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Symphony
SO CO PHIL BON VOYAGE CONCERT AN ODYSSEY OF CONTRASTING SOUND
by Terry McNeill
Friday, June 15, 2018
In a splashy bon voyage concert June 15 the Sonoma County Philharmonic Orchestra launched its June 17-25 Costa Rica tour, performing gratis in Santa Rosaís Jackson Theater the repertoire for tour concerts in San Josť, Costa Ricaís capital, and in surrounding towns. Conductor Norman Gamboa pr...
Chamber
COMMANDING CHOPIN AND DEBUSSY IN SLV RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Concerts at the classy Spring Lake Village Retirement Home in Santa Rosa have admission limited to residents and a few guests, but the chance to hear a first cabin North Bay pianist June 6 brought a Classical Sonoma reviewer into the audience of 100. The crowd numbers were unusually low due to a ba...
Recital
MUSICAL ALCHEMY INSIDE A HIDDEN GEM
by Kayleen Asbo
Friday, May 25, 2018
The Petaluma Historical Library and Museum is a hidden gem of Sonoma County, a gracious†building†that is one of Sonoma Countyís loveliest venues for chamber music concerts, with a fine period piano particularly suited to Romantic music.† Of the surprisingly large array of festivities there, one of t...
Chamber
FINAL VOM MUSICIANS CONCERT IN SCHROEDER A SCHUBERT DELIGHT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, May 12, 2018
It's rare to have the opportunity to compare in a short period two performances of the same major Schubert work, in this case the great B Flat Piano Trio, D. 898. The chance came May 12 when the Valley of the Moon Festival musicians played it in Schroeder, just over a month since the Hallís residen...
Symphony
FERRANDIS BIDS ADIEU WITH MAHLERíS FINAL SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 06, 2018
Sonoma State students in graduation robes posed for pictures and hugged each other at the universityís stone gates on Sunday afternoon, mirroring the prolonged farewells within the universityís Green Music Center, where Bruno Ferrandis bid adieu to the Santa Rosa Symphony after a dozen years at the ...
Symphony
SONIC SPLENDOR AT MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE
by Abby Wasserman
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
The Marin Symphony Orchestra ended the current season with a flourish, interpreting big and small works by Richard Strauss and Stravinsky. Strauss and Stravinsky were contemporaries for 40 years, but inhabited different worlds. Both composers were affected by cataclysmic changes and war, and musical...
Symphony
ORGAN SYMPHONY IN SSU ORCHESTRA CONCERT IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Though Classical Sonoma seldom reviews student concerts, as ample North Coast concerts keep the staff of 11 reviewers busy. But the chance to hear the Sonoma State University Orchestra tackle St. SaŽnsí majestic Organ Symphony April 29 was a rare opportunity and not easily to be missed. Avec lí...
Recital
HEAVENLY SCHUBERT AND DEMONIC CHOPIN
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 21, 2018
One of the anomalies in the long ago ďGolden EraĒ of romantic pianism (about 1905 to 1940) is that the virtuoso giants of the time didnít play Schubert. It took the German pianist Artur Schnabel to bring the beauties of Schuberís work to the publicís attention, and now they seem to be on almost ever...
Symphony
SPLENDID JUPITER AND ZOOMING CONCERTO AT VALLEJO SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Over the past two years the Vallejo Symphony has made big changes, moving from a stark middle school auditorium to the snazzy remodeled 1911-era downtown Empress Theater, and engaging Marc Taddei as its seventh conductor. April 15 was the seasonís final concert of the 86th season. In a programmin...
Chamber
VIRTUOSO CELLO AND GUITAR TRANSCRIPTIONS AT RAC SEBASTOPOL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Listeners and yes even music critics usually prepare for a concert with research, checking recorded performances, looking at artist biographies and even reviewing sheet music. This was a difficult task for the April 14 Redwood Arts Council concert in Sebastopolís Community Church, as the performers...
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, Irelandís 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 Schubertís "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. Terfelís leads. As the program progressed she became more of a co performer than a supporting pianist, especially in Schumannís "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 Schubertís "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.