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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...
SYMPHONY REVIEW
Mastercard Performance Series / Sunday, November 29, 2015
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Violinist Augustin Hadelich

FESTIVE ENCHANTMENT FROM THE ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Nov. 29 presented a program of variety and imagination to an enthusiastic audience in Weill Hall. Aptly named for Orpheo, the musician and prophet of Greek myth, the orchestra, with violinist Augustin Hadelich as soloist, could indeed "enchant all living things and even stones.” Founded in 1972 this chamber orchestra has no conductor. Members share all decisions and responsibilities, rotating seating to give leadership opportunities to all.

Handel's Concerto Grosso, Op. 5, No. 5, introduced music that had rich full sound and piquant phrase shaping. The Overture featured buoyant dotted rhythms, contrasts of solos and orchestra and playing that always had direction and clarity of purpose. The Allegro fugal movement and the lighthearted Presto were followed by an elegant Largo and then two joyful fast movements with variations.

Stravinsky composed the ballet Le Baiser de la Fee (The Fairy's Kiss), partly as an homage to Tchaikovsky, whom he idolized. Mr. Hadelich (playing a Stradivari) spoke to the audience about his love for this piece as it exists for violin and piano. The version heard here for violin and orchestra was commissioned by OCO from Dmitry Sitkovetsky and was full of fantastic playful ideas, syncopated folk rhythms, drone sounds on the violin and crazy waltzes. Always colorful and engaging, it was a romp through landscapes of sound and rhythms, woodwinds providing contrast to the strings and romantic violin passages interspersed with technical fireworks for the violinist. In this piece, lovely cello solos and harp accompaniments added to the pleasure.

Following intermission Mr. Hadelich returned with the orchestra to play Tchaikovsky's Waltz-Scherzo. This young Italian/German artist is one of the world's outstanding violinists. His technical mastery and impeccable bow control had violinists in the audience of 500 nodding their heads in amazement as he played. The blend of soloist and orchestra was balanced at all times, and the performance was vibrant and crisp, overflowing with excitement while contained in the elegance of a waltz. The end of this piece had the audience members on their feet applauding what was clearly an experience of greatness.

Schubert's B-flat Symphony (No. 5, D. 485) was the delightful final piece in this program. Musicians moved around again in their seat positions for new configurations of performing. This symphony was pure joy with the chamber music flexibility of OCO’s playing. Its power is in elegance and the youthful fervor and optimism of the music. The spirits of Haydn and Mozart are present throughout and the dark passages rise and lift us into light. Each movement was enchanting: the Allegro with its charm and fervor, the Andante with a remarkable blending of strings and winds and the Minuetto with bold unisons contrasting with light dance figures. The final Allegro Vivace unfolded with excitement and dramatic flurries alternating with calm and order.

Sustained applause brought the orchestra back for an encore, Respighi's The Birds. Full of humor and surprising sounds, the performance offered dozens of different chirps, trills, caws, warbles, squeaks, quacks, hoots and more. It was wonderfully humorous and conveyed well the spell of Orpheus.