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Recital
HEAVENLY SCHUBERT AND DEMONIC CHOPIN
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 21, 2018
One of the anomalies in the long ago ďGolden EraĒ of romantic pianism (about 1905 to 1940) is that the virtuoso giants of the time didnít play Schubert. It took the German pianist Artur Schnabel to bring the beauties of Schuberís work to the publicís attention, and now it seems to be on almost every...
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 seasonís 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 Sebastopolís Community Church, as the performers...
Chamber
TRIO NAVARRO'S POPULAR FARE IN SCHROEDER HALL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 08, 2018
Long time Classical Sonoma readers may recall many Trio Navarro concert reviews that lauded their virtuosity and interest in rarely played repertoire. The April 8 concert in Schroeder Hall before 85 chamber music fans featured sterling performances but had a mostly conservative menu of popular trio...
Recital
KENNER'S ALL POLISH RECITAL HAS PADEREWSKI RARITY
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, April 08, 2018
Kevin Kennerís April 8 recital at Dominican Universityís Angelico Hall had been advertised as all-Chopin, but he added a detour into another seminal Polish composer-pianist, Paderewski. Several of Mr. Kennerís teachers were Poles, he speaks Polish, and he navigated at the piano both composersí deman...
Symphony
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE VOICE AT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, April 08, 2018
In an April 8 Santa Rosa Symphony concert filled to the brim with instruments--electric violin, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard samplers, harps, piano and myriad drums, gongs and bells, to say nothing of winds, brass and strings--the instrument that came out on top was the hum...
Chamber
VOM FESTIVAL TRIO CHARMS WITH CHAMBER MIX, AND HUMMEL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, March 31, 2018
At the core of the group of Valley of the Moon Music Festival (VOM) musicians is an ensemble of trios and duos, and as a trio March 31 Festival founders cellist Tanya Tomkins and pianist Eric Zivian joined British violinist Monica Huggett for a chamber music concert in the Green Music Centerís Schro...
Choral and Vocal
GOOD FRIDAY REQUIEM FILLS INCARNATION
by Terry McNeill
Friday, March 30, 2018
Maurice Duruflťís short and intense Requiem has been heard in Santa Rosaís Church of the Incarnation before, but the March 30 Good Friday performance was stripped down in the number of performers, combining Cantiamo Sonoma and the St. Cecilia Choir with musical underpinning from organist Robert Youn...
Symphony
HAMELIN'S HUSKY MOOD IN SCHROEDER RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Convention in piano recitals has the artist coming on stage and playing. Canadian pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin walked on Schroeder Hallís stage March 25 and didnít play for six minutes, chatting with the audience. A risk for some artists. Then most programs include a contemporary or rarely play...
Recital
VIRTUOSIC VARIATIONS IN MORGAN'S SCHROEDER ORGAN RECITAL
by Paul Blanchard
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Organist Robert Huw Morganís artistry spun through the web of early variation form in a Mar. 18 recital on Schroeder Hallís wonderful Brombaugh organ. Mr. Morgan, Stanford Universityís resident organist, performs a wide range of repertoire, but as he said in comments to the audience, he loves when h...
RECITAL REVIEW
Music at Oakmont / Thursday, October 16, 2014
Einav Yarden, piano

Pianist Einav Yarden

PIANISM OF SUBSTANCE AND CONTROL

by Terry McNeill
Thursday, October 16, 2014

Israeli pianist Einav Yarden has had several past Sonoma County appearances, but her Oct. 16 Music at Oakmont recital exhibited a new and attractive level of resolute programming, instrumental mastery and impressive musicianship.

She played three substantial works, including the opening Second English Suite of Bach (BWV 807), which was in many ways the most memorable. The Prelude was lively but never too fast, allowing clarity in the mainly two-voiced contrapuntal lines, and leading smoothly into the stately Allemande and a Courante of rhythmic complexity.

Ms. Yarden used minimal damper pedal throughout, enhancing a chaste pianissimo touch in the expressive Sarabande and providing lucidity in the concluding Gigue. There isnít much dynamic contrast in the two Bourrťes and in the da capo part of the Gigue, but itís a low-temperature work that mated well with the artistís interpretation and mood.

Closing the first half was Ravelís popular "Valses Nobles et Sentimentales," a series of eight connected pieces that range from a forceful opening to a delicate closing waltz recapitulation. The playing of each captured ample mystery and chordal structure, especially in the Assez lent and Assez animť waltzes. It was thoughtful and at times pensive playing in a work that in lesser hands can sound raucous.

Occupying the entire second half was the monumental Schubert G Major Sonata, D. 894, one of the composerís four last sonatas. It took courage to program in Oakmont a restrained work that can take close to 45 minutes to play, with extended themes and long repetitions. But itís a heavenly length and as in the Bach, the pianist opted for judicious tempos throughout. She brought the long crescendo in the first movementís development section to a firm but not loud climax, and contrasted it with the rest of the movementís lyrical serenity. In fact the entire recital didnít have any fortissimo playing, the music instead demanding the artistís careful chordal weighting and rhythmic control. The lovely motive where the left hand plays legato single notes against short right-hand figurations was captivatingly played, each of the six times being slightly different.

The Minuetto-Allegretto was appropriately played in a dance-like manner and the finale (Allegretto) was spacious and convincing. Itís a difficult work to sustain and Ms. Yardenís approach to each work in the recital had to be taken on its own terms. I found all of the playing compelling. There was no encore.

One hundred and fifty attended the recital in Berger Auditorium, which has a continuously noisy HVAC system.