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Recital
SLAM BANG SONORITY IN HAOCHEN ZHANG'S SCHROEDER RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Piano Competition winners are in ample supply, and it’s often a hit and miss proposition as to their sterling interpretative qualities. However, the quadrennial Van Cliburn Competition in Ft. Worth has continually produced top-level artists, and the 2009 winner Haochen Zhang proved a formidable per...
Symphony
FOREIGN AFFAIRS CHARACTERS OF THE BAROQUE
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, known as Akamus, played a Weill Hall concert March 12 in a program called "Foreign Affairs -Characters of the Baroque.” The ensemble, that began in 1984, has 15 musicians led by concert master Bernhard Forck. Attired in elegant black with red accents, ranging from tie...
Recital
MUSCULAR PIANISM DOMINATES MILL VALLEY CHAMBER SOCIETY RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Piano recitals since the beginning of the genre open with finger pieces - Scarlatti or Soler Sonatas, Bach, a Mendelssohn Prelude and Fugue or perhaps Mozart or Haydn. Sarah Daneshpour’s March 12 opening work at the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society series abruptly avoided the norm with the 10-minut...
Recital
NOVEL HAYDN AND SCHUMANN IN YARDEN'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Israeli pianist Einav Yarden has been a frequent Sonoma County visitor, playing private recitals for Spring Lake Village and Concerts Grand, and twice performing for Music at Oakmont. The Berlin-based artist returned to Oakmont’s Berger Auditorium March 9 with a program that was neither for connois...
Chamber
CONSUMMATE ENSEMBLE FROM THE MIRÓ IN WEILL
by Sonia Tubridy and Nicki Bell
Sunday, March 05, 2017
A March 5 Weill hall audience of 350 leaned in to share an intimate musical space and to hear the Miró String Quartet’s sterling concert. Starting with Haydn's Op. 20, No. 4, the four musicians seemed to want listeners to be enveloped in their music. The Miró plays with the feat of being four dist...
Recital
BRILLIANT VIOLIN AND PIANO ARTISTRY CHARMS SCHROEDER HALL AUDIENCE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 26, 2017
A tiny Schroeder Hall audience heard a flawless recital Feb. 26 by Yu-Chien Tseng, arguably the best recent local violin recital since Gil Shaham’s transversal of the complete Bach Suites in Weill and Frank Almond’s Oakmont recital in 2015. Muscular playing was the afternoon’s norm, and with pianis...
Chamber
MUSIC AND ART MELD IN ZUCKERMAN TRIO CONCERT
by Nicki Bell
Friday, February 24, 2017
A Feb. 24 Weill Hall concert by the Pinchas Zuckerman Trio juxtaposed formidable music making with palpable associations about visual art. Brahms’ C Minor "Sonatensatz” (Scherzo) is a short youthful work for violin and piano, and was an opening call to action. Lively and vigorous playing alternated...
Chamber
THREE BEETHOVEN TRIOS BEGUILE AUDIENCE IN FEB. 19 WEILL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Chamber music concerts featuring one composer can be tricky, but the Han/Setzer/Finckel trio made a Feb. 19 Weill Hall audience of 500 hear and to a degree see the boundless creativity of Beethoven. The G Major Trio, Op. 1, No. 2, opened the afternoon’s Beethoven odyssey and one wonders why it is t...
Chamber
AUTHORITATIVE BARTOK HIGHLIGHTS TETZLAFF VIOLIN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Christian Tetzlaff’s Feb. 18 violin recital rolled along with lively and fresh readings of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert when the specter of Bartok’s granitic Second Sonata intervened. The sonic shock to the audience of 250 in Weill was palpable. Composed in 1923 the 20-minute two-movement work i...
Symphony
WHAT SOUND DO STAR-CROSSED LOVERS MAKE?
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so the Santa Rosa Symphony feted the occasion by telling and retelling the story of Romeo and Juliet, a tale ever the more poignant during our era of stark divisions. The first telling was from Berlioz; the second from Prokofiev. In between was Brahms’ monu...
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.