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Symphony
SO CO PHIL BON VOYAGE CONCERT AN ODYSSEY OF CONTRASTING SOUND
by Terry McNeill
Friday, June 15, 2018
In a splashy bon voyage concert June 15 the Sonoma County Philharmonic Orchestra launched its June 17-25 Costa Rica tour, performing gratis in Santa Rosaís Jackson Theater the repertoire for tour concerts in San Josť, Costa Ricaís capital, and in surrounding towns. Conductor Norman Gamboa pr...
Chamber
COMMANDING CHOPIN AND DEBUSSY IN SLV RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Concerts at the classy Spring Lake Village Retirement Home in Santa Rosa have admission limited to residents and a few guests, but the chance to hear a first cabin North Bay pianist June 6 brought a Classical Sonoma reviewer into the audience of 100. The crowd numbers were unusually low due to a ba...
Recital
MUSICAL ALCHEMY INSIDE A HIDDEN GEM
by Kayleen Asbo
Friday, May 25, 2018
The Petaluma Historical Library and Museum is a hidden gem of Sonoma County, a gracious†building†that is one of Sonoma Countyís loveliest venues for chamber music concerts, with a fine period piano particularly suited to Romantic music.† Of the surprisingly large array of festivities there, one of t...
Chamber
FINAL VOM MUSICIANS CONCERT IN SCHROEDER A SCHUBERT DELIGHT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, May 12, 2018
It's rare to have the opportunity to compare in a short period two performances of the same major Schubert work, in this case the great B Flat Piano Trio, D. 898. The chance came May 12 when the Valley of the Moon Festival musicians played it in Schroeder, just over a month since the Hallís residen...
Symphony
FERRANDIS BIDS ADIEU WITH MAHLERíS FINAL SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 06, 2018
Sonoma State students in graduation robes posed for pictures and hugged each other at the universityís stone gates on Sunday afternoon, mirroring the prolonged farewells within the universityís Green Music Center, where Bruno Ferrandis bid adieu to the Santa Rosa Symphony after a dozen years at the ...
Symphony
SONIC SPLENDOR AT MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE
by Abby Wasserman
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
The Marin Symphony Orchestra ended the current season with a flourish, interpreting big and small works by Richard Strauss and Stravinsky. Strauss and Stravinsky were contemporaries for 40 years, but inhabited different worlds. Both composers were affected by cataclysmic changes and war, and musical...
Symphony
ORGAN SYMPHONY IN SSU ORCHESTRA CONCERT IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Though Classical Sonoma seldom reviews student concerts, as ample North Coast concerts keep the staff of 11 reviewers busy. But the chance to hear the Sonoma State University Orchestra tackle St. SaŽnsí majestic Organ Symphony April 29 was a rare opportunity and not easily to be missed. Avec lí...
Recital
HEAVENLY SCHUBERT AND DEMONIC CHOPIN
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 21, 2018
One of the anomalies in the long ago ďGolden EraĒ of romantic pianism (about 1905 to 1940) is that the virtuoso giants of the time didnít play Schubert. It took the German pianist Artur Schnabel to bring the beauties of Schuberís work to the publicís attention, and now they seem to be on almost ever...
Symphony
SPLENDID JUPITER AND ZOOMING CONCERTO AT VALLEJO SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Over the past two years the Vallejo Symphony has made big changes, moving from a stark middle school auditorium to the snazzy remodeled 1911-era downtown Empress Theater, and engaging Marc Taddei as its seventh conductor. April 15 was the seasonís final concert of the 86th season. In a programmin...
Chamber
VIRTUOSO CELLO AND GUITAR TRANSCRIPTIONS AT RAC SEBASTOPOL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Listeners and yes even music critics usually prepare for a concert with research, checking recorded performances, looking at artist biographies and even reviewing sheet music. This was a difficult task for the April 14 Redwood Arts Council concert in Sebastopolís Community Church, as the performers...
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.Ē 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 OCOís 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.