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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...
Chamber
TRIO NAVARRO'S POPULAR FARE IN SCHROEDER HALL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 08, 2018
Long time Classical Sonoma readers may recall many Trio Navarro concert reviews that lauded their virtuosity and interest in rarely played repertoire. The April 8 concert in Schroeder Hall before 85 chamber music fans featured sterling performances but had a mostly conservative menu of popular trio...
Recital
KENNER'S ALL POLISH RECITAL HAS PADEREWSKI RARITY
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, April 08, 2018
Kevin Kennerís April 8 recital at Dominican Universityís Angelico Hall had been advertised as all-Chopin, but he added a detour into another seminal Polish composer-pianist, Paderewski. Several of Mr. Kennerís teachers were Poles, he speaks Polish, and he navigated at the piano both composersí deman...
Symphony
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE VOICE AT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, April 08, 2018
In an April 8 Santa Rosa Symphony concert filled to the brim with instruments--electric violin, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard samplers, harps, piano and myriad drums, gongs and bells, to say nothing of winds, brass and strings--the instrument that came out on top was the hum...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Dominican University of California Guest Concert Series / Sunday, February 21, 2016
San Francisco Chamber Players. Dan Carlson, violin.Jay Fellows, viola; Peter Wyrick, cello; June Choi Oh, piano

San Francisco Chamber Players

COMPELLING CELLO PROMINENCE IN DOMINICAN U. CONCERT

by Vicky Ehrlich
Sunday, February 21, 2016

It could go like this: arrive at Dominican University, park just outside Angelico Hall and perhaps cross a quaint campus bridge over a creek before taking a Hall seat for for a Dominican University Guest Concert Series event featuring the San Francisco Chamber Players.

Faculty pianist June Choi Oh performed with cellist Peter Wyrick the afternoonís opening work, Beethovenís A Major Sonata, Op. 69. Mr. Wyrick and Ms. Oh brought off the sonata with beautiful style, energy and deep understanding of the many facets of Beethovenís mastery. The playing featured many contrasts of volume, tempo, and mood in the first Allegro movement, headlong offset rhythms of the Scherzo, and the stately introduction and then grand sweep of the concluding Adagio.

This third Sonata is sharply different from the first two Op. 5 Sonatas from 1796, and the music revels in the expanded range and more prominent role of the cello. The tempos were just right, never too fast for these consummate players.

The Beethoven was followed by an unusual and charming showpiece for viola and piano, again with instrumental collaboration rather than piano accompaniment. Joy Fellows joined Ms. Oh for the ConcertstŁck by Enescu, a very accessible 1905 composition that gives the listener the whole gamut of emotion, color, and pitch range from the viola, played with full commitment and cohesion on this occasion. Enescu, a splendid violinist, wrote the work as a competition entry at the Paris Conservatoire.

After intermission the entire San Francisco Chamber Players group performed Brahmsí G Minor Piano Quartet, Op. 25, with violinist Dan Carlson joining Mr. Wyrick, Ms. Fellows and Ms. Oh. It was an elegant reading of the 40-minute piece, and the musicians were fun to watch interacting with each other. The sightlines and acoustics of Angelico are very good, albeit the high stage sporadically diminished sonic power, and the message of this glorious 1861 music with manifold majestic themes was palpable. String pitch was excellent, particularly in octave passages in the Brahms, and Mr. Wyrick's usual effortless-seeming clear, expressive sound was as he chose warm, cool, dry and wet as the music demanded. The spiritual slow movement had a touch of sadness, making the C Major flourish at the end so uplifting and satisfying.

A possible programming theme at this concert could be the benefit of a composerís working relationships with practitioners of specific instruments, which inspires them to write music that fully exploits the expressive possibilities of composer, player, and instrument. The virtuoso Enescu had himself, and Beethoven met the cellist Josef Lincke, who apparently revealed to him new aspects of the instrumentís potential. For Brahms, the Gypsy violinist Eduard Remenyi inspired him to write many Hungarian and Gypsy tunes, and perhaps to make the last movement (Rondo alla Zingarese) wild and crazy, which the ensemble tore through in a way that brought the small audience to their feet at the end.

There was no encore.