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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 ...
Symphony
CONDUCTOR PLAYOFFS BEGIN IN SANTA ROSA
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 08, 2017
The Santa Rosa Symphony is calling 2017-18 “a choice season” because the next few months offer the audience and the symphony’s board of directors a chance to choose a new conductor from a pool of five candidates. Each candidate will lead a three-concert weekend set this fall and winter, with a final...
Recital
PIANISTIC COMMAND IN SCHROEDER RECITAL
by Lee Ormasa
Sunday, October 08, 2017
Nikolay Khozyainov’s Oct. 8 debut at the Green Music Center’s Schroeder Hall was one of those rare moments in a young artist’s career when a performance approaches perfection. From the opening notes of Beethoven’s A-Flat Major Sonata (Op. 110) through a delightful recital ending transcription, the ...
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.