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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...
PREMIER OF KAIZEN AND DRAMATIC MOZART HIGHLIGHT ECHO CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 16, 2020
As concertgoers took their seats in San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church for ECHO Chamber Orchestra’s February 16 program, they were surprised to see at center stage two bass drums, a tom-tom, bongos, high hat and cymbals. It was the occasion of the world premiere of "Kaizen," composed and perf...
BEETHOVEN'S VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT IN RAC SEBASTOPOL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, February 14, 2020
Continuing a season of Redwood Arts Council successes, the Kouzov Duo performed an eclectic Valentine’s Day concert in Sebastopol’s Community Church before an audience of 125. Beethoven’s charming Op. 66 Variations on Mozart’s “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen” from the opera the Magic Flute was a bouncy ...
LUSH BACH PERFORMANCE IN DENK'S WEILL HALL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Memorable artistic interpretations of musical masterpieces are often at extremes, and with the Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (WTC - Book I) that Jeremy Denk played in Weill Hall Feb. 13, the pianist was only sporadically at unique or ebullient musical ends. But his playing wasn’t exactly at opposite...
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.