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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
Anderson and Roe / Friday, October 24, 2014
Terry McNeill

Anderson and Roe in Weill Oct. 24 (S. Tubridy Photo)

DARK SPIRITS IN SPOOKY ANDERSON AND ROE WEILL PROGRAM

by Sonia Tubridy
Friday, October 24, 2014

The Anderson and Roe piano duo have been a force in the music world for over a decade. Their arrangements and performances present virtuoso abilities and commitment to engaging audiences in the beauty and drama of classical music, juxtaposed with contemporary artists' music of other genres.
The concert Oct. 24 at Weill Hall was called Dancing in the Dark, a program to celebrate Halloween. Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe introduced each piece with intelligence and humor, warning us of some of the unusual sounds and experiences ahead.

They commenced with Dance Macabre, the St. Saëns Bacchanal for two pianos in their own arrangement. Twelve bells of midnight ushered in a wild revelry of skeletons until a crow announces dawn. It was intense and captivating, the ensemble and connection between the two musicians seemed almost supernatural. The next piece was Rachmaninoff's "The Night…The Love" based on a poem by Byron. This was lush and rich in romantic emotional content, and the beauty of the last slow quiet chords, played as if the two musicians were one, lingered in the hushed hall.

This was followed by Stravinsky's “Adoration of the Earth” from the Rite of Spring, performed on one piano and a ballet from 1913 depicting ancient Russian tribal rituals and through this the tumult and turbulence of the times. We were told that the savagery of the music was meant to shock, and it is relevant to the violence and confusion all over the world today as well. We were told that if we were not terrified and on the edge of our seats, they were not doing things right. They certainly succeeded in an intense emotional and physical impact. An exquisite gentle and sad Ballet from Gluck's Orfeo and Eurydice, arranged for piano duet, depicted an underworld dance of spirits and the loss of a great love, and was intimately played.

The last selection in the first half of the program was Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean". Certainly this was a surprise for many, and it was not a cover of the song but rather an attempt to highlight the dark spirit and the iconic dance movements. Throughout the concert the theme of dance was apparent and often the performers would add dance moves to their playing.

We were again surprised following intermission. On a large screen a music video of Schubert's "Der Erlkonig" was shown, a horror film involving Anderson and Roe playing in a Steinway Piano Company warehouse with disintegrating pianos and performers being tossed about violently. This was frightening but always with a sense of humor, a quality the duo have in abundance. Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" was next with challenging sonorities and rhythms, and an introduction inviting us to experience a psychological journey of a dark nightmare tale of alienation and isolation. This unquiet world of strange layered harmonies and sounds then gave way to a beautiful cinematic "Quietly Luminous,” inspired by John Williams' score from Star Wars.

Closing this compelling and provocative concert was a transcription of Bizet's opera Carmen, condensed into 13 minutes of operatic and orchestral beauty and drama. The performers invited us to be seduced by the tempestuous music and it was a wonderful way to end the evening. But no, it wasn't over. The enthusiastic audience was treated to Sabre Dance by Khatchaturian and then Piazzola's Libertango on one piano. It was played very sensually as a tango, with eyes, arms and bodies suggesting the tango as nimble fingers danced.

Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe are fascinating artists, and they lavished an appreciative audience with delightful tricks and treats.




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