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Chamber
YOUNG MUSICIANS SHINE AT PIANO SONOMA CONCERT
by Lee Ormasa
Tuesday, August 01, 2017
The third in a series of four concerts by Piano Sonoma artists in residence, part of the Vino and Vibrato Series, was held August 1 in Schroeder Hall at the Green Music Center. Entitled “The Masters,” the program included works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn. Piano Sonoma is a summer artist-in...
Chamber
THRILLING PROGRAM CLOSES VOM CHAMBER FESTIVAL AT HANNA CENTER
by Lee Ormasa
Sunday, July 30, 2017
The finale of the two-week Valley of the Moon Music Festival closed July 30 with “The Age of Bravura” concert at the Sonoma’s Hanna Boys Center. The musical selections held to this year’s Festival theme “Schumann’s World - His Music and the Music He Loved.“ This summer Festival features chamber mus...
Chamber
PERIOD INSTRUMENTAL SOUND AT PENULTIMATE VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, July 30, 2017
In the Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival’s penultimate concert July 30 the perennial issue of period and modern instruments was apparent. But only in the concluding Mendelssohn Trio, as the performances in the two first half works easily avoided instrumental comparisons. Clara Schumann’s t...
Chamber
ECLECTIC REPERTOIRE IN FETCHING VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, July 22, 2017
One of the purposes of summer music festivals is to present unfamiliar music in an attractive and often small audience setting. The Valley of the Moon Music Festival delightfully met these requirements July 22 and 23 with two concerts in the small hall at Sonoma’s Hanna Boys Center. Classical Sono...
Recital
ADAMS' PHRYGIAN GATES HIGHLIGHTS MORKOSKI FESTIVAL PERFORMANCE
by Lee Ormasa
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Attendees at the Molly Morkoski Mendocino Music Festival recital July 22 were in for a treat, both pianistically and if they happened to buy a tasty cookie during intermission. The program included Beethoven’s Op. 27 Moonlight Sonata, Adams’ Phrygian Gates, a surprise add-on of Grieg’s Holberg Suit...
Symphony
SOARING VERDI REQUIEM CLOSES 31ST MENDOCINO FESTIVAL
by Lee Ormasa
Saturday, July 22, 2017
We speak frequently about how there is nothing like the experience of a live performance. Seldom was this truer than at the July 22 closing performance of the two-week Mendocino Music Festival. The Festival Orchestra, conducted by of Allan Pollack, joined with the Festival Chorus in a moving renderi...
Recital
ORGAN REGISTRATION MASTERY HEARD IN WALHAIN'S RECITAL
by Robert Young
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
A group of 65 lucky attendees July 18 had the pleasure of hearing Etienne Walhain’s recital at the Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa. Mr. Walhain is organist at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Tournai, Belgium, and played to a varied program Bach, Franck, and Reger. He used the tonal resource...
Opera
DONIZETTI'S DON PASQUALE HAS LYRICAL CHARM IN MENDOCINO FESTIVAL PRODUCTION
by Elly Lichenstein
Friday, July 14, 2017
Mendocino Music Festival's production of Donizetti's beloved opera buffa Don Pasquale - a one-night affair July 15 that was presented in an enormous tent on a greensward overlooking the Pacific Ocean - delighted an audience of more than 600 while doing some real justice to this frothy gem of commedi...
Recital
NOVACEK'S 2ND HALF TRIFECTA SCORES AT MENDO MUSIC FESTIVAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Modern classical piano recitals are in two parts, with longer and perhaps more profound music proceeding perhaps shorter and usually stimulating lighter fare. In John Novacek’s July 13 Mendocino Music Festival recital the best playing came unexpectedly in the eight abbreviated works comprising the ...
Recital
STYLUS AND PLAYING FANTASTICUS IN YOUNG'S ORGAN RECITAL
by Paul Blanchard
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Organist Robert Young gave a wonderful tour through the stylus fantasticus (fantastic style) organ literature June 25 playing a recital on the Casavant organ at Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa. Mr. Young recently became the organist at the Church and previously served for 20 years as Music D...
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.