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Symphony
HEROIC EFFORT FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 13, 2020
December 13 was a rainy day, perfect for huddling indoors and watching a prerecorded “live” performance by the Santa Rosa Symphony. The program was expansive, with music from the 18th through 21st centuries, and the mood was festive, in keeping with the holiday season. There was something in the fea...
Symphony
MASKED SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CARRIES ON BRILLIANTLY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 15, 2020
In some ways the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Nov. 15 concert on YouTube resembled a Conceptual Art performance from the 1970s. On display were about 30 masked orchestral musicians playing six feet apart from each other on stage, some of them separated by plexiglass barriers. In the 1970s, the concept behi...
Chamber
SPLENDID STRINGS IN A SUNLIT GARDEN
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, November 1, 2020
A sun-drenched autumn afternoon, a Marin County garden and six superb string players from the Santa Rosa Symphony were manna from heaven to a pandemic-weary audience starved for live music. The sextet of Santa Rosa Symphony musicians performed to a small group of 20 Nov. 1, the day after Halloween....
Chamber
EXAMPLARY QUARTET PLAYING IN MARIN GARDEN CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Taped video concerts have pretty much dominated the recent fare for classical music fans, but sporadic live music making can still be found in the North Bay with outdoor chamber music. Of course with the obligatory social distancing and often decorative facial masks. Four San Francisco Opera Orc...
Chamber
VIDEO CHAMBER MUSIC FROM LINCOLN CENTER IN GREEN'S BROADCAST
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Along with hosting its resident the Santa Rosa Symphony, Weill Hall has contracted to produce sporadic virtual programs of classical music, and began Oct. 17 with a charming three-part concert from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York. Hosted with comely introductions by CMSLC di...
Symphony
THRILLING SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY PERFORMANCE IN AN EMPTY WEILL HALL
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Viewers of the Santa Rosa Symphony’s inaugural socially distanced YouTube concert on Oct. 11 could be forgiven for thinking they had stumbled upon a performance of Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera” (A Masked Ball), given that the string players in the opening shot all wore black masks. The sole excepti...
Symphony
BROWN VIDEO GALA LAUNCHES SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Similar to many North Coast musical organizations the Santa Rosa Symphony has scheduled a series of virtual concerts on video, spotlighting sections of the orchestra and the exuberant activities of its conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong. However, as an introduction to the season, a Sept. 12 gala vide...
SONGS AND ECHOES OF HOME IN AIZURI QUARTET CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, March 8, 2020
From the first richly layered harmonies of Dvořák’s Cypresses, the Aizuri Quartet held the March 8th audience at Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church in thrall. The church was more than half full, a good crowd considering present anxiety about the spread of the coronavirus. Taking precautions, the M...
COLORFUL BORN BACH AT AGAVE BAROQUE'S SCHROEDER HALL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, February 28, 2020
Bach’s obituary records that “Johann Sebastian Bach belongs to a family that seems to have received a love and aptitude for music as a gift of Nature to all its members in common.” Agave Baroque presented their Feb. 28 concert, Born Bach, as a partial musical story of several generations in this rem...
ECLECTIC VIOLIN AND PIANO WORKS IN VIRTUOSIC MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Blending virtuosity with sublime artistry, violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky and pianist Wu Qian gave the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society audience many thrills February 23, performing four muscular and soulful works by four composers from four countries: de Falla, Schumann, Stravinsky, and Grieg. T...
CHAMBER REVIEW

Jeewon Park and Edward Arron

RICH PALETTE OF CELLO COLORS IN ARRON-PARK OAKMONT RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Thursday, January 8, 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.