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Recital
GLITTERING PIANISM IN LI'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Piano prodigies have always been a fascination for the music public, and the greatest of them (some were Mozart, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Saint Saëns, Hofmann) went on to legendary fame. George Li, who made is local debut at a Music at Oakmont recital April 11, was a remarkable recent keyboard prodigy t...
Symphony
SO CO PHIL'S SEASON CLOSER WITH EXPANSIVE PROKOFIEV 5TH IN JACKSON
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 07, 2019
Closing their 20th season with their usual programming aplomb, the Sonoma County Philharmonic played a provocative set of concerts April 6 and 7 in the Jackson Theater, the Orchestra’s new home at the Sonoma Country Day School by the Sonoma County Airport. Local composer Nolan Gasser’s Sonoma Overt...
Choral and Vocal
SISTINE CHAPEL INSPIRATION FOR THE TALLIS SCHOLARS IN WEILL HALL
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, April 05, 2019
Returning to Weill Hall April 5 after a seven year absence, the ten singers of the Tallis Scholars brought the sacred choral tradition of Palestrina and his contemporaries to an audience of delighted music lovers. Under the direction of Peter Phillips, the 1973 founder of the group, the program was...
Symphony
AUTUMNAL SIBELIUS 7TH HIGHLIGHTS VSO'S SEASON CLOSING CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 31, 2019
Closing their 87th Season March 30 and 31 the Vallejo Symphony has moved from a single weekend concert to a set of two, and the late March response was two full houses in the charming downtown Vallejo Empress Theater. Conductor Marc Taddei opened the Sunday program with a rousing performance of B...
Recital
SHARED INSTRUMENTAL BEAUTY IN VIEAUX-MEYERS WEILL HALL CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, March 30, 2019
Exciting timbral sound and intricate counterpoint, made possible when two artists with complementary instruments play together, were richly explored by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and guitarist Jason Vieaux March 30 in Weill Hall. Whether in close harmony, or unison, or weaving separate melodies to...
Chamber
RARE MAHLER QUARTET AT MILL VALLEY CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, March 24, 2019
Piano quartets are relatively rare in the classical literature, and there are only about 40 compositions for the combination of piano, violin, viola and cello, mostly from the Romantic period of the mid to late 1800s. It therefore was special March 24 to hear three great works of this medium, perfor...
Symphony
AMERICAN CLASSICS SPARKLE UNDER KAHANE’S BATON
by Steve Osborn
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Jeffrey Kahane, the Santa Rosa Symphony’s former conductor, returned to the Weill Hall podium on Saturday night, and the results were expectedly wonderful. The concert of American classics was by turns playful (Gershwin’s “An American in Paris”), emotional (Barber’s violin concerto) and triumphant (...
Chamber
FLORESTAN TRIO'S MENDELSSOHN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Friday, March 08, 2019
Spring Lake Village’s monthly concerts usually clock in under an hour, but the March 8 Florestan Trio’s performance was more extended as so much good music was on tap for the 125 residents attending at Santa Rosa’s premiere retirement residence facility. Four short pieces made up the first half, be...
Chamber
TILDEN TRIO'S BOHEMIAN ENERGY AT DOMINICAN CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Hard on the heels of the Trio Navarro’s late February concert in Sonoma State’s Schroeder Hall, Northern California’s other premiere resident piano trio, the Tilden, played an equally convincing program March 3 in Dominican University’s Angelico Hall. Clearly each hall’s acoustics, stage pianos and...
Recital
24 SONGS IN A MENKE-THOMPSON RECITAL ODYSSEY
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Sonoma County pop and country singing enjoys continued popularity but it rare to see a professional classical vocal concert announced. Diva Ruth Ann Swenson was once a local star, but she has long departed and not much virtuoso recital singing can be found in the North Bay. But the exception to th...
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