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Symphony
A SLICE OF HEAVEN FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Under its vibrant new music director, Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Santa Rosa Symphony this past Sunday offered a nearly perfect afternoon of Mozart (Symphony No. 40) and Mahler (Symphony No. 4). While the two works share a common digit, the only element uniting them is genius. They made for a dazzlin...
Recital
KHOZYAINOV'S BRILLIANT PIANISM IN MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, January 13, 2019
In its third concert of the season the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society Jan. 13 presented Russian virtuoso Nikolay Khozyainov. His intelligent and sensitive interpretations, masterful pedal work, and virtuoso technique left the near-capacity audience in Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church astounded and ...
Chamber
A COMPLETE MUSICAL PACKAGE IN ARRON'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Cellist Edward Arron has been a welcome artist at the Music at Oakmont series, and after his Jan. 10 recital itís easy to understand his popularity. His artistry is a complete package, with potent instrumental technique wedded to integral musical conceptions. In a nearly flawless concert with pian...
Choral and Vocal
COMPELLING WEILL HALL MESSIAH ORATORIO FROM THE ABS
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Each holiday season when a Classical Sonoma reviewer is assigned to cover a concert with Handelís seminal Oratorio The Messiah, the question arises about what new commentary can possibly apply to the often performed choral work. Well, if itís the American Bach Soloists performing the piece, written...
Opera
PURCELL'S DIDO IN YOUTHFUL SSU OPERA
by Abby Wasserman
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
A doomed royal love affair, the theme of Purcellís Dido and Aeneas, was brought to lovely life at Sonoma State University Dec. 5 in the schoolís Schroeder Hall. Conducted by faculty member Zachary Gordin, who also played continuo, the performance was only the second opera production presented by the...
Symphony
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY HERALDS THE HOLIDAYS
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 02, 2018
Antlers are typical headgear during the holiday season, but the ushers and one bassist at the Santa Rosa Symphony concert on Dec. 2 sported apples atop their heads. The red fruits were festive but perplexing until the orchestra began Rossiniís ďWilliam TellĒ overture, at which point even the dull-wi...
Symphony
A HERO'S ODYSSEY IN SO CO PHIL CONCERT
by Art Hofmann
Sunday, November 18, 2018
The audience at the Sonoma County Philharmonicís Nov. 18 concert was warned at the outset that the old Santa Rosa High School auditorium boiler was turned off, and there was a steady eminently audible tone in the hall. Conductor Norman Gamboa said the tone was an A, a high one. But there it was, a...
Recital
MTA BENEFIT CONCERT FEATURES FAURE, DVORAK, JANACEK AND BARBER WORKS
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 11, 2018
In a splendid concert Nov. 11 the Music Teachers Association of California, Sonoma County Chapter, presented their sixth annual benefit concert before 40 avid listeners in the Santa Rosa home of Helen Howard and Robert Yeats. Highlights of the performances, involving eight musicians in various perf...
Recital
SERKIN'S SINGULAR MOZART AND BACH PLAYING IN WEILL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 09, 2018
Returning to Weill Hall following a fire-related recital cancellation in 2017, pianist Peter Serkin programmed just three works in his Nov. 7 concert, three masterworks that challenged both artist and audience alike. It needs to be said at the outset that Mr. Serkin takes a decidedly non-standard a...
Chamber
LUMINOUS FAURE TOPS LINCOLN TRIO'S SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, November 07, 2018
Familiarity in chamber music often evokes warm appreciation, and it was thus Nov. 7 when the Chicago-based Lincoln Piano Trio made one of their many Sonoma County appearances, this time on the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series. Regularly presented by local impresario Robert Hayden, the Lin...
SYMPHONY REVIEW
American Philharmonic Sonoma County / Saturday, May 04, 2013
Cyrus Ginwala, conductor. Tom Hyde, trumpet

Tom Hyde, trumpet

PRAYERS AND REDEMPTION FROM THE APSC

by Nicki Bell
Saturday, May 04, 2013

For its final set of the 2012-13 season on May 4 and 5, the American Philharmonic of Sonoma County offered a program titled "Prayer and Redemption." The first half consisted of the prayers, the second of the joy of redemption. Guest conductor Cyrus Ginwala spoke about the pieces beforehand and then led the orchestra in a program full of orchestral color, excitement, immediacy, tight ensemble and good balance.

The performance was enhanced by the orchestra's new home at Santa Rosa High School Auditorium, which has excellent acoustics--far better than their old venue at Wells Fargo Center.

The program opened with Turina's "La Oracion del Torero" (The Bullfighter's Prayer), originally written for lute quartet, then string quartet and tonight with full string orchestra. The many strings, singing together, produced a rich and warm sound, abounding with Spanish rhythms and flavor. The violins, violas and cellos wove around each other in a shimmering dance. The tender and lovely clarity of the sound was soothing and restful.

Tom Hyde, principal trumpet in the orchestra since its beginning, and a musician of great experience, was the soloist in Hovaness's "Prayer of St. Gregory," originally written as part of an opera. From the opening string reveries, the trumpet unfolded its melody. The soloist alternated sailing above and then dipping into a sea of strings, invoking a voice from the heart. The audience looked indeed in heaven as the lights came up.

If the first half was two tasty appetizers, the Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 of the second half was a hearty main course and dessert. As Maestro Ginwala said in his introduction, this symphony needs no explanation. Its mystical language is so immediate, it goes right to the soul. An hour long, the music is a feast of orchestral colors--an organic entity, luscious and constantly transforming, alive and vivid. There were many special moments from the opening with cellos and deep basses, then horns, emerging from shadow--to lovely passages with English horn, clarinet, oboe and unison string sections that soared. The music enveloped a rapt audience.

The third movement is a gorgeous love song, a lullaby giving way to powerful climaxes, building and spilling, releasing to gentleness, fading at the end to gradual silence. An exuberant dance picked up the last movement, the brass and percussion leading to a thrilling, powerful climax. The audience went nuts, jumping to its feet, stomping, yelling and whistling. It was clearly a fulfilling performance for one and all.