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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 ...
Symphony
CONDUCTOR PLAYOFFS BEGIN IN SANTA ROSA
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 08, 2017
The Santa Rosa Symphony is calling 2017-18 “a choice season” because the next few months offer the audience and the symphony’s board of directors a chance to choose a new conductor from a pool of five candidates. Each candidate will lead a three-concert weekend set this fall and winter, with a final...
Recital
PIANISTIC COMMAND IN SCHROEDER RECITAL
by Lee Ormasa
Sunday, October 08, 2017
Nikolay Khozyainov’s Oct. 8 debut at the Green Music Center’s Schroeder Hall was one of those rare moments in a young artist’s career when a performance approaches perfection. From the opening notes of Beethoven’s A-Flat Major Sonata (Op. 110) through a delightful recital ending transcription, the ...
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.