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Recital
SLAM BANG SONORITY IN HAOCHEN ZHANG'S SCHROEDER RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Piano Competition winners are in ample supply, and it’s often a hit and miss proposition as to their sterling interpretative qualities. However, the quadrennial Van Cliburn Competition in Ft. Worth has continually produced top-level artists, and the 2009 winner Haochen Zhang proved a formidable per...
Symphony
FOREIGN AFFAIRS CHARACTERS OF THE BAROQUE
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, known as Akamus, played a Weill Hall concert March 12 in a program called "Foreign Affairs -Characters of the Baroque.” The ensemble, that began in 1984, has 15 musicians led by concert master Bernhard Forck. Attired in elegant black with red accents, ranging from tie...
Recital
MUSCULAR PIANISM DOMINATES MILL VALLEY CHAMBER SOCIETY RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Piano recitals since the beginning of the genre open with finger pieces - Scarlatti or Soler Sonatas, Bach, a Mendelssohn Prelude and Fugue or perhaps Mozart or Haydn. Sarah Daneshpour’s March 12 opening work at the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society series abruptly avoided the norm with the 10-minut...
Recital
NOVEL HAYDN AND SCHUMANN IN YARDEN'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Israeli pianist Einav Yarden has been a frequent Sonoma County visitor, playing private recitals for Spring Lake Village and Concerts Grand, and twice performing for Music at Oakmont. The Berlin-based artist returned to Oakmont’s Berger Auditorium March 9 with a program that was neither for connois...
Chamber
CONSUMMATE ENSEMBLE FROM THE MIRÓ IN WEILL
by Sonia Tubridy and Nicki Bell
Sunday, March 05, 2017
A March 5 Weill hall audience of 350 leaned in to share an intimate musical space and to hear the Miró String Quartet’s sterling concert. Starting with Haydn's Op. 20, No. 4, the four musicians seemed to want listeners to be enveloped in their music. The Miró plays with the feat of being four dist...
Recital
BRILLIANT VIOLIN AND PIANO ARTISTRY CHARMS SCHROEDER HALL AUDIENCE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 26, 2017
A tiny Schroeder Hall audience heard a flawless recital Feb. 26 by Yu-Chien Tseng, arguably the best recent local violin recital since Gil Shaham’s transversal of the complete Bach Suites in Weill and Frank Almond’s Oakmont recital in 2015. Muscular playing was the afternoon’s norm, and with pianis...
Chamber
MUSIC AND ART MELD IN ZUCKERMAN TRIO CONCERT
by Nicki Bell
Friday, February 24, 2017
A Feb. 24 Weill Hall concert by the Pinchas Zuckerman Trio juxtaposed formidable music making with palpable associations about visual art. Brahms’ C Minor "Sonatensatz” (Scherzo) is a short youthful work for violin and piano, and was an opening call to action. Lively and vigorous playing alternated...
Chamber
THREE BEETHOVEN TRIOS BEGUILE AUDIENCE IN FEB. 19 WEILL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Chamber music concerts featuring one composer can be tricky, but the Han/Setzer/Finckel trio made a Feb. 19 Weill Hall audience of 500 hear and to a degree see the boundless creativity of Beethoven. The G Major Trio, Op. 1, No. 2, opened the afternoon’s Beethoven odyssey and one wonders why it is t...
Chamber
AUTHORITATIVE BARTOK HIGHLIGHTS TETZLAFF VIOLIN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Christian Tetzlaff’s Feb. 18 violin recital rolled along with lively and fresh readings of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert when the specter of Bartok’s granitic Second Sonata intervened. The sonic shock to the audience of 250 in Weill was palpable. Composed in 1923 the 20-minute two-movement work i...
Symphony
WHAT SOUND DO STAR-CROSSED LOVERS MAKE?
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so the Santa Rosa Symphony feted the occasion by telling and retelling the story of Romeo and Juliet, a tale ever the more poignant during our era of stark divisions. The first telling was from Berlioz; the second from Prokofiev. In between was Brahms’ monu...
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