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Chamber
SONGS AND ECHOES OF HOME IN AIZURI QUARTET CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, March 08, 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...
Choral and Vocal
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...
Chamber
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...
Chamber
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...
Chamber
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...
BROWNE, PAREMSKI HEAD STELLAR CAST AT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CONCERT
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 09, 2020
The Feb. 9 performance by the Santa Rosa Symphony offered a healthy dose of 21st century music firmly bound to the 19th. Matt Browne’s first symphony, “The Course of Empire”—based on a series of five paintings by Thomas Cole, who founded the Hudson River School of American painting in the 1820s—emp...
FRENCH ORCHESTRAL MUSIC A FIRST FOR THE SO CO PHILHARMONIC
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 02, 2020
Over many years the Sonoma County Philharmonic has played little French music, but perhaps this oversight was corrected Feb. 2 in a splendid all-Gallic program Feb. 1 and 2 in the Jackson Theater. Classical Sonoma reviewed the Sunday afternoon concert. In his eighth conducting season with the So C...
Symphony
POLISH MUSICAL WORLDS GLOW BRIGHT IN NFM WROCLAW WEILL PERFORMANCE
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, February 01, 2020
The NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic, with conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, gave a concert of enormous energy and emotional impact on Feb.1 to a small audience in Weill Hall. This orchestra has been a major cultural force in Poland since 1949, playing under many renowned conductors and has been committed to pr...
Opera
EXTRAVAGANT ARIAS IN NEXT GENERATION TENORS GALA VALLEJO CONCERT
by Mark Kratz
Saturday, February 01, 2020
“Beautiful, strange, and unnatural…” said orchestra conductor Thomas Conlin when speaking of the tenor voice. One of the coveted voice types of the opera world, the tenor voice is known for it’s piercing tones and soaring, unnatural high notes. The iconic image of the Pagliacci clown (in the famed...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Mill Valley Chamber Music Society / Sunday, January 17, 2016
Prima Trio. Boris Allakhverdyan, clarinet; Gulia Gurevich, violin; Anastasia Derik, piano

Prima Trio

PRIMA TRIO'S COLORFUL MIX AT MILL VALLEY CHAMBER

by Kate Gilpin
Sunday, January 17, 2016

Softly falling rain and a glimpse of rain-green trees through the windows of the Mount Tamalpais Methodist Church was the ideal background for a stunning Mill Valley Chamber Music Society performance Jan. 17.

The Prima Trio, a young group comprising transplants from Armenia, Uzbekistan, and Russia, combined individual virtuosity with instrumental interplay that provided a perfect blend of sound. The interesting mix of clarinet, violin/viola, and piano made for one surprise after another, as the players bounced themes and harmonies back and forth.

The first half included Mozart’s E-Flat Major Trio (“Kegelstatt”), K. 498; a selection from Bruch’s Eight Pieces, Op. 83; and an astonishing Srul Glick work “The Klezmer’s Wedding.” After the intermission the Prima played Khachaturian’s first published composition, then a Piazzolla tango, and a finale of Peter Schickele’s “Serenade for Three.”

The performers included clarinetist Boris Allakhverdyan, the Principal Clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. His playing is brilliant, melancholy and boisterous by turns. Gulia Gurevich, played violin and viola. Her artistry is breathtaking, dramatic, plaintive and occasionally raucous! Pianist Anastasia Dedik's artistry is consistently masterful.

The Mozart Trio is first known use of the clarinet-viola-piano combination, and opens atypically with an Andante, followed by a more lively minuet, and finishes with a rather rhapsodic seven-part rondo. The instrumentation makes for a gorgeous liquid sound, and the Prima delivered it beautifully.

We often associate klezmer music with the clarinet and this performance Of Glick's "The Klezmer's Wedding" did not disappoint, as Mr. Allakhverdyan played wonderful instrumental slides, syncopated rhythms and other features associated with the klezmer tradition. More surprising was the colorful klezmic quality shown in the string and piano parts. It was a thrilling piece, much of the music being in 3/4 time, which added even more charm to the work, and brought the audience to its feet in a standing ovation.

Of great interest to this reviewer was the Khachaturian G Minor Trio, opening, like the Mozart with an Andante movement, then continuing to an Allegro and finally a Moderato. The characteristically lush melodic and rhythmic features of Khachaturian were all to be heard in this piece, known, as noted above, as the first thing he ever composed. In particular, the last movement of the 1932 work was haunting, trailing off to a final silence.

The Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla’s music has been increasingly popular in recent years. His “Otoño Porteño” from 1969 is the second of a four-part suite celebrating the seasons in Buenos Aires, and is an illustration of the “nuevo tango” for which the composer has become known. With the verve and flair that characterized the entire program, the Prima played with finished artistry. The afternoon’s program concluded with Schickele’s 12-minute three-part Serenade for B Flat clarinet, violin and piano.

It was an afternoon of strong musical contrasts: from Mozart to klezmer, gypsy coloring to tango, and finally music marked “fast and rowdy”