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Symphony
ZUILL PLAYS ZWILICH WITH SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, March 28, 2021
The Santa Rosa Symphony took a cautious step toward the return of live music in their March 28 virtual concert by sharing the stage with an actual live soloist rather than an apparition. Star cellist Zuill Bailey was still masked, and his back was toward the equally masked and plexiglassed orchestra...
Chamber
ECLECTIC CELLO PIANO VIRTUAL RECITAL FROM TOMKINS ZIVIAN DUO
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 28, 2021
The venerable 41-year Redwood Arts Council Series in Occidental has joined the virtual recital world with low budget but artistically satisfying programs, mostly using videos filmed in the performer’s residences. March 28 saw the Tanya Tomkins-Eric Zivian duo present an eclectic program from their ...
Symphony
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY HITS THE SWEET SPOT
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Small orchestras can inhabit a sweet spot between chamber ensembles and full orchestras, but how well they hit that spot depends on the composer's orchestration and the players' ability to project. That dependence was on full display in the Santa Rosa Symphony's Feb. 28 concert, which featured three...
Chamber
NOVEL OBOE-HARPSICHORD RECITAL FROM AIKEN DUO IN UKIAH
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Oboe and harpsichord recitals are a rare North Bay event, even in a pandemic environment where a formal hall setting isn’t available. So it was a delight Feb. 21 to experience on the Ukiah Symphony’s website a recital by Symphony oboist Beth Aiken and harpsichordist husband Tom. The Aiken home vis...
Symphony
A HEALTHY MIX OF TRANSCRIPTIONS AND ORIGINALS FROM THE SR SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Transcriptions and ascending arpeggios were the order of the day on Jan. 24, as the Santa Rosa Symphony performed uplifting works by Bach/Webern, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Marianna Martínes and Mozart. The concert video was made in Weill Hall on Jan. 9. The first transcription was Webern’s 1935 renderi...
Symphony
HEROIC EFFORT FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 13, 2020
December 13 was a rainy day, perfect for huddling indoors and watching a prerecorded “live” performance by the Santa Rosa Symphony. The program was expansive, with music from the 18th through 21st centuries, and the mood was festive, in keeping with the holiday season. There was something in the fea...
Symphony
MASKED SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CARRIES ON BRILLIANTLY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 15, 2020
In some ways the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Nov. 15 concert on YouTube resembled a Conceptual Art performance from the 1970s. On display were about 30 masked orchestral musicians playing six feet apart from each other on stage, some of them separated by plexiglass barriers. In the 1970s, the concept behi...
Chamber
SPLENDID STRINGS IN A SUNLIT GARDEN
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, November 1, 2020
A sun-drenched autumn afternoon, a Marin County garden and six superb string players from the Santa Rosa Symphony were manna from heaven to a pandemic-weary audience starved for live music. The sextet of Santa Rosa Symphony musicians performed to a small group of 20 Nov. 1, the day after Halloween....
Chamber
EXAMPLARY QUARTET PLAYING IN MARIN GARDEN CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Taped video concerts have pretty much dominated the recent fare for classical music fans, but sporadic live music making can still be found in the North Bay with outdoor chamber music. Of course with the obligatory social distancing and often decorative facial masks. Four San Francisco Opera Orc...
Chamber
VIDEO CHAMBER MUSIC FROM LINCOLN CENTER IN GREEN'S BROADCAST
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Along with hosting its resident the Santa Rosa Symphony, Weill Hall has contracted to produce sporadic virtual programs of classical music, and began Oct. 17 with a charming three-part concert from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York. Hosted with comely introductions by CMSLC di...
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.