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Recital
HEAVENLY SCHUBERT AND DEMONIC CHOPIN
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 21, 2018
One of the anomalies in the long ago ďGolden EraĒ of romantic pianism (about 1905 to 1940) is that the virtuoso giants of the time didnít play Schubert. It took the German pianist Artur Schnabel to bring the beauties of Schuberís work to the publicís attention, and now it seems to be on almost every...
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 seasonís 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 Sebastopolís Community Church, as the performers...
Chamber
TRIO NAVARRO'S POPULAR FARE IN SCHROEDER HALL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 08, 2018
Long time Classical Sonoma readers may recall many Trio Navarro concert reviews that lauded their virtuosity and interest in rarely played repertoire. The April 8 concert in Schroeder Hall before 85 chamber music fans featured sterling performances but had a mostly conservative menu of popular trio...
Recital
KENNER'S ALL POLISH RECITAL HAS PADEREWSKI RARITY
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, April 08, 2018
Kevin Kennerís April 8 recital at Dominican Universityís Angelico Hall had been advertised as all-Chopin, but he added a detour into another seminal Polish composer-pianist, Paderewski. Several of Mr. Kennerís teachers were Poles, he speaks Polish, and he navigated at the piano both composersí deman...
Symphony
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE VOICE AT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, April 08, 2018
In an April 8 Santa Rosa Symphony concert filled to the brim with instruments--electric violin, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard samplers, harps, piano and myriad drums, gongs and bells, to say nothing of winds, brass and strings--the instrument that came out on top was the hum...
Chamber
VOM FESTIVAL TRIO CHARMS WITH CHAMBER MIX, AND HUMMEL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, March 31, 2018
At the core of the group of Valley of the Moon Music Festival (VOM) musicians is an ensemble of trios and duos, and as a trio March 31 Festival founders cellist Tanya Tomkins and pianist Eric Zivian joined British violinist Monica Huggett for a chamber music concert in the Green Music Centerís Schro...
Choral and Vocal
GOOD FRIDAY REQUIEM FILLS INCARNATION
by Terry McNeill
Friday, March 30, 2018
Maurice Duruflťís short and intense Requiem has been heard in Santa Rosaís Church of the Incarnation before, but the March 30 Good Friday performance was stripped down in the number of performers, combining Cantiamo Sonoma and the St. Cecilia Choir with musical underpinning from organist Robert Youn...
Symphony
HAMELIN'S HUSKY MOOD IN SCHROEDER RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Convention in piano recitals has the artist coming on stage and playing. Canadian pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin walked on Schroeder Hallís stage March 25 and didnít play for six minutes, chatting with the audience. A risk for some artists. Then most programs include a contemporary or rarely play...
Recital
VIRTUOSIC VARIATIONS IN MORGAN'S SCHROEDER ORGAN RECITAL
by Paul Blanchard
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Organist Robert Huw Morganís artistry spun through the web of early variation form in a Mar. 18 recital on Schroeder Hallís wonderful Brombaugh organ. Mr. Morgan, Stanford Universityís resident organist, performs a wide range of repertoire, but as he said in comments to the audience, he loves when h...
CHAMBER REVIEW

Trio Navarro

TRIO NAVARRO IN FINE FORM

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, May 25, 2008

It was business as usual for the Trio Navarro on May 25, as they closed their season with a splendid concert for a small audience in Sonoma State's Ives 119 hall.

The Navarro programmed two popular piano trios with a less-familiar Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel work, the Op. 11 Trio in D Minor. As cellist Joy Rachuy Brindel remarked, all three trios were in D minor, and all ended in D Major.

The Mendelssohn-Hensel Trio is a dramatic work, restless and assertive, and full of Mendelssohnian harmonic progressions and chords. The Navarro gave it a good ride, with Brindel's cello leading the way. Plaintive themes abound, and the long piano introduction in the Lied movement led to a mazurka-like dance of rich beauty. As in past concerts in Ives 119, the acoustics below mezzo piano were fine, but when musical volume was demanded, the instrumental tones became harsh and indistinct.

The Op. 120 Trio by Faur' began with urbane and smooth playing. Violinist Roy Malan, in his reserved way, latched onto the languorous theme with elegance. In the Andantino, pianist Marilyn Thompson had the leading role, the movement ending with eerie dissonances and a lovely cello-violin unison duet. The finale, Allegro Vivo, begins without the familiar Faur' arpeggios, but it soon settles down into the French master's idiom. The performance was fluent, warm and evocative.

Robert Schumann's 1847 Trio, Op. 63, closed the program with loads of brooding passion. Ms. Thompson's descending left-hand tremolo figures had just enough 'rumble' to set off the prominent cello line, and the ensemble playing was surely integrated. The Navarro is not a note-perfect group, such as the late lamented Beaux Arts, nor is it three individual virtuosi trying to connect. Instead, it always delivers what the music calls for, and it tackles many unfamiliar works each season, to the benefit of local chamber music lovers. The Navarro clearly enjoys performing its discoveries.