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Choral and Vocal
NOBLE BRAHMS REQUIEM PERFORMANCE CLOSES SONOMA BACH'S SEASON
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Saturday, June 01, 2019
Sonoma Bach, conducted by Robert Worth, presented a truly grand finale to their 2018-19 "Light Out of Darkness" season in two sold out Schroeder Hall performances June 1 and 2. The program "A Human Requiem" was received rapturously with a well-deserved standing ovation for the main work, Brahms' ...
Chamber
THREE SONG CYCLES HIGHLIGHT VIBRANT SLV RECITAL
by Pamela Hicks-Gailey
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
An ambitious recital of vocal and piano music was presented May 8 at Santa Rosaís Spring Lake Village by mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich and pianist Jeffrey LaDeur. The duo engaged the enthusiastic audience with scholarly friendliness and artistry in performances of Beethoven's short cycle of six song...
Symphony
ALEXANDER TORADZE DELIVERS A LESSON IN SERENITY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 05, 2019
An entire concerto movement consisting of serene piano melodies over a soothing backdrop is probably not the first thing that springs to mind when seeing Shostakovichís name on an orchestra program, but thatís exactly what pianist Alexander Toradze delivered--twice--at Sundayís Santa Rosa Symphony c...
Symphony
MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON CLOSES WITH AUTUMNAL ELGAR AND THEATRICAL BEETHOVEN
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, April 28, 2019
Mozartís enchanting Overture to his opera The Magic Flute, a miniature tapestry of gems from the 1791 work, opened the Marin Symphonyís final concert of the 2018-2019 season. Under conductor Alasdair Neale, the playing of the sprightly seven-minute piece by a reduced-size classical ensemble sparkled...
Recital
SHAHAM-EGUCHI DUO'S EXCITING MUSICAL GENEROSITY IN WEILL
by Abby Wasserman
Friday, April 26, 2019
Violinist Gil Shaham may be the most modest virtuoso on the concert stage today, and it is the great music he most wishes to put forward, never himself. Generosity, a quality he is known for, was abundantly clear in Weill Hall April 26 when he performed, with pianist Akira Eguchi, a generous program...
Recital
GLITTERING PIANISM IN LI'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Piano prodigies have always been a fascination for the music public, and the greatest of them (some were Mozart, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Saint SaŽns, Hofmann) went on to legendary fame. George Li, who made is local debut at a Music at Oakmont recital April 11, was a remarkable recent keyboard prodigy t...
Symphony
SO CO PHIL'S SEASON CLOSER WITH EXPANSIVE PROKOFIEV 5TH IN JACKSON
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 07, 2019
Closing their 20th season with their usual programming aplomb, the Sonoma County Philharmonic played a provocative set of concerts April 6 and 7 in the Jackson Theater, the Orchestraís new home at the Sonoma Country Day School by the Sonoma County Airport. Local composer Nolan Gasserís Sonoma Overt...
Choral and Vocal
SISTINE CHAPEL INSPIRATION FOR THE TALLIS SCHOLARS IN WEILL HALL
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, April 05, 2019
Returning to Weill Hall April 5 after a seven year absence, the ten singers of the Tallis Scholars brought the sacred choral tradition of Palestrina and his contemporaries to an audience of delighted music lovers. Under the direction of Peter Phillips, the 1973 founder of the group, the program was...
Symphony
AUTUMNAL SIBELIUS 7TH HIGHLIGHTS VSO'S SEASON CLOSING CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 31, 2019
Closing their 87th Season March 30 and 31 the Vallejo Symphony has moved from a single weekend concert to a set of two, and the late March response was two full houses in the charming downtown Vallejo Empress Theater. Conductor Marc Taddei opened the Sunday program with a rousing performance of B...
Recital
SHARED INSTRUMENTAL BEAUTY IN VIEAUX-MEYERS WEILL HALL CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, March 30, 2019
Exciting timbral sound and intricate counterpoint, made possible when two artists with complementary instruments play together, were richly explored by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and guitarist Jason Vieaux March 30 in Weill Hall. Whether in close harmony, or unison, or weaving separate melodies to...
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.