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Chamber
EXTRAVAGANT FUSION OF STYLES AT CHRIS BOTTI BAND WEILL HALL CONCERT
by Jerry Dibble
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Trumpeter Chris Botti still performs in jazz venues including SF Jazz and The Blue Note, but now appears mostly in cavernous halls or on outdoor stages like the Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. He brought his unique road show to the packed Weill Hall August 12 in a concert of effusive e...
Chamber
SCHUBERT "MIT SCHLAG" AT VOM FESTIVAL MORNING CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, July 29, 2018
The spirit of 19th century Vienna was present July 29 on the final day of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival. The Festival in the second half of July glittered with innovative programming and the new, old sound of original instruments played by musicians who love music with historic instruments. ...
Chamber
PASSIONATE BRAHMS-SCHOENBERG MUSIC CLOSES VOM FESTIVAL SUMMER
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, July 29, 2018
An extraordinary program of chamber music by Brahms and Schoenberg attracted a capacity crowd to the Valley of the Moon Music Festival’s final concert July 29th in Sonoma’s Hanna Center. It opened with a richly expressive reading by Festival Laureate violinist Rachell Wong and pianist Jeffrey LaDeur...
Chamber
PRAGUE AND VIENNA PALACE GEMS HIGHLIGHT VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, July 28, 2018
The remarkable Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival presented a concert called “Kinsky Palace” July 28 on their final Festival weekend in Sonoma’s Hanna Center. Two well-known treasures and one lesser gem were programmed. Starting the afternoon offerings were violinist Monica Huggett and Fest...
Chamber
INNOVATIVE CHAMBER WORKS IN HANNA CENTER CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, July 22, 2018
The Valley of the Moon Music Festival presented a July 22 concert featuring three giants: Haydn, Schubert and Schumann, composers who altered music of their time with creative innovations and artistic vision. In the fourth season the Festival’s theme this year is “Vienna in Transition”, and VOM Fes...
Chamber
VIENNA INSPIRATION FOR VOM FESTIVAL PROGRAM AT HANNA CENTER
by Nicki Bell
Saturday, July 21, 2018
A music-loving audience filled Sonoma’s Hanna Center Auditorium July 21 to begin a record weekend of three concerts, produced by the Valley of the Moon Music Festival. The Festival’s theme this summer is “Venice in Transition – From the Enlightenment to the Dawn of Modernism” Prior to Saturday’s m...
Chamber
VANHAL QUARTET AT VOM FESTIVAL DISCOVERY AT HANNA CENTER
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, July 15, 2018
A near-capacity crowd of 220 filled the Sonoma Hanna Boys Center Auditorium July 15 for the opening concert of the fourth Valley of the Moon Music Festival. This Festival presents gems of the Classical and early Romantic periods performed on instruments of the composer’s era, which presents a few ch...
Chamber
COMMANDING CHOPIN AND DEBUSSY IN SLV RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Concerts at the classy Spring Lake Village Retirement Home in Santa Rosa have admission limited to residents and a few guests, but the chance to hear a first cabin North Bay pianist June 6 brought a Classical Sonoma reviewer into the audience of 100. The crowd numbers were unusually low due to a ba...
Chamber
FINAL VOM MUSICIANS CONCERT IN SCHROEDER A SCHUBERT DELIGHT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, May 12, 2018
It's rare to have the opportunity to compare in a short period two performances of the same major Schubert work, in this case the great B Flat Piano Trio, D. 898. The chance came May 12 when the Valley of the Moon Festival musicians played it in Schroeder, just over a month since the Hall’s residen...
Chamber
VIRTUOSO CELLO AND GUITAR TRANSCRIPTIONS AT RAC SEBASTOPOL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Listeners and yes even music critics usually prepare for a concert with research, checking recorded performances, looking at artist biographies and even reviewing sheet music. This was a difficult task for the April 14 Redwood Arts Council concert in Sebastopol’s Community Church, as the performers...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Redwood Arts Council / Saturday, April 29, 2017
Hermitage Piano Trio. Ilya Kazantsev, piano; Sergey Antonov, cello; Misch Keilen, violin

NOTES AND BARS DO NOT A PRISON MAKE

by Nicki Bell
Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Hermitage Piano Trio brought exuberant musicality and sumptuous sound to a packed house April 29 in Occidental's Performing Arts Center for the last concert in the Redwood Arts Council’s 37th season. With a wide interpretive range--from lush to delicate to passionate--these three young Russian virtuosos set the house on fire while tickling the audience to the tips of its toes. Now living in the United States, Misha Keylin (violin), Sergey Antonov (cello) and pianist Ilya Kazantsev are all noted soloists in their own right, and inspired interpreters of classic European repertoire, as well as contemporary American commissions.

The opener, Beethoven's Op. 11 piano trio, was full of character and color. Before playing the work, Mr. Keylin shared the story of the third movement, which is based on the then-popular song, "Before I start work, I must have something to eat!" Mr. Kazantsev created magic during the first movement, infusing a gentle breathing pulse that contrasted with the movement's quick and light playfulness. Mr. Antonov's luscious cello tone in the beginning of the second movement was intimate and warm, a love song, like a rose opening. All three musicians wove lyrical motifs around each other during the movement, leading to an ethereal ending. The third movement was skipping and full of fun, with a piano cadenza, a violin and cello due, and multiple variations.

Schubert's Nocturne in E flat, published after his death and seldom heard in concert, was composed as a possible adagio for his well-known Op. 99 piano trio. The song-like theme, with its unusual rhythmic character and Romantic outpouring, was quintessential Schubert: sad, sweet, innocent and ecstatic.

The final trio before intermission was by Gaspar Casssado, a Catalonian cellist who died 50 years ago. The trio was a Spanish hoe-down with constantly changing tempi, and the three movements had significant variations in mood and dynamics. One could see flamenco dancers, their stomping heels, their sinuous poses. It was passionate, then suddenly very light, always rhythmic and then a race to the end.

After intermission came an unusual musical treat, Tchaikovsky's “The Seasons.” These twelve pieces were originally written for the piano and were published in a Russian music magazine at the rate of one per month. They were subsequently arranged for piano trio by the Russian composer Alexander Goedike. This festive celebration of the year turned out to be a real crowd-pleaser. The blending timbres of the three instruments brought out a new clarity in the music, and moments from “The Nutcracker” echoed throughout. Festive and joyous, lyrical and calm, jaunty and bright, melancholy and celebratory, trolls to swans--all the moods of the year were there.

The audience did not want the evening to end. The trio’s encore, "Let's Play an Opera by Rossini" (1981), was composed by Rion Shchedrin, husband of the great Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. It was a complete charmer, and the audience was giggling throughout.

Sonia Tubridy, who turned pages for pianist Ilya Kazantsev, contributed to this review.