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Recital
SCHUMANN AND BARTOK HIGHLIGHT BRONFMAN RECITAL IN WEILL
by Lee Ormasa
Friday, April 21, 2017
Those people once addicted to the “Angry Birds” game application likely suffered an auditory flashback during the opening measures of the allegro from Bartok’s Suite, Op. 14, the opening work in Yefim Bronfman’s April 21 recital at Weill Hall. The repetitive opening figures of the Bartok were...
Symphony
HULKING MAHLER "TITAN" AT SO CO PHIL'S SEASON FINALE
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 08, 2017
A composer’s first symphony rarely gives a clear indication of what beautiful complexities will follow over the years. Early Mozart and Tchaikovsky are examples, and the big exceptions to this axiom are the “firsts” of Beethoven, Shostakovich and Mahler. Tackling Mahler ‘s D Major Symphony (No. 1,...
Symphony
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY STAYS CLOSE TO HOME
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Santa Rosa Symphony concerts usually feature high-powered soloists imported from afar, but for their recent “Bring on the Strings” concert set, they stuck close to home, thrusting their principal violin, viola and cello into the limelight. The violinist (Joseph Edelberg) and the violist (Elizabeth P...
Recital
SLAM BANG SONORITY IN HAOCHEN ZHANG'S SCHROEDER RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Piano Competition winners are in ample supply, and it’s often a hit and miss proposition as to their sterling interpretative qualities. However, the quadrennial Van Cliburn Competition in Ft. Worth has continually produced top-level artists, and the 2009 winner Haochen Zhang proved a formidable per...
Symphony
FOREIGN AFFAIRS CHARACTERS OF THE BAROQUE
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, known as Akamus, played a Weill Hall concert March 12 in a program called "Foreign Affairs -Characters of the Baroque.” The ensemble, that began in 1984, has 15 musicians led by concert master Bernhard Forck. Attired in elegant black with red accents, ranging from tie...
Recital
MUSCULAR PIANISM DOMINATES MILL VALLEY CHAMBER SOCIETY RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Piano recitals since the beginning of the genre open with finger pieces - Scarlatti or Soler Sonatas, Bach, a Mendelssohn Prelude and Fugue or perhaps Mozart or Haydn. Sarah Daneshpour’s March 12 opening work at the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society series abruptly avoided the norm with the 10-minut...
Recital
NOVEL HAYDN AND SCHUMANN IN YARDEN'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Israeli pianist Einav Yarden has been a frequent Sonoma County visitor, playing private recitals for Spring Lake Village and Concerts Grand, and twice performing for Music at Oakmont. The Berlin-based artist returned to Oakmont’s Berger Auditorium March 9 with a program that was neither for connois...
Chamber
CONSUMMATE ENSEMBLE FROM THE MIRÓ IN WEILL
by Sonia Tubridy and Nicki Bell
Sunday, March 05, 2017
A March 5 Weill hall audience of 350 leaned in to share an intimate musical space and to hear the Miró String Quartet’s sterling concert. Starting with Haydn's Op. 20, No. 4, the four musicians seemed to want listeners to be enveloped in their music. The Miró plays with the feat of being four dist...
Recital
BRILLIANT VIOLIN AND PIANO ARTISTRY CHARMS SCHROEDER HALL AUDIENCE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 26, 2017
A tiny Schroeder Hall audience heard a flawless recital Feb. 26 by Yu-Chien Tseng, arguably the best recent local violin recital since Gil Shaham’s transversal of the complete Bach Suites in Weill and Frank Almond’s Oakmont recital in 2015. Muscular playing was the afternoon’s norm, and with pianis...
Chamber
MUSIC AND ART MELD IN ZUCKERMAN TRIO CONCERT
by Nicki Bell
Friday, February 24, 2017
A Feb. 24 Weill Hall concert by the Pinchas Zuckerman Trio juxtaposed formidable music making with palpable associations about visual art. Brahms’ C Minor "Sonatensatz” (Scherzo) is a short youthful work for violin and piano, and was an opening call to action. Lively and vigorous playing alternated...
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.