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Recital
SLAM BANG SONORITY IN HAOCHEN ZHANG'S SCHROEDER RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Piano Competition winners are in ample supply, and it’s often a hit and miss proposition as to their sterling interpretative qualities. However, the quadrennial Van Cliburn Competition in Ft. Worth has continually produced top-level artists, and the 2009 winner Haochen Zhang proved a formidable per...
Symphony
FOREIGN AFFAIRS CHARACTERS OF THE BAROQUE
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, known as Akamus, played a Weill Hall concert March 12 in a program called "Foreign Affairs -Characters of the Baroque.” The ensemble, that began in 1984, has 15 musicians led by concert master Bernhard Forck. Attired in elegant black with red accents, ranging from tie...
Recital
MUSCULAR PIANISM DOMINATES MILL VALLEY CHAMBER SOCIETY RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Piano recitals since the beginning of the genre open with finger pieces - Scarlatti or Soler Sonatas, Bach, a Mendelssohn Prelude and Fugue or perhaps Mozart or Haydn. Sarah Daneshpour’s March 12 opening work at the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society series abruptly avoided the norm with the 10-minut...
Recital
NOVEL HAYDN AND SCHUMANN IN YARDEN'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Israeli pianist Einav Yarden has been a frequent Sonoma County visitor, playing private recitals for Spring Lake Village and Concerts Grand, and twice performing for Music at Oakmont. The Berlin-based artist returned to Oakmont’s Berger Auditorium March 9 with a program that was neither for connois...
Chamber
CONSUMMATE ENSEMBLE FROM THE MIRÓ IN WEILL
by Sonia Tubridy and Nicki Bell
Sunday, March 05, 2017
A March 5 Weill hall audience of 350 leaned in to share an intimate musical space and to hear the Miró String Quartet’s sterling concert. Starting with Haydn's Op. 20, No. 4, the four musicians seemed to want listeners to be enveloped in their music. The Miró plays with the feat of being four dist...
Recital
BRILLIANT VIOLIN AND PIANO ARTISTRY CHARMS SCHROEDER HALL AUDIENCE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 26, 2017
A tiny Schroeder Hall audience heard a flawless recital Feb. 26 by Yu-Chien Tseng, arguably the best recent local violin recital since Gil Shaham’s transversal of the complete Bach Suites in Weill and Frank Almond’s Oakmont recital in 2015. Muscular playing was the afternoon’s norm, and with pianis...
Chamber
MUSIC AND ART MELD IN ZUCKERMAN TRIO CONCERT
by Nicki Bell
Friday, February 24, 2017
A Feb. 24 Weill Hall concert by the Pinchas Zuckerman Trio juxtaposed formidable music making with palpable associations about visual art. Brahms’ C Minor "Sonatensatz” (Scherzo) is a short youthful work for violin and piano, and was an opening call to action. Lively and vigorous playing alternated...
Chamber
THREE BEETHOVEN TRIOS BEGUILE AUDIENCE IN FEB. 19 WEILL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Chamber music concerts featuring one composer can be tricky, but the Han/Setzer/Finckel trio made a Feb. 19 Weill Hall audience of 500 hear and to a degree see the boundless creativity of Beethoven. The G Major Trio, Op. 1, No. 2, opened the afternoon’s Beethoven odyssey and one wonders why it is t...
Chamber
AUTHORITATIVE BARTOK HIGHLIGHTS TETZLAFF VIOLIN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Christian Tetzlaff’s Feb. 18 violin recital rolled along with lively and fresh readings of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert when the specter of Bartok’s granitic Second Sonata intervened. The sonic shock to the audience of 250 in Weill was palpable. Composed in 1923 the 20-minute two-movement work i...
Symphony
WHAT SOUND DO STAR-CROSSED LOVERS MAKE?
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so the Santa Rosa Symphony feted the occasion by telling and retelling the story of Romeo and Juliet, a tale ever the more poignant during our era of stark divisions. The first telling was from Berlioz; the second from Prokofiev. In between was Brahms’ monu...
RECITAL REVIEW
Green Music Center / Sunday, January 18, 2015
David McCarroll, violin; Roy Bogas, piano

Violinist David McCarroll

BRINGING NOTES TO SHIMMERING LIFE

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 18, 2015

David McCarroll and Roy Bogas opened the 2015 “Sundays at Schroeder” series at the Green Music Center Jan. 18 in a recital that featured admirable virtuosity and a provocative repertoire.

They began with Mozart’s two-movement E Minor Sonata, K. 304. The work is at turns is sinister and tranquil, and the two artists played a modest “question and answer” with many forte and piano contrasts. The elegant final phrases in the Tempo di Minuetto reflected the striking thematic development they were able to generate from the many modulations and melodic dissimilarities.

The afternoon’s moat penetrating playing came in a performance of Bach's D Minor Partita, BWV 1004, for solo violin. I had not heard an extended solo violin piece in Schroeder Hall, and the sound had a distinctive timbre and ringing clarity. Judicious tempos, even in the fleet Gigue, were Mr. McCarroll’s choice, and they worked well. Some might have preferred more lift in the dance movements, but the violinist focused primarily on one tempo per movement with only subtle variation. He used subdued vibrato and spun long pianissimo phrases during the plaintive lament of the Sarabande.

Performances of the Second Partita tend to be judged on how the Chaconne unfolds, and Mr. McCarroll’s reading was masterful. He had full command of the high notes and the frequent double stops, and his bow control achieved sections of captivating pianissimo playing. He met Bach's formidable technical demands at every turn, ultimately generating a boisterous standing ovation from the jammed hall.

Mr. McCarroll's performance in some ways made one wish not to have a piano return to the stage. But in the Prokofiev F Minor Sonata, Op. 80, Mr. Bogas’ instrument returned with a vengeance. Prokofiev’s string works have inexhaustible inventiveness, fantasy and occasional tender lyricism, but in initial comments to the audience Mr. Bogas stressed the dark nature of the 1946 work and his individual preference for the wandering and bucolic third movement (Andante).

Playing from score, Mr. McCarroll fostered the severe opening section as a kind of tentative introduction to the raucous Allegro Brusco. Secure intonation is key here, and his control of pitch was precise. But in a strange way the Sonata favors the piano, and Mr. Bogas was a solid partner throughout, making a wash of sound when needed and deftly accommodating his sonority in the unison sections to the violin’s line.

The finale in this marvelous recital was a barnburner, Ravel’s over-the-top homage to the gypsy violin – Tsigane. In less than ten minutes Mr. McCarroll brought into play a bevy of slides, off-beat accents, off-pitch notes and stylistic surprises that were an aural feast.

Naturally Tsigane brought down the house and led to a serene encore, Arthur Hartmann’s arrangement from Debussy’s piano prelude “Girl with the Flaxen Hair.” It was lovely to hear Mr. McCarroll bringing notes from inaudibility to shimmering life, akin to the famous Heifetz performances of the work. Praise can go no higher.