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Symphony
!PURA VIDA! A SONIC TRIUMPH FOR SO CO PHIL IN THRILLING COSTA RICA TOUR CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Long anticipated events, such as a great sporting game, gourmet feast, holiday trip or a concert, occasionally fall way short of expectations. The results don’t measure to expectations. With the Sonoma County Philharmonic’s Costa Rica concert June 19, the performance exceeded any heated or tenuou...
Symphony
SO CO PHIL BON VOYAGE CONCERT AN ODYSSEY OF CONTRASTING SOUND
by Terry McNeill
Friday, June 15, 2018
In a splashy bon voyage concert June 15 the Sonoma County Philharmonic Orchestra launched its June 17-25 Costa Rica tour, performing gratis in Santa Rosa’s Jackson Theater the repertoire for tour concerts in San José, Costa Rica’s capital, and in surrounding towns. Conductor Norman Gamboa pr...
Chamber
COMMANDING CHOPIN AND DEBUSSY IN SLV RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Concerts at the classy Spring Lake Village Retirement Home in Santa Rosa have admission limited to residents and a few guests, but the chance to hear a first cabin North Bay pianist June 6 brought a Classical Sonoma reviewer into the audience of 100. The crowd numbers were unusually low due to a ba...
Recital
MUSICAL ALCHEMY INSIDE A HIDDEN GEM
by Kayleen Asbo
Friday, May 25, 2018
The Petaluma Historical Library and Museum is a hidden gem of Sonoma County, a gracious building that is one of Sonoma County’s loveliest venues for chamber music concerts, with a fine period piano particularly suited to Romantic music.  Of the surprisingly large array of festivities there, one of t...
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 Hall’s residen...
Symphony
FERRANDIS BIDS ADIEU WITH MAHLER’S FINAL SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 06, 2018
Sonoma State students in graduation robes posed for pictures and hugged each other at the university’s stone gates on Sunday afternoon, mirroring the prolonged farewells within the university’s 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. Saëns’ majestic Organ Symphony April 29 was a rare opportunity and not easily to be missed. Avec l’...
Recital
HEAVENLY SCHUBERT AND DEMONIC CHOPIN
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 21, 2018
One of the anomalies in the long ago “Golden Era” of romantic pianism (about 1905 to 1940) is that the virtuoso giants of the time didn’t play Schubert. It took the German pianist Artur Schnabel to bring the beauties of Schuber’s work to the public’s 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 season’s final concert of the 86th season. In a programmin...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Amaryllis Trio / Saturday, September 10, 2016
Lisa Doyle, violin; Wendy Reynolds, cello; Sonia Morse Tubridy, piano

Amaryllis Trio

BEETHOVEN AND LALO MUSIC FLOWER IN AMARYLLIS TRIO'S HOUSE CONCERT

by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 10, 2016

When driving into Guerneville Sept. 9 for the Amaryllis Trio’s house concert, a massive backlog of cars presaged a jammed musical afternoon. But for the cognoscenti the Trio’s music upstaged the big jazz festival crowds, and rewarded the 25 assembled in Sonia’s Tubridy’s charming hillside home with music of Beethoven, Lalo, Mendelssohn and Haydn.

It was a benefit for the River Choir, directed for many years by Ms. Tubridy.

Dramatic highlights included the Beethoven G Major Trio, Op. 1, No 2, and the opening movement of Lalo’s C Minor Trio, Op. 7. Beethoven’s virtuosity was on display in this early piece that still has echoes of Haydn’s 30-plus trios, but the creative counterpoint individually stamps the work. Ms. Tubridy’s pianism seemed to envelope the string instruments, almost swelling on some notes, and was the voice leader.

The Largo Con Espressione and the Presto finale were well played, the first having a lovely slow dance duo from Ms. Tubridy and violinist Lisa Doyle, and the second full of repeated notes and short, snazzy phrases. The musicians were able to find a long thematic line in the busy movement, though some rhythmic instability was heard. Beethoven never seems to let go of one cadenza when another catches his fancy, and the Amaryllis caught and portrayed the excitement of the 1795 work.

The opening Allegro movement from Lalo’s early C Minor Trio (Op.7) featured cellist Wendy Reynolds’ suave introductory phrasing and a march theme in the piano part that frequently varied the tempo. Ms. Doyle’s tone was rich and was penetrating in the high register, and the movement’s powerful conclusion was preceded by the romantic ardor of the slow movement of Mendelssohn’s ever-popular D Minor Trio, Op. 49. Here a leisurely tempo was adopted with minimal ritards and the string instruments took away the big themes from the piano. Such glorious themes, and the Trio played them with gentle luftpausen and subsequent handoffs from piano to violin to finally cello.

Haydn’s E Minor Trio (Hob. XV 12) opened the program in an unfussy performance full of rhythmic contrasts. The piano part carried the themes with strong low register string playing and the Andante had a nod towards Mozart’s trios. In the concluding Rondo the Amaryllis shared a playful approach to joyous music, with Ms. Reynolds providing deft support and careful attention to a big descending passage for all three players near the end. The sonic mix was good, with here and there an underlined dissonance. Dissonance in Haydn?

Piazzolla’s short Verano Porteño from the celebrated “Four Seasons in Buenos Aires” (1965) concluded the concert to acclaim. As with most Piazzolla works the tango rhythms and inflections can be treacherous for multiple performers, but the Amaryllis met the challenges with aplomb.

Classical Sonoma reviews rarely mention a concert’s extra-music aspects, but at this West County event the gratis intermission food was special, led by apple crisps made the same morning from local fruit. A great combo with strong coffee.