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Chamber
HEROIC TRUMPET AND ORGAN MUSIC AT INCARNATION
by Jerry Dibble
Friday, October 12, 2018
The strong connections between Santa Rosa’s musical community and California State University Chico were on display Oct. 12 as David Rothe, Professor Emeritus in the Chico Music Department, and Ayako Nakamura, trumpet with the North State Symphony, presented a concert titled “Heroic Music for Trumpe...
Symphony
LECCE-CHONG PROVES HIS METTLE WITH SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 07, 2018
Francesco Lecce-Chong was handed two warhorses for his debut as conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony, and he rode them both to thrilling victory. For the first win, Brahms’ violin concerto, he owed much to soloist Arnaud Sussman, but for the other triumph, Beethoven’s fifth symphony, he and his musi...
Chamber
THORNY BARTOK AND ELEGANT MENDELSSOHN FOR THE BRENTANO
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, September 30, 2018
In a minor masterpiece of programming choices the Brentano String Quartet played a Sept. 30 Weill Hall program with an emphasis on refinement, even with a challenging Bartok work in the mix. Dvorák’s Miniatures for Two Violins and Viola (Op. 75a) opened the concert with charm and gentle loveliness,...
Chamber
ECHO'S RICH MUSICAL TAPESTRY IN MARIN
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Marin’s Echo Chamber Orchestra unfurled a glorious tapestry of Mozart, Weber and Respighi music Sept. 30 in San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church. The church, located on the grounds of San Francisco Theological Seminary, boasts a ceiling high enough for angels to fly, and its quiet setting and aco...
Recital
IDIOMATIC SCHUMANN AND BEETHOVEN HIGHTLIGHT WALKER'S CONCERTS GRAND RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Mostly known as a concert producer and indefatigable promoter of Sonoma County music, pianist Judy Walker stepped into the soloist’s role Sept. 23 in a sold out recital for the Concerts Grand House recitals series. Two Scarlatti Sonatas, in D Minor (K. 213) and D Major (K. 29), began the hour-long ...
Symphony
SAKAKEENY'S LION AND ROSE HIGHLIGHTS SO CO PHIL'S 20TH SEASON OPENER
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Fresh from a triumphant tour in Latin America the Sonoma County Philharmonic opened its 20th season Sept. 22 in a celebratory concert in the Santa Rosa High School Auditorium. Keeping to the evening’s orchestra history and past performance, conductor emeritus Gabriel Sakakeeny, who led the So Co Ph...
Recital
DEDIK'S POTENT BEETHOVEN AND CHOPIN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Monday, September 17, 2018
Anastasia Dedik returned Sept. 17 to the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series in a recital that featured three familiar virtuoso works in potent interpretations. Chopin’s G Minor Ballade hasn’t been heard in Sonoma County public concerts since a long-ago Earl Wild performance, and Beethoven’s...
Recital
DUO WEST OPENS OCCIDENTAL CONCERT SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 09, 2018
Before a full house at the Occidental Performing Arts Center Sept. 9 the cello-piano Duo West, playing from score throughout, presented a recital that on paper looked stimulating and thoughtful. Beginning with MacDowell’s To A Wild Rose (from Woodland Sketches, Op. 51), the transcription by an unan...
Chamber
CELLO-PIANO DUO IN HUSKY SPRING LAKE VILLAGE PROGRAM
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, September 05, 2018
Two thirds of the way through a stimulating 22-concert season the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series Sept. 5 presented two splendid cello sonatas before 110 people in the Village’s Montgomery auditorium. A duo for more than a decade, East Bay musicians cellist Monica Scott and pianist Hadle...
Chamber
EXTRAVAGANT FUSION OF STYLES AT CHRIS BOTTI BAND WEILL HALL CONCERT
by Jerry Dibble
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Trumpeter Chris Botti still performs in jazz venues including SF Jazz and The Blue Note, but now appears mostly in cavernous halls or on outdoor stages like the Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. He brought his unique road show to the packed Weill Hall August 12 in a concert of effusive e...
RECITAL REVIEW
Mastercard Performance Series / Friday, November 06, 2015
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet

A TALE OF TWO PERFORMANCES

by John S. Hord
Friday, November 06, 2015

Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s Nov. 6 performance of Ravel in Weill Hall was sheer beauty, and illuminated the essentials of French piano music: elegance, proportion, balance, delicacy, and precision.

The performance of Noctuelles (Night Moths), the first of the five Mirrors (1905) was stunning. Oiseaux triste (Sad Birds) was projected to sound as if birds were indeed perched in various places of the hall. My only quibble is the reordering of the last two pieces in the set of five. I prefer La vallée des cloches last, as published, and believe this provides a more convincing musical framework by providing a “mirror” of the first piece in the set.

In the first half, all Schumann including Kinderscenen (Op. 15), the playing was less effective than the Ravel. The vast majority of Schumann’ s piano music is composed with three levels of interest; the melody on top, the bass line (usually another melody) at the bottom and a middle section that provides more rhythmic interest and fills out the harmonies. The melody on top from Mr. Thibaudet’s virtuosic hands (and feet) was quite beautiful, with song-like phrasing a joy to hear. But, the bass line was not projected strongly enough to provide the foundation of sound nor the counterpoint to the top melody. The result were bass lines and inner voices sounding as one idea, changing the texture of the work from polyphonic to homophonic.

The first movement of the Op. 11 F-Sharp-Minor Sonata has an arresting initial theme, and appears just after an introduction. The melody, rhythm, and accompaniment figurations were also used by Clara Schumann in the first piece, Impromptu: Le Sabbat, of her composition 4 Pièces caractéristiques, Op. 5. (This one piece was later retitled Witches Dance.) This is a beautiful example of motif sharing that was common in the Schumann household.

Mr. Thibaudet responded to encore requests by playing Brahms’ A Major Intermezzo of Op. 118, No. 2. It also did not have the projection of the three levels of sound mentioned in the works of Schumann, but the treble theme was performed elegantly.

The title “A Tale of Two Performances” reflected the acoustics in Weill Hall, at least in the critic’s seat at row J, stage left. I heard little piano resonance from the lovely hall, especially in the two big Schumann compositions. However, the lighter textures of Ravel fared much better with rich tone color and shadings.