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Choral and Vocal
A SEASONAL MESSIAH WITH BALANCE AND HEFT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, December 10, 2017
The mid-December concert season seems for jaded reviewers to invariably include a Messiah performance, and perhaps a Messiah in a long string of similar and mundane performances. This was decidedly not the case when San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque mounted Handel’s eminent three-part 1742 Orato...
Symphony
ANDREW GRAMS FINDS HIS GROOVE SR SYMPHONY IN RACHMANINOFF
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 03, 2017
Last Sunday’s Santa Rosa Symphony concert featured two elegant and refined guests: music director candidate Andrew Grams and pianist Stewart Goodyear. Both displayed dazzling technique and consummate artistry, but Goodyear was the more consistent of the two. Some of Grams’ inconsistency may have st...
Symphony
SONIC SPLASH AND ENSEMBLE DELICACY AT SO CO PHIL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Franck’s wonderful D Minor Symphony is a rarity on today’s concert programs, and I can’t remember a North Bay performance in many years from any of the six resident area orchestras. So it was good to see the Sonoma County Philharmonic feature it in their Nov. 18 and 19 concerts at Santa Rosa High S...
Chamber
TETZLAFF QUARTET'S MASTERY IN MOZART AND SCHUBERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 11, 2017
German violin virtuoso Christian Tetzlaff presented a critically successful Weill Hall recital Feb. 18, and returned to the same venue Nov. 11 with his admirable Tetzlaff Quartet in a program of Berg, Schubert and Mozart. Clarity of ensemble has always been a hallmark of this Quartet, and contrapun...
Chamber
RAVISHING SHORT OPERAS FROM FRENCH TROUPE IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 10, 2017
Standard Weill Hall fall and winter classical programs are pretty routine – symphonic music, chamber, solo recitals – so it was a rare treat Nov. 10 when just two works from the 17th century were gloriously presented. With such specialized compositions, period performers with commanding authenticit...
Symphony
MEI-ANN CHEN PROVES A WORTHY CONTENDER FOR SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CONDUCTING POST
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 05, 2017
These days the focus of Santa Rosa Symphony concerts is as much on the conductor candidates as on the soloists. This past weekend’s concerts featured the second of those candidates, Mei-Ann Chen, along with pianist Nareh Arghamanyan, each of whom cut an imposing figure on the stage. Chen is diminut...
Symphony
TO RUSSIA WITH BRILLIANCE
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 03, 2017
Russian pianist Denis Matsuev’s high velocity and frequently slam-bang virtuosity came to the Green Music Center last year with a thrilling and equally perplexing solo performance. So many in Weill Nov. 3 were interested to hear if his pianistic style would mesh well in a concerto, and with a fine ...
Symphony
THUNDEROUS TCHAIKOVSKY FOURTH OPENS MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
North Coast weather is turning cool and the nights longer, ideal for Tchaikovsky’s big boned symphonies. The Santa Rosa Symphony recently programmed the Fourth (F Minor Symphony) as did the San Francisco Symphony. Norman Gamboa’s Sonoma County Philharmonic just played the Tchaikovsky First, forgoi...
Recital
RESPIGHI'S PUNGENT SONATA HIGHLIGHTS KENNEY-GUTMAN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Respighi’s B Minor Violin Sonata seems never to gain conventional repertoire status. Perhaps the great Heifetz recording is intimidating, and I can recall over many years just two local performances: Jason Todorov and William Corbett-Jones years go in Newman, and a titanic reading in March by Anne S...
Chamber
MIRÓ QUARTET AND JEFFERY KAHANE PROVIDE MUSICAL RELIEF FOR FIRE-RAVAGED SONOMA COUNTY
by Steve Osborn
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Sonoma County’s Green Music Center has stood silent but unscathed the past few weeks as the county begins to recover from the devastating fires that began on the evening of October 8, only a few hours after a Santa Rosa Symphony concert in the Music Center. Since then, concerts by the Symphony, the ...
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 Porteńo 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.