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Symphony
MENDELSSOHN'S SCOTTISH SAVES THE EVENING IN SRS WEILL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Monday, February 11, 2019
The audience entering Weill Hall for Santa Rosa Symphony concerts Feb. 9-11 were presented with a program that on first glance appeared a curious patchwork – a great symphony mixed with a seldom heard concerto and two disparate overtures, and a guest conductor unknown locally. Monday night’s concer...
Recital
INTRIGUING BELL-HAYWOOD RECITAL BEFORE FULL HOUSE IN WEILL HALL
by Abby Wasserman
Friday, February 08, 2019
A big portion of the capacity audience in Weill Hall February 8th came to hear violinist Joshua Bell’s virtuosity, and were treated as well to splendid playing from Sam Haywood, Mr. Bell’s regular pianist since 2010. The duo performed three engaging sonatas, highlighted by Mr. Bell’s sterling techn...
Symphony
TRIPLE PLAY UKIAH SYMPHONY CONCERT AND TCHAIKOVSKY SERENADE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Over the years the Ukiah Symphony’s concerts have been in the Classical Sonoma Calendar sections, but rarely has this Orchestra, now in its 39th season, had a full winter season concert review. The provocative Jan. 27 program in Mendocino College’s Center Theater seemed a good reason to reacquaint ...
Symphony
JACKSON THEATER WELCOMES A NEW RESIDENT ORCHESTRA
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Moving to a permanent new performance venue can be a perilous undertaking for an orchestra, with different acoustics, the loyal audience finding the new spot and infrastructure challenges of lighting and lobby and backstage operations. In their first concert Jan. 26 in Windsor’s Jackson Theater the...
Symphony
ECLECTIC PASSIONATE PROGRAMMING AT MARIN SYMPHONY CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, January 26, 2019
The Marin Symphony’s second Masterworks concert of the 2018-19 season featured works by John Adams, Sibelius and Brahms, a masterful assembly. In a spoken introduction before the program’s first half, conductor Alasdair Neale primed the audience for the “terra incognita” of Adams’ The Chairman Dance...
Symphony
A SLICE OF HEAVEN FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Under its vibrant new music director, Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Santa Rosa Symphony this past Sunday offered a nearly perfect afternoon of Mozart (Symphony No. 40) and Mahler (Symphony No. 4). While the two works share a common digit, the only element uniting them is genius. They made for a dazzlin...
Recital
KHOZYAINOV'S BRILLIANT PIANISM IN MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, January 13, 2019
In its third concert of the season the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society Jan. 13 presented Russian virtuoso Nikolay Khozyainov. His intelligent and sensitive interpretations, masterful pedal work, and virtuoso technique left the near-capacity audience in Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church astounded and ...
Chamber
A COMPLETE MUSICAL PACKAGE IN ARRON'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Cellist Edward Arron has been a welcome artist at the Music at Oakmont series, and after his Jan. 10 recital it’s easy to understand his popularity. His artistry is a complete package, with potent instrumental technique wedded to integral musical conceptions. In a nearly flawless concert with pian...
Choral and Vocal
COMPELLING WEILL HALL MESSIAH ORATORIO FROM THE ABS
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Each holiday season when a Classical Sonoma reviewer is assigned to cover a concert with Handel’s seminal Oratorio The Messiah, the question arises about what new commentary can possibly apply to the often performed choral work. Well, if it’s the American Bach Soloists performing the piece, written...
Opera
PURCELL'S DIDO IN YOUTHFUL SSU OPERA
by Abby Wasserman
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
A doomed royal love affair, the theme of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, was brought to lovely life at Sonoma State University Dec. 5 in the school’s Schroeder Hall. Conducted by faculty member Zachary Gordin, who also played continuo, the performance was only the second opera production presented by the...
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