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Recital
DEMANDING VIOLIN SONATAS CONQUERED BY BEILMAN-WEISS DUO IN SCHROEDER
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Violinist Benjamin Beilman’s ravishing Mozart performance at last summer’s Weill Hall ChamberFest finale lured an enthusiastic crowd to Schroeder Hall May 14 to hear if his secure virtuosity was up to a program of demanding sonatas. He did not disappoint. With the powerful pianist Orion Weiss in t...
Symphony
SOVIETS INVADE WEILL HALL, TAKE NO PRISONERS
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 07, 2017
Bruno Ferrandis may be French, but he excels in Soviet repertoire. His Slavonic expertise was more than amply demonstrated at the Santa Rosa Symphony’s May 7 concert, where the program began joyfully with Khachaturian’s ballet suite from “Masquerade,” surged forward with Prokofiev’s second violin co...
Recital
MASTERFUL PIANISM IN GOODE'S WEILL HALL RECITAL
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, May 05, 2017
Pianist Richard Goode programmed an evening of treasures May 5 from four great composers, and is an artist of intimacy and intelligence, power and passion, able to go deep and to soar. Hearing Mr. Goode play this literature was a reminder of how music does indeed bridge worlds and time. Bach’s E m...
Recital
ELEGANT ORGAN SALUTE TO THE REFORMATION
by Paul Blanchard
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Organist Jonathan Dimmock presented an April 30 recital in homage to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, playing Schroeder Hall’s wonderful Brombaugh instrument. Mr. Dimmock is the organist for the San Francisco Symphony, principal organist for the Palace of the Legion of Honor and teaches at...
Chamber
NOTES AND BARS DO NOT A PRISON MAKE
by Nicki Bell
Saturday, April 29, 2017
The Hermitage Piano Trio brought exuberant musicality and sumptuous sound to a packed house April 29 in Occidental's Performing Arts Center for the last concert in the Redwood Arts Council’s 37th season. With a wide interpretive range--from lush to delicate to passionate--these three young Russian v...
Recital
SCHUMANN AND BARTOK HIGHLIGHT BRONFMAN RECITAL IN WEILL
by Lee Ormasa
Friday, April 21, 2017
Those people once addicted to the “Angry Birds” game application likely suffered an auditory flashback during the opening measures of the allegro from Bartok’s Suite, Op. 14, the opening work in Yefim Bronfman’s April 21 recital at Weill Hall. The repetitive opening figures of the Bartok were...
Symphony
HULKING MAHLER "TITAN" AT SO CO PHIL'S SEASON FINALE
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 08, 2017
A composer’s first symphony rarely gives a clear indication of what beautiful complexities will follow over the years. Early Mozart and Tchaikovsky are examples, and the big exceptions to this axiom are the “firsts” of Beethoven, Shostakovich and Mahler. Tackling Mahler ‘s D Major Symphony (No. 1,...
Symphony
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY STAYS CLOSE TO HOME
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Santa Rosa Symphony concerts usually feature high-powered soloists imported from afar, but for their recent “Bring on the Strings” concert set, they stuck close to home, thrusting their principal violin, viola and cello into the limelight. The violinist (Joseph Edelberg) and the violist (Elizabeth P...
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...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center / Saturday, October 18, 2014
Musicians TBA

The Society Players After the Brahms Quintet in Weill Hall (N. Bell Photo)

AUTUMNAL BRAHMS IN WEILL CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT

by Nicki Bell and Sonia Tubridy
Saturday, October 18, 2014

If you were in Weill Oct. 18 you might have experienced heaven, a Brahms heaven, when New York’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center played an all-Brahms concert in the Hall’s MasterCard Performance series.

It was late Brahms which means rich emotional expression and deep and fluid themes. The clear connection between five musicians and five introspective compositions gave this familiar music a freshness that seemingly left the audience of 800 deeply moved.

Opening the concert was the A Minor Trio, Op. 114, for clarinet, cello and piano. From the first warm and glorious tones we were immersed in a world of beauty, expressively played by pianist Shai Wosner, cellist Timothy Eddy and clarinetist David Schifrin. The intertwining of the instrumental voices and long elegiac melodic lines produced wonderful harmonies.

Mr. Wosner was then joined by violinist Erin Keefe in the last Brahms Violin Sonata, Op. 108, the great work in D Minor. The ardor and drama of the Brahms Trio’s finale is picked up in the first movement of the complex sonata. It was a passionate and beseeching reading that melted into pure song. The Adagio was played with direct expression, pedal point and was mesmerizing.

Following intermission Mfr. Wosner played two piano gems, the Intermezzo from Op. 117 (No. 1) and the E Flat Rhapsody from Op. 119. The pianist provided the requisite power in the coda of the latter work and the playing, as Clara Schumann remarked, “combines passion and tenderness in the smallest of spaces.”

Concluding the evening was the monumental Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115, with violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky joining Ms. Keefe, violist Mark Holloway and Mr. Eddy and Mr. Schifrin in an assured and autumnal performance. Weill’s pristine acoustics generated contrapuntal clarity and the lovely pianissimos left one tingling, and Mr. Schfrin's breath control was remarkable. It was visually exciting to watch the quintet’s internal communication, subtle body language and split-second music responses. This blending, contrasts, solos, duets and passionate partnering all evoked an elegant dance.

It was an evening of heavenly sounds and glorious Brahmsian beauty.