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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...
Symphony
DVORAK AND TCHAIKOVSKY ORCHESTRAL COLOR AT SO CO PHIL SEASON OPENER
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 30, 2017
A concert with curious repertoire and splashy orchestral color launched the 19th season of the Sonoma County Philharmonic Sept. 30 in Santa Rosa High School’s Auditorium. Why curious? Conductor Norman Gamboa paired the ever-popular Dvorak and his rarely heard 1891 trilogy In Nature’s Realm, with t...
Recital
ELEGANT PIANISM IN WATER MUSIC CHARMS HOUSE RECITAL AUDIENCE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 03, 2017
A standard component of house concerts often involve listeners hearing the music but also smelling the lasagna and seeing the champagne in the adjacent kitchen. But it was not the case Sept. 3 at Sandra Shen’s Concerts Grand House Recital performance, as her riveting piano playing enthralled the sm...
Chamber
YOUNG MUSICIANS SHINE AT PIANO SONOMA CONCERT
by Lee Ormasa
Tuesday, August 01, 2017
The third in a series of four concerts by Piano Sonoma artists in residence, part of the Vino and Vibrato Series, was held August 1 in Schroeder Hall at the Green Music Center. Entitled “The Masters,” the program included works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn. Piano Sonoma is a summer artist-in...
Chamber
THRILLING PROGRAM CLOSES VOM CHAMBER FESTIVAL AT HANNA CENTER
by Lee Ormasa
Sunday, July 30, 2017
The finale of the two-week Valley of the Moon Music Festival closed July 30 with “The Age of Bravura” concert at the Sonoma’s Hanna Boys Center. The musical selections held to this year’s Festival theme “Schumann’s World - His Music and the Music He Loved.“ This summer Festival features chamber mus...
Chamber
PERIOD INSTRUMENTAL SOUND AT PENULTIMATE VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, July 30, 2017
In the Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival’s penultimate concert July 30 the perennial issue of period and modern instruments was apparent. But only in the concluding Mendelssohn Trio, as the performances in the two first half works easily avoided instrumental comparisons. Clara Schumann’s t...
Chamber
ECLECTIC REPERTOIRE IN FETCHING VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, July 22, 2017
One of the purposes of summer music festivals is to present unfamiliar music in an attractive and often small audience setting. The Valley of the Moon Music Festival delightfully met these requirements July 22 and 23 with two concerts in the small hall at Sonoma’s Hanna Boys Center. Classical Sono...
Recital
ADAMS' PHRYGIAN GATES HIGHLIGHTS MORKOSKI FESTIVAL PERFORMANCE
by Lee Ormasa
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Attendees at the Molly Morkoski Mendocino Music Festival recital July 22 were in for a treat, both pianistically and if they happened to buy a tasty cookie during intermission. The program included Beethoven’s Op. 27 Moonlight Sonata, Adams’ Phrygian Gates, a surprise add-on of Grieg’s Holberg Suit...
Symphony
SOARING VERDI REQUIEM CLOSES 31ST MENDOCINO FESTIVAL
by Lee Ormasa
Saturday, July 22, 2017
We speak frequently about how there is nothing like the experience of a live performance. Seldom was this truer than at the July 22 closing performance of the two-week Mendocino Music Festival. The Festival Orchestra, conducted by of Allan Pollack, joined with the Festival Chorus in a moving renderi...
Recital
ORGAN REGISTRATION MASTERY HEARD IN WALHAIN'S RECITAL
by Robert Young
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
A group of 65 lucky attendees July 18 had the pleasure of hearing Etienne Walhain’s recital at the Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa. Mr. Walhain is organist at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Tournai, Belgium, and played to a varied program Bach, Franck, and Reger. He used the tonal resource...
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.