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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
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.