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Symphony
CONDUCTOR PLAYOFFS BEGIN IN SANTA ROSA
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 08, 2017
The Santa Rosa Symphony is calling 2017-18 “a choice season” because the next few months offer the audience and the symphony’s board of directors a chance to choose a new conductor from a pool of five candidates. Each candidate will lead a three-concert weekend set this fall and winter, with a final...
Symphony
DVORAK AND TCHAIKOVSKY ORCHESTRAL COLOR AT SO CO PHIL SEASON OPENER
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 30, 2017
A concert with curious repertoire and splashy orchestral color launched the 19th season of the Sonoma County Philharmonic Sept. 30 in Santa Rosa High School’s Auditorium. Why curious? Conductor Norman Gamboa paired the ever-popular Dvorak and his rarely heard 1891 trilogy In Nature’s Realm, with t...
Recital
ELEGANT PIANISM IN WATER MUSIC CHARMS HOUSE RECITAL AUDIENCE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 03, 2017
A standard component of house concerts often involve listeners hearing the music but also smelling the lasagna and seeing the champagne in the adjacent kitchen. But it was not the case Sept. 3 at Sandra Shen’s Concerts Grand House Recital performance, as her riveting piano playing enthralled the sm...
Chamber
YOUNG MUSICIANS SHINE AT PIANO SONOMA CONCERT
by Lee Ormasa
Tuesday, August 01, 2017
The third in a series of four concerts by Piano Sonoma artists in residence, part of the Vino and Vibrato Series, was held August 1 in Schroeder Hall at the Green Music Center. Entitled “The Masters,” the program included works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn. Piano Sonoma is a summer artist-in...
Chamber
THRILLING PROGRAM CLOSES VOM CHAMBER FESTIVAL AT HANNA CENTER
by Lee Ormasa
Sunday, July 30, 2017
The finale of the two-week Valley of the Moon Music Festival closed July 30 with “The Age of Bravura” concert at the Sonoma’s Hanna Boys Center. The musical selections held to this year’s Festival theme “Schumann’s World - His Music and the Music He Loved.“ This summer Festival features chamber mus...
Chamber
PERIOD INSTRUMENTAL SOUND AT PENULTIMATE VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, July 30, 2017
In the Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival’s penultimate concert July 30 the perennial issue of period and modern instruments was apparent. But only in the concluding Mendelssohn Trio, as the performances in the two first half works easily avoided instrumental comparisons. Clara Schumann’s t...
Chamber
ECLECTIC REPERTOIRE IN FETCHING VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, July 22, 2017
One of the purposes of summer music festivals is to present unfamiliar music in an attractive and often small audience setting. The Valley of the Moon Music Festival delightfully met these requirements July 22 and 23 with two concerts in the small hall at Sonoma’s Hanna Boys Center. Classical Sono...
Recital
ADAMS' PHRYGIAN GATES HIGHLIGHTS MORKOSKI FESTIVAL PERFORMANCE
by Lee Ormasa
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Attendees at the Molly Morkoski Mendocino Music Festival recital July 22 were in for a treat, both pianistically and if they happened to buy a tasty cookie during intermission. The program included Beethoven’s Op. 27 Moonlight Sonata, Adams’ Phrygian Gates, a surprise add-on of Grieg’s Holberg Suit...
Symphony
SOARING VERDI REQUIEM CLOSES 31ST MENDOCINO FESTIVAL
by Lee Ormasa
Saturday, July 22, 2017
We speak frequently about how there is nothing like the experience of a live performance. Seldom was this truer than at the July 22 closing performance of the two-week Mendocino Music Festival. The Festival Orchestra, conducted by of Allan Pollack, joined with the Festival Chorus in a moving renderi...
Recital
ORGAN REGISTRATION MASTERY HEARD IN WALHAIN'S RECITAL
by Robert Young
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
A group of 65 lucky attendees July 18 had the pleasure of hearing Etienne Walhain’s recital at the Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa. Mr. Walhain is organist at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Tournai, Belgium, and played to a varied program Bach, Franck, and Reger. He used the tonal resource...
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.