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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 Rosa’s Jackson Theater the repertoire for tour concerts in San José, Costa Rica’s 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 County’s 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 Hall’s residen...
Symphony
FERRANDIS BIDS ADIEU WITH MAHLER’S FINAL SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 06, 2018
Sonoma State students in graduation robes posed for pictures and hugged each other at the university’s stone gates on Sunday afternoon, mirroring the prolonged farewells within the university’s 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. Saëns’ majestic Organ Symphony April 29 was a rare opportunity and not easily to be missed. Avec l’...
Recital
HEAVENLY SCHUBERT AND DEMONIC CHOPIN
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 21, 2018
One of the anomalies in the long ago “Golden Era” of romantic pianism (about 1905 to 1940) is that the virtuoso giants of the time didn’t play Schubert. It took the German pianist Artur Schnabel to bring the beauties of Schuber’s work to the public’s 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 season’s 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 Sebastopol’s Community Church, as the performers...
RECITAL REVIEW
MasterCard Perofrmance Series / Sunday, May 18, 2014
Richard Goode, piano

Marcia Weinfeld and Richard Goode in Weill Hall May 18

ELEGANCE AND INTROSPECTION

by Nicki Bell
Sunday, May 18, 2014

A May 18 Weill Hall audience was led by the hands and heart of Richard Goode to a quiet realm of the sublime with a performance of the masterful last three Beethoven Piano Sonatas.

The program was billed as the first time the artist has toured with the Op. 109, 110 and 111 pieces, and these weighty works were leavened somewhat by lighter Beethoven, the eleven short Op. 119 Bagatelles, that opened the second half. Mr. Goode's playing has always avoided the colossal and histrionic in Beethoven, concentrating the musical experience in contrasts that underscore both power and delicacy. It’s an admirable approach removed from a French or Slavic style in Beethoven.

Beginning with the E Major Sonata, Op. 109, the pianist immediately established a strong rhythmic pulse which later carried over into the A Flat and C Minor Sonatas. The second movement of Op. 109 was played aggressively with a lengthy theme and six variations and a clearly-articulated fugue. The trills were technically secure and the reading built to the serene return of the lovely theme.

Opus 110 was similarly dramatic, even more so with insistent lyricism and the pianist deftly portraying the Arioso’s inward despair. The concluding fugue had subtle voice leadings that built gradually to a full and commanding ending.

Concluding the recital was a stormy performance of the Op. 111 work, especially potent in the “Maestos – Allegro con brio ed appassionato” movement. Here the artist scaled technical and interpretative heights with impressive speed and endurance. The monumental and ecstatic Arietta theme was a deeply moving experience and Mr. Goode maintained the basic tempo throughout the variations, including the fourth variation which is frequently played too fast. The performance of this autumnal work had a shimmering depth of emotion and sensitivity palpable to the audience sprinkled with pianists. Surprisingly there was not the usual Op. 111 "held breath" hush, and Mr. Goode appeared disconcerted at the all-too-soon ovation. There was no encore.

The 70-year old pianist played entirely from score, a somewhat rare occurrence given Mr. Goode’s eminence, and the artist selected Weill’s newest concert instrument that proved to have an overly bright treble.

Dean Morse and Sonia Tubridy contributed to this review