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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 Rossini’s “William Tell” 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 Philharmonic’s 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
PEACE AND LOVE FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 04, 2018
Before the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Nov. 4 performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story,” Symphony CEO Alan Silow took a moment to acknowledge the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack and to observe that music offers a more peaceful and loving view of the world. Mr. ...
Chamber
ATOS TRIO IN MILL VALLEY CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, November 04, 2018
When the ATOS Piano Trio planned their all-Russian touring program at their Berlin home base, it had a strong elegiac, even tragic theme that surely resonated with their Mill Valley Chamber Music Society audience Nov. 4 in Mill Valley. Comprised of Annette von Hehn, violin; Thomas Hoppe, piano; and...
Chamber
ATOS TRIO IN OCCIDENTAL CHAMBER CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 03, 2018
When the Berlin-based ATOS Piano Trio entered the cramped Occidental Performing Arts stage Nov. 3, the audience of 100 anticipated familiar works in the announced all-Russian program. What they got was a selection of rarely-plays trios, with a gamut of emotions. Then one-movement Rachmaninoff G Mi...
Symphony
MIGHTY SHOSTAKOVICH 10TH OPENS MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Just two works were on the opening program of the Marin Symphony’s 67th season Oct. 28, Tchaikovsky’s iconic D Major Violin Concerto, and Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony. Before a full house in the Marin Center Auditorium conductor Alasdair Neale set a judicious opening tempo in the brief orchestra i...
Symphony
VIVALDI FOR ALL SEASONS IN WEILL BAROQUE CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, October 27, 2018
The Venice Baroque Orchestra, a dozen superb musicians that include strings, harpsichord and recorder, played an uplifting concert Oct. 27 of mostly Vivaldi sinfonias and concertos. The Weill Hall audience of 600 had rapt attention throughout, and the playing was of the highest musical level. This r...
RECITAL REVIEW
MasterCard Performance Series / Sunday, October 13, 2013
Bryn Terfel, bass-baritone; Natalia Katukova, pianist

Pianist Natalia Katyukova and bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in Weill

TERFEL'S HEROIC SOUND BEGUILES LARGE WEILL HALL AUDIENCE

by Colin Godwin
Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weill Hall hosted a song recital October 13 by bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, with pianist Natalia Katyukova.

The first half consisted of songs based on poems by John Masefield, composed by Ireland, Warlock, Frederick Keel and Quilter. Following intermission, Mr. Terfel sang lieder of Schumann and Schubert, plus songs from the Celtic Isles. I approached this recital with great curiosity, being only familiar with Mr. Terfel's artistry through his role as Woton in Wagner's Ring Cycle.

During his first selection, Ireland’s blustering "Sea Fever", Mr. Terfel exhibited his ability to form the song to his expression with subtle changes of tempo and volume while not limiting him to a static stance. He moved easily, shifting his body as he sung, owning more of the stage than just the small space next to the piano. His big, forceful and warm voice dominated the hall, which was less than full with some seating remaining on the main floor in addition to the upper areas.

Mr. Terfel does not have a compact voice. It has breadth and depth with an openness and force that seemed to embrace the hall. In one section of a piece he lifted up to a high note with much less volume, and it seemed weak and I wondered if he was tired. Later on, especially in Schubert’s "Litanei," sung very softly, his voice was full and supported. The progression of the songs were varied enough to present a sense of freshness with each.

The singer was a such good actor, using body and facial expressions, that one didn't really have to know the words.

Ms. Katyukova dove into "Sea Fever," adequately balancing and following Mr. Terfel’s leads. As the program progressed she became more of a co performer than a supporting pianist, especially in Schumann’s "Mein Wagen rollet langsam," which had a long postlude. Ms. Katyukova played with a sensitive touch in all the selections, showing her ability to communicate as a soloist while maintaining a connection with Mr. Terfel. They increasingly showed their enjoyment of each other and in what they were creating.

There was a slight problem with the audience. In their exuberant response to the performers, Mr. Terfel had to encourage applause be held to after the sections consisting of several pieces rather than for each one. Finally the audience was able to comply.

Something that I'd not seen before, in the last verse of Schubert’s "Die Forelle," Mr. Terfel sang with a clenched jaw, teeth almost touching. It was very effective in presenting the feelings of anger: "Und ich mit regem Blute". During the Celtic traditional "Loch Lomond" Mr. Terfel stopped and encouraged the audience to sing the recurring stanza. Not being satisfied with the quality of the response, he had the audience stand and sing. The quality and volume of song was much greater.

There were three encores. The first was sung very fast and in a whisper: "Beware, take care, of the green eyed dragon...." The second was "Home On The Range" followed by a comic song "The Gas Man," sung in the style of a pub song. The audience loved it and left the hall smiling.