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Chamber
HEROIC TRUMPET AND ORGAN MUSIC AT INCARNATION
by Jerry Dibble
Friday, October 12, 2018
The strong connections between Santa Rosa’s musical community and California State University Chico were on display Oct. 12 as David Rothe, Professor Emeritus in the Chico Music Department, and Ayako Nakamura, trumpet with the North State Symphony, presented a concert titled “Heroic Music for Trumpe...
Symphony
LECCE-CHONG PROVES HIS METTLE WITH SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 07, 2018
Francesco Lecce-Chong was handed two warhorses for his debut as conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony, and he rode them both to thrilling victory. For the first win, Brahms’ violin concerto, he owed much to soloist Arnaud Sussman, but for the other triumph, Beethoven’s fifth symphony, he and his musi...
Chamber
THORNY BARTOK AND ELEGANT MENDELSSOHN FOR THE BRENTANO
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, September 30, 2018
In a minor masterpiece of programming choices the Brentano String Quartet played a Sept. 30 Weill Hall program with an emphasis on refinement, even with a challenging Bartok work in the mix. Dvorák’s Miniatures for Two Violins and Viola (Op. 75a) opened the concert with charm and gentle loveliness,...
Chamber
ECHO'S RICH MUSICAL TAPESTRY IN MARIN
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Marin’s Echo Chamber Orchestra unfurled a glorious tapestry of Mozart, Weber and Respighi music Sept. 30 in San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church. The church, located on the grounds of San Francisco Theological Seminary, boasts a ceiling high enough for angels to fly, and its quiet setting and aco...
Recital
IDIOMATIC SCHUMANN AND BEETHOVEN HIGHTLIGHT WALKER'S CONCERTS GRAND RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Mostly known as a concert producer and indefatigable promoter of Sonoma County music, pianist Judy Walker stepped into the soloist’s role Sept. 23 in a sold out recital for the Concerts Grand House recitals series. Two Scarlatti Sonatas, in D Minor (K. 213) and D Major (K. 29), began the hour-long ...
Symphony
SAKAKEENY'S LION AND ROSE HIGHLIGHTS SO CO PHIL'S 20TH SEASON OPENER
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Fresh from a triumphant tour in Latin America the Sonoma County Philharmonic opened its 20th season Sept. 22 in a celebratory concert in the Santa Rosa High School Auditorium. Keeping to the evening’s orchestra history and past performance, conductor emeritus Gabriel Sakakeeny, who led the So Co Ph...
Recital
DEDIK'S POTENT BEETHOVEN AND CHOPIN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Monday, September 17, 2018
Anastasia Dedik returned Sept. 17 to the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series in a recital that featured three familiar virtuoso works in potent interpretations. Chopin’s G Minor Ballade hasn’t been heard in Sonoma County public concerts since a long-ago Earl Wild performance, and Beethoven’s...
Recital
DUO WEST OPENS OCCIDENTAL CONCERT SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 09, 2018
Before a full house at the Occidental Performing Arts Center Sept. 9 the cello-piano Duo West, playing from score throughout, presented a recital that on paper looked stimulating and thoughtful. Beginning with MacDowell’s To A Wild Rose (from Woodland Sketches, Op. 51), the transcription by an unan...
Chamber
CELLO-PIANO DUO IN HUSKY SPRING LAKE VILLAGE PROGRAM
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, September 05, 2018
Two thirds of the way through a stimulating 22-concert season the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series Sept. 5 presented two splendid cello sonatas before 110 people in the Village’s Montgomery auditorium. A duo for more than a decade, East Bay musicians cellist Monica Scott and pianist Hadle...
Chamber
EXTRAVAGANT FUSION OF STYLES AT CHRIS BOTTI BAND WEILL HALL CONCERT
by Jerry Dibble
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Trumpeter Chris Botti still performs in jazz venues including SF Jazz and The Blue Note, but now appears mostly in cavernous halls or on outdoor stages like the Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. He brought his unique road show to the packed Weill Hall August 12 in a concert of effusive e...
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.