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Symphony
MENDELSSOHN'S SCOTTISH SAVES THE EVENING IN SRS WEILL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Monday, February 11, 2019
The audience entering Weill Hall for Santa Rosa Symphony concerts Feb. 9-11 were presented with a program that on first glance appeared a curious patchwork – a great symphony mixed with a seldom heard concerto and two disparate overtures, and a guest conductor unknown locally. Monday night’s concer...
Recital
INTRIGUING BELL-HAYWOOD RECITAL BEFORE FULL HOUSE IN WEILL HALL
by Abby Wasserman
Friday, February 08, 2019
A big portion of the capacity audience in Weill Hall February 8th came to hear violinist Joshua Bell’s virtuosity, and were treated as well to splendid playing from Sam Haywood, Mr. Bell’s regular pianist since 2010. The duo performed three engaging sonatas, highlighted by Mr. Bell’s sterling techn...
Symphony
TRIPLE PLAY UKIAH SYMPHONY CONCERT AND TCHAIKOVSKY SERENADE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Over the years the Ukiah Symphony’s concerts have been in the Classical Sonoma Calendar sections, but rarely has this Orchestra, now in its 39th season, had a full winter season concert review. The provocative Jan. 27 program in Mendocino College’s Center Theater seemed a good reason to reacquaint ...
Symphony
JACKSON THEATER WELCOMES A NEW RESIDENT ORCHESTRA
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Moving to a permanent new performance venue can be a perilous undertaking for an orchestra, with different acoustics, the loyal audience finding the new spot and infrastructure challenges of lighting and lobby and backstage operations. In their first concert Jan. 26 in Windsor’s Jackson Theater the...
Symphony
ECLECTIC PASSIONATE PROGRAMMING AT MARIN SYMPHONY CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, January 26, 2019
The Marin Symphony’s second Masterworks concert of the 2018-19 season featured works by John Adams, Sibelius and Brahms, a masterful assembly. In a spoken introduction before the program’s first half, conductor Alasdair Neale primed the audience for the “terra incognita” of Adams’ The Chairman Dance...
Symphony
A SLICE OF HEAVEN FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Under its vibrant new music director, Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Santa Rosa Symphony this past Sunday offered a nearly perfect afternoon of Mozart (Symphony No. 40) and Mahler (Symphony No. 4). While the two works share a common digit, the only element uniting them is genius. They made for a dazzlin...
Recital
KHOZYAINOV'S BRILLIANT PIANISM IN MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, January 13, 2019
In its third concert of the season the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society Jan. 13 presented Russian virtuoso Nikolay Khozyainov. His intelligent and sensitive interpretations, masterful pedal work, and virtuoso technique left the near-capacity audience in Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church astounded and ...
Chamber
A COMPLETE MUSICAL PACKAGE IN ARRON'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Cellist Edward Arron has been a welcome artist at the Music at Oakmont series, and after his Jan. 10 recital it’s easy to understand his popularity. His artistry is a complete package, with potent instrumental technique wedded to integral musical conceptions. In a nearly flawless concert with pian...
Choral and Vocal
COMPELLING WEILL HALL MESSIAH ORATORIO FROM THE ABS
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Each holiday season when a Classical Sonoma reviewer is assigned to cover a concert with Handel’s seminal Oratorio The Messiah, the question arises about what new commentary can possibly apply to the often performed choral work. Well, if it’s the American Bach Soloists performing the piece, written...
Opera
PURCELL'S DIDO IN YOUTHFUL SSU OPERA
by Abby Wasserman
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
A doomed royal love affair, the theme of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, was brought to lovely life at Sonoma State University Dec. 5 in the school’s Schroeder Hall. Conducted by faculty member Zachary Gordin, who also played continuo, the performance was only the second opera production presented by the...
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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