Home  Reviews  Articles  Calendar  Presenters  Add Event     
Choral and Vocal
SOMBER GERMAN POETRY IN SONG AT ROSCHMANN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Two weeks does make a hefty difference. Feb. 3 saw the diva Renée Fleming beguile a full Weill Hall house in a mix of Brahms, Broadway show songs and Dvorak chestnuts. It was a gala event with couture gowns and colorful extra-musical communication between singer and her rapt audience. Dorothea Rösc...
Chamber
KIM-PETERSEN DUO SHINE IN MILL VALLEY CHAMBER RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 18, 2018
“Bomsori” means “the sound of spring” in Korean, and violinist Bomsori Kim’s sound is like spring - fresh, clarion, and nuanced. Her expressiveness and obvious pleasure in engaging with audiences is substantial, and she partnered with pianist Drew Petersen in a Feb. 18 recital for the Mill Valley C...
Recital
ROMANTIC MUSIC AND AMBIANCE AT SEB ARTS RECITAL
by Nicki Bell
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Sebastopol had is own musical salon Feb. 18 with visits to Paris of the 1830s, and side trips to Wales and Germany. Pianist Robyn Carmichael presented a concert of favorite romantic masters and their muses, loves and inspirations, with music of Chopin, Liszt Mendelssohn and Schumann. This was no c...
Chamber
NOVEL AND FAMILIAR WORKS FROM THE TILDEN TRIO
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 11, 2018
North Coast chamber music fans have the luxury of two fine resident piano trios, with the frequently performing Trio Navarro at Sonoma State, and the Tilden Trio at San Rafael’s Dominican University. The Tilden plays less often, but their Feb. 11 performance brought several hundred to Angelico Hall ...
Symphony
A FIFTH CONTENDER ENTERS THE RING FOR THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Saturday, February 10, 2018
In these international times, what makes a piece of music American? For Michael Christie, the answer is that it needs to have at least premiered on these shores, if not been composed here. Thus the rationale for the “all American” program that Christie--the fifth and final conducting candidate for t...
Chamber
BERLIN WIND QUINTET'S NOVEL PROGRAM SCORES IN WEILL CONCERT
by nicholas xenelis
Friday, February 09, 2018
Driving into the Green Music Center parking lot Feb. 10 I knew there was something unusual taking place since the lot was nearly full. Was another event going on this same night? A large crowd in Weill Hall isn’t expected for chamber music, in this case with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. S...
Recital
HAUNTING RACHMANINOFF WORKS IN HU'S MAO RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, February 08, 2018
Ching-Yun Hu made a return Music at Oakmont appearance Feb. 8 in Berger Auditorium, reprising a recital she made in the same hall four years ago. Many of the recital’s trappings were the same, but the music Ms. Hu chose to play was decidedly different. All afternoon the pianist was in an aggressiv...
Chamber
A COMPLETE ARTISTIC PACKAGE IN FLEMING'S WEILL HALL RECITAL
by Vaida Falconbridge and Mary Beard
Saturday, February 03, 2018
The diva Renée Fleming strode on the Weill Hall stage Feb. 2 in her first couture gown of the evening, a gray and swirling cream strapless sheath with flamboyant coordinating stole. For this concert, Ms. Fleming stayed to somewhat lighter fare, foregoing heavier dramatic and coloratura arias for a v...
Recital
ZNAIDER-KULEK DUO CHARMS AND CHALLANGES WEILL AUDIENCE FEB. 2
by Terry McNeill
Friday, February 02, 2018
Weill hall has mounted several exceptional piano recitals, with Garrick Ohlsson’s titanic Liszt concert, and of course Lang Lang’s two insouciant but also compelling performances topping the list since 2013. But arguably the virtuoso violinists have on balance been more impressive, and thoughts g...
Chamber
VIVID GERMAN ROMANTICISM IN VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT IN SCHROEDER
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Though not new to Sonoma County, the Valley of the Moon Music Festival (VOM) concerts are relatively recent in the Green Music Center’s Schroeder Hall. So the first of three spring concerts Jan. 27 provided a picture of what’s in the repertoire leading up to their Festival this summer at Sonoma’s Ha...
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 afternoon’s opening work, Beethoven’s 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 Beethoven’s 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 Concertstück 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 Brahms’ 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 composer’s 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 instrument’s 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.