Home  Reviews  Articles  Calendar  Presenters  Add Event     
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...
Opera
DONIZETTI'S DON PASQUALE HAS LYRICAL CHARM IN MENDOCINO FESTIVAL PRODUCTION
by Elly Lichenstein
Friday, July 14, 2017
Mendocino Music Festival's production of Donizetti's beloved opera buffa Don Pasquale - a one-night affair July 15 that was presented in an enormous tent on a greensward overlooking the Pacific Ocean - delighted an audience of more than 600 while doing some real justice to this frothy gem of commedi...
Recital
NOVACEK'S 2ND HALF TRIFECTA SCORES AT MENDO MUSIC FESTIVAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Modern classical piano recitals are in two parts, with longer and perhaps more profound music proceeding perhaps shorter and usually stimulating lighter fare. In John Novacek’s July 13 Mendocino Music Festival recital the best playing came unexpectedly in the eight abbreviated works comprising the ...
Recital
STYLUS AND PLAYING FANTASTICUS IN YOUNG'S ORGAN RECITAL
by Paul Blanchard
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Organist Robert Young gave a wonderful tour through the stylus fantasticus (fantastic style) organ literature June 25 playing a recital on the Casavant organ at Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa. Mr. Young recently became the organist at the Church and previously served for 20 years as Music D...
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.




.