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Symphony
A SLICE OF HEAVEN FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Under its vibrant new music director, Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Santa Rosa Symphony this past Sunday offered a nearly perfect afternoon of Mozart (Symphony No. 40) and Mahler (Symphony No. 4). While the two works share a common digit, the only element uniting them is genius. They made for a dazzlin...
Recital
KHOZYAINOV'S BRILLIANT PIANISM IN MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, January 13, 2019
In its third concert of the season the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society Jan. 13 presented Russian virtuoso Nikolay Khozyainov. His intelligent and sensitive interpretations, masterful pedal work, and virtuoso technique left the near-capacity audience in Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church astounded and ...
Chamber
A COMPLETE MUSICAL PACKAGE IN ARRON'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Cellist Edward Arron has been a welcome artist at the Music at Oakmont series, and after his Jan. 10 recital it’s easy to understand his popularity. His artistry is a complete package, with potent instrumental technique wedded to integral musical conceptions. In a nearly flawless concert with pian...
Choral and Vocal
COMPELLING WEILL HALL MESSIAH ORATORIO FROM THE ABS
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Each holiday season when a Classical Sonoma reviewer is assigned to cover a concert with Handel’s seminal Oratorio The Messiah, the question arises about what new commentary can possibly apply to the often performed choral work. Well, if it’s the American Bach Soloists performing the piece, written...
Opera
PURCELL'S DIDO IN YOUTHFUL SSU OPERA
by Abby Wasserman
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
A doomed royal love affair, the theme of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, was brought to lovely life at Sonoma State University Dec. 5 in the school’s Schroeder Hall. Conducted by faculty member Zachary Gordin, who also played continuo, the performance was only the second opera production presented by the...
Symphony
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY HERALDS THE HOLIDAYS
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 02, 2018
Antlers are typical headgear during the holiday season, but the ushers and one bassist at the Santa Rosa Symphony concert on Dec. 2 sported apples atop their heads. The red fruits were festive but perplexing until the orchestra began Rossini’s “William Tell” overture, at which point even the dull-wi...
Symphony
A HERO'S ODYSSEY IN SO CO PHIL CONCERT
by Art Hofmann
Sunday, November 18, 2018
The audience at the Sonoma County Philharmonic’s Nov. 18 concert was warned at the outset that the old Santa Rosa High School auditorium boiler was turned off, and there was a steady eminently audible tone in the hall. Conductor Norman Gamboa said the tone was an A, a high one. But there it was, a...
Recital
MTA BENEFIT CONCERT FEATURES FAURE, DVORAK, JANACEK AND BARBER WORKS
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 11, 2018
In a splendid concert Nov. 11 the Music Teachers Association of California, Sonoma County Chapter, presented their sixth annual benefit concert before 40 avid listeners in the Santa Rosa home of Helen Howard and Robert Yeats. Highlights of the performances, involving eight musicians in various perf...
Recital
SERKIN'S SINGULAR MOZART AND BACH PLAYING IN WEILL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 09, 2018
Returning to Weill Hall following a fire-related recital cancellation in 2017, pianist Peter Serkin programmed just three works in his Nov. 7 concert, three masterworks that challenged both artist and audience alike. It needs to be said at the outset that Mr. Serkin takes a decidedly non-standard a...
Chamber
LUMINOUS FAURE TOPS LINCOLN TRIO'S SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, November 07, 2018
Familiarity in chamber music often evokes warm appreciation, and it was thus Nov. 7 when the Chicago-based Lincoln Piano Trio made one of their many Sonoma County appearances, this time on the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series. Regularly presented by local impresario Robert Hayden, the Lin...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Mastercard Performance Series / Friday, February 24, 2017
Pinchas Zukerkman, violin; Amanda Forsyth, cello; Angela Cheng, piano

Zuckerman Trio

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 with the tender and gentle, and pianist Angela Cheng and Mr. Zuckerman mastered the quickly shifting rhythms of the five-minute piece, originally a movement in a collaborative sonata. It was over in a flash.

Most of the first half of the program was Kodaly's remarkable Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7.
 Ms. Forsyth and Mr. Zuckerman are a striking stage couple. Like his fellow 
Hungarian Bartok, Kodaly's music is filled with references to Hungarian folk and gypsy rhythms and tunes. Written in 1914, the large-scale work in three movements gave each instrument a full range of expression and 
technical virtuosity. The allegro serioso was very dramatic with bursts of power, tempo changes and motifs passed back and forth. It ended in a whisper. A lovely searching and ruminating cello solo launched the adagio, 
then bursts of Magyar character.

The improvisatory opening of the finale leaps into a propulsive presto that quotes a Hungarian children's song. Mr. Zukerman has a mastery of violin tone color and the ability to make
 a single sustained note become eternity. It was difficult to believe there were only two instruments playing and not a small orchestra creating this world of sweeping passion with orchestra affects.

Schubert's B Flat Trio (Op. 99, D. 898) brought all three musicians together, and as a trio they have been together since 2013. The shifting balances of the instruments 
throughout the whole trio were beautifully crafted, and modulations were underscored and phrases balanced. The Zuckerman Trio captured the character of the music, written during Schubert’s last year, in every changing moment. Ms. Cheng joined the mix with with a sensitive touch and clear articulation. It was a three-way conversation: the luscious cello tone, the piano support and the warmth of the violin line. The playing had sparkle and easily reminded one of the “Trout” Quintet and much of the composer’s song output.

The first movement was full of yearning and joy and color. Ms. Forsyth’s warm cello sound was captivating in the andante, and the ensemble became a lullaby with Mr. Zuckerman’s rich violin tone and Ms. Cheng’s softly rocking piano line. One of the great slow movements of all classical music, this movement alone could seduce one to embrace Schubert. In the frolicking scherzo the playing was effervescent.

The performance of the finale was a joy to hear and the Trio traded off themes and phrases in a light-hearted manner. This was music with an artistic smile after each artistic frown.

Robert Schumann said "One glance at the Schubert Op. 99 Trio and the troubles of our human existence disappear 
and all the world is fresh and bright again." This exemplary performance proved the comment.

Prior to the concert a reception in Weill’s lobby was held to inaugurate the hanging of a painting, “The Tower,” by Sonoma State artist Mark Perlman. Situated behind the lobby bar, the work was described as embodying the close relationship of fine art and music.

Sonia Tubridy contributed to this review.