDER FOR SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CONDUCTING POST
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 05, 2017
These days the focus of Santa Rosa Symphony concerts is as much on the conductor candidates as on the soloists. This past weekend’s concerts featured the second of those candidates, Mei-Ann Chen, along with pianist Nareh Arghamanyan, each of whom cut an imposing figure on the stage. Chen is diminut...
Symphony
TO RUSSIA WITH BRILLIANCE
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 03, 2017
Russian pianist Denis Matsuev’s high velocity and frequently slam-bang virtuosity came to the Green Music Center last year with a thrilling and equally perplexing solo performance. So many in Weill Nov. 3 were interested to hear if his pianistic style would mesh well in a concerto, and with a fine ...
Symphony
THUNDEROUS TCHAIKOVSKY FOURTH OPENS MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
North Coast weather is turning cool and the nights longer, ideal for Tchaikovsky’s big boned symphonies. The Santa Rosa Symphony recently programmed the Fourth (F Minor Symphony) as did the San Francisco Symphony. Norman Gamboa’s Sonoma County Philharmonic just played the Tchaikovsky First, forgoi...
Recital
RESPIGHI'S PUNGENT SONATA HIGHLIGHTS KENNEY-GUTMAN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Respighi’s B Minor Violin Sonata seems never to gain conventional repertoire status. Perhaps the great Heifetz recording is intimidating, and I can recall over many years just two local performances: Jason Todorov and William Corbett-Jones years go in Newman, and a titanic reading in March by Anne S...
Chamber
MIRÓ QUARTET AND JEFFERY KAHANE PROVIDE MUSICAL RELIEF FOR FIRE-RAVAGED SONOMA COUNTY
by Steve Osborn
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Sonoma County’s Green Music Center has stood silent but unscathed the past few weeks as the county begins to recover from the devastating fires that began on the evening of October 8, only a few hours after a Santa Rosa Symphony concert in the Music Center. Since then, concerts by the Symphony, the ...
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.