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Symphony
SO CO PHIL BON VOYAGE CONCERT AN ODYSSEY OF CONTRASTING SOUND
by Terry McNeill
Friday, June 15, 2018
In a splashy bon voyage concert June 15 the Sonoma County Philharmonic Orchestra launched its June 17-25 Costa Rica tour, performing gratis in Santa Rosa’s Jackson Theater the repertoire for tour concerts in San José, Costa Rica’s capital, and in surrounding towns. Conductor Norman Gamboa pr...
Chamber
COMMANDING CHOPIN AND DEBUSSY IN SLV RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Concerts at the classy Spring Lake Village Retirement Home in Santa Rosa have admission limited to residents and a few guests, but the chance to hear a first cabin North Bay pianist June 6 brought a Classical Sonoma reviewer into the audience of 100. The crowd numbers were unusually low due to a ba...
Recital
MUSICAL ALCHEMY INSIDE A HIDDEN GEM
by Kayleen Asbo
Friday, May 25, 2018
The Petaluma Historical Library and Museum is a hidden gem of Sonoma County, a gracious building that is one of Sonoma County’s loveliest venues for chamber music concerts, with a fine period piano particularly suited to Romantic music.  Of the surprisingly large array of festivities there, one of t...
Chamber
FINAL VOM MUSICIANS CONCERT IN SCHROEDER A SCHUBERT DELIGHT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, May 12, 2018
It's rare to have the opportunity to compare in a short period two performances of the same major Schubert work, in this case the great B Flat Piano Trio, D. 898. The chance came May 12 when the Valley of the Moon Festival musicians played it in Schroeder, just over a month since the Hall’s residen...
Symphony
FERRANDIS BIDS ADIEU WITH MAHLER’S FINAL SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 06, 2018
Sonoma State students in graduation robes posed for pictures and hugged each other at the university’s stone gates on Sunday afternoon, mirroring the prolonged farewells within the university’s Green Music Center, where Bruno Ferrandis bid adieu to the Santa Rosa Symphony after a dozen years at the ...
Symphony
SONIC SPLENDOR AT MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE
by Abby Wasserman
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
The Marin Symphony Orchestra ended the current season with a flourish, interpreting big and small works by Richard Strauss and Stravinsky. Strauss and Stravinsky were contemporaries for 40 years, but inhabited different worlds. Both composers were affected by cataclysmic changes and war, and musical...
Symphony
ORGAN SYMPHONY IN SSU ORCHESTRA CONCERT IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Though Classical Sonoma seldom reviews student concerts, as ample North Coast concerts keep the staff of 11 reviewers busy. But the chance to hear the Sonoma State University Orchestra tackle St. Saëns’ majestic Organ Symphony April 29 was a rare opportunity and not easily to be missed. Avec l’...
Recital
HEAVENLY SCHUBERT AND DEMONIC CHOPIN
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 21, 2018
One of the anomalies in the long ago “Golden Era” of romantic pianism (about 1905 to 1940) is that the virtuoso giants of the time didn’t play Schubert. It took the German pianist Artur Schnabel to bring the beauties of Schuber’s work to the public’s attention, and now they seem to be on almost ever...
Symphony
SPLENDID JUPITER AND ZOOMING CONCERTO AT VALLEJO SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Over the past two years the Vallejo Symphony has made big changes, moving from a stark middle school auditorium to the snazzy remodeled 1911-era downtown Empress Theater, and engaging Marc Taddei as its seventh conductor. April 15 was the season’s final concert of the 86th season. In a programmin...
Chamber
VIRTUOSO CELLO AND GUITAR TRANSCRIPTIONS AT RAC SEBASTOPOL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Listeners and yes even music critics usually prepare for a concert with research, checking recorded performances, looking at artist biographies and even reviewing sheet music. This was a difficult task for the April 14 Redwood Arts Council concert in Sebastopol’s Community Church, as the performers...
CHAMBER REVIEW

Jeewon Park and Edward Arron

RICH PALETTE OF CELLO COLORS IN ARRON-PARK OAKMONT RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Thursday, January 08, 2015

Rachmaninoff’s haunting cello sonata highlighted Music at Oakmont’s first 2015 concert Jan. 8 in the retirement community’s spacious Berger Auditorium.

In a reading that was both muscular and lush cellist Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park explored the ripe romanticism of the Russian’s 1901 G Minor work, replete with references from the F Minor Piano Concerto of ten years earlier. It was played sumptuously with initially fast tempos and piquant inner voices. Mr. Arron is a cellist with an approach mid way between Sonoma County favorites, adding some of Zuill Bailey’s architectural phrasing and some of Yo Yo Ma’s extravagant sonority to his virtuoso execution.

Ms. Park was not a note perfect pianist in this expansive piece (who is with Rachmaninoff’s piano demanding writing?) but never covered her partner. Balances throughout were clear and the glorious Andante movement (really a Largo) had autumnal shape and emotional depth.

The finale was a tour de force of potent chamber music with noble passages, lovely long ritards leading to the rollicking coda and an equally long and swelling vibrato on the cello’s last note.

Two Beethoven works formed most of the first half, the early Variations on “Bei Mãnnern” from Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute,” and the C Major Sonata, Op. 102, No. 1. Playing from score as he did throughout the afternoon Mr. Arron perfectly combined his sonority with the piano line in the seven Variations, and many high notes near the end had an ethereal whine and a Turkish flavor. In the Sonata, Beethoven’s fourth, the music is far removed from the often impetuous third Sonata, and this performance underscored the cello’s lower register in the slow introductions to each of the two movements. The artist’s intonation was sure as was his spicatto bow technique. His instrument can growl as well as lyrically exalt, and both artists managed the long phrases in the introductions with consummate ease and beauty. It was a performance of depth and attention to the smallest detail.

Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango closed the first half, a 1982 composition that was packed with snazzy tasks for Mr. Arron – fast scale passages, slides that were a shadow of portamento, delightful sonic blurs and strongly syncopated rhythmic playing from both Ms. Park and Mr. Arron. The piece surpasses the more popular “Liber Tango” in complexity and impact, and it brought the first of two standing ovations from the 150 in the hall.

For an encore, Mr. Arron spoke to the audience about “cooling down” from the sonorous Rachmaninoff ending, and played a delectable six-minute Dvorak “Silent Woods,” an 1893 transcription by the composer from a two-piano suite. It had harmonies of early Richard Strauss, and the quiet melancholy and leave taking of the work left the audience in a brief reverie.

In technical accomplishment and interpretative richness it was one of the finest cello recitals in memory on the North Coast.