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Symphony
ZUILL PLAYS ZWILICH WITH SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, March 28, 2021
The Santa Rosa Symphony took a cautious step toward the return of live music in their March 28 virtual concert by sharing the stage with an actual live soloist rather than an apparition. Star cellist Zuill Bailey was still masked, and his back was toward the equally masked and plexiglassed orchestra...
Chamber
ECLECTIC CELLO PIANO VIRTUAL RECITAL FROM TOMKINS ZIVIAN DUO
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 28, 2021
The venerable 41-year Redwood Arts Council Series in Occidental has joined the virtual recital world with low budget but artistically satisfying programs, mostly using videos filmed in the performer’s residences. March 28 saw the Tanya Tomkins-Eric Zivian duo present an eclectic program from their ...
Symphony
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY HITS THE SWEET SPOT
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Small orchestras can inhabit a sweet spot between chamber ensembles and full orchestras, but how well they hit that spot depends on the composer's orchestration and the players' ability to project. That dependence was on full display in the Santa Rosa Symphony's Feb. 28 concert, which featured three...
Chamber
NOVEL OBOE-HARPSICHORD RECITAL FROM AIKEN DUO IN UKIAH
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Oboe and harpsichord recitals are a rare North Bay event, even in a pandemic environment where a formal hall setting isn’t available. So it was a delight Feb. 21 to experience on the Ukiah Symphony’s website a recital by Symphony oboist Beth Aiken and harpsichordist husband Tom. The Aiken home vis...
Symphony
A HEALTHY MIX OF TRANSCRIPTIONS AND ORIGINALS FROM THE SR SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Transcriptions and ascending arpeggios were the order of the day on Jan. 24, as the Santa Rosa Symphony performed uplifting works by Bach/Webern, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Marianna Martínes and Mozart. The concert video was made in Weill Hall on Jan. 9. The first transcription was Webern’s 1935 renderi...
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...
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.