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Symphony
CONDUCTOR PLAYOFFS BEGIN IN SANTA ROSA
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 08, 2017
The Santa Rosa Symphony is calling 2017-18 “a choice season” because the next few months offer the audience and the symphony’s board of directors a chance to choose a new conductor from a pool of five candidates. Each candidate will lead a three-concert weekend set this fall and winter, with a final...
Symphony
DVORAK AND TCHAIKOVSKY ORCHESTRAL COLOR AT SO CO PHIL SEASON OPENER
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 30, 2017
A concert with curious repertoire and splashy orchestral color launched the 19th season of the Sonoma County Philharmonic Sept. 30 in Santa Rosa High School’s Auditorium. Why curious? Conductor Norman Gamboa paired the ever-popular Dvorak and his rarely heard 1891 trilogy In Nature’s Realm, with t...
Recital
ELEGANT PIANISM IN WATER MUSIC CHARMS HOUSE RECITAL AUDIENCE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 03, 2017
A standard component of house concerts often involve listeners hearing the music but also smelling the lasagna and seeing the champagne in the adjacent kitchen. But it was not the case Sept. 3 at Sandra Shen’s Concerts Grand House Recital performance, as her riveting piano playing enthralled the sm...
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...
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.