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Symphony
MENDELSSOHN'S SCOTTISH SAVES THE EVENING IN SRS WEILL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Monday, February 11, 2019
The audience entering Weill Hall for Santa Rosa Symphony concerts Feb. 9-11 were presented with a program that on first glance appeared a curious patchwork – a great symphony mixed with a seldom heard concerto and two disparate overtures, and a guest conductor unknown locally. Monday night’s concer...
Recital
INTRIGUING BELL-HAYWOOD RECITAL BEFORE FULL HOUSE IN WEILL HALL
by Abby Wasserman
Friday, February 08, 2019
A big portion of the capacity audience in Weill Hall February 8th came to hear violinist Joshua Bell’s virtuosity, and were treated as well to splendid playing from Sam Haywood, Mr. Bell’s regular pianist since 2010. The duo performed three engaging sonatas, highlighted by Mr. Bell’s sterling techn...
Symphony
TRIPLE PLAY UKIAH SYMPHONY CONCERT AND TCHAIKOVSKY SERENADE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Over the years the Ukiah Symphony’s concerts have been in the Classical Sonoma Calendar sections, but rarely has this Orchestra, now in its 39th season, had a full winter season concert review. The provocative Jan. 27 program in Mendocino College’s Center Theater seemed a good reason to reacquaint ...
Symphony
JACKSON THEATER WELCOMES A NEW RESIDENT ORCHESTRA
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Moving to a permanent new performance venue can be a perilous undertaking for an orchestra, with different acoustics, the loyal audience finding the new spot and infrastructure challenges of lighting and lobby and backstage operations. In their first concert Jan. 26 in Windsor’s Jackson Theater the...
Symphony
ECLECTIC PASSIONATE PROGRAMMING AT MARIN SYMPHONY CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, January 26, 2019
The Marin Symphony’s second Masterworks concert of the 2018-19 season featured works by John Adams, Sibelius and Brahms, a masterful assembly. In a spoken introduction before the program’s first half, conductor Alasdair Neale primed the audience for the “terra incognita” of Adams’ The Chairman Dance...
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...
RECITAL REVIEW
Mastercard Performance Series / Friday, May 05, 2017
Richard Goode, piano

Pianist Richard Goode

MASTERFUL PIANISM IN GOODE'S WEILL HALL RECITAL

by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, May 05, 2017

Pianist Richard Goode programmed an evening of treasures May 5 from four great composers, and is an artist of intimacy and intelligence, power and passion, able to go deep and to soar. Hearing Mr. Goode play this literature was a reminder of how music does indeed bridge worlds and time.

Bach’s E minor Partita (BWV 830) opened the Weill Hall program in a toccata of cascades and streams of arpeggios and fanciful chromatic flights leading to a serious and thoughtful fugue. The playing was straightforward with delightful use of pedal and touches of rubato. Mr. Goode uses the piano with all its colors and articulations, never locking Bach into "period" playing or attempting to imitate our poor knowledge of early styles. The allemande was elegant and playful, delicate and with rich tone, leading into the jolly corrente with its syncopated fun. Here the tempo was lively, allowing clusters of notes to be heard as units, and occasional additions of accents highlighted phrases creatively. Then came the air with solid weighted sound and some grandeur building to the sarabande. The slow and exotic sarabande is often the heart of a suite and so it was here: mysterious harmonies seeming often bent and twisted with heart wrenching suspensions, and very ornate writing leading to passionate peaks of emotion. The breezy relief of the tempo di gavotte, a simple joyful dance, preceded a tour de force gigue which was clear with all its complexity of fugal structure, syncopations and tumbling wild leaps. All voices were audible and unforced. There was no separation between pianist, instrument and composer.

Following the Bach the pianist chose Brahms’ 6 Klavierstucke, Op. 118. The juxtaposition of these two composers was inspired and one could hear the connection between Bach and Brahms through their chromatic harmonies, complex thematic work, dense textures and lovely lyricism. Opus 118 starts with an agitated wave of sounds rising out of the piano’s depths, beauty searching for a place in time. This is followed by a Romantic Lied and then a heavenly duet, a prayerful moment and and finally the duet returns with Mr. Goode bringing out inner voices with expert shadings. The third piece is a ballade, a story of impetuous adventure and a sense of hopeful endings. This had great clusters of sound with rapid tempo, but was never percussive. A charmingintermezzo led to a romance, a piece with warm spaciousness. The artist brought out the folk elements and had the piano imitating sounds of nature, birds, water, wind, sunshine and dark. The final Intermezzo is very mysterious and travels through mazes of searching harmonies, often very dark, to a triumph of joy and hope.

Following intermission the program continued with Chopin’s Nocturne in B Major, Op. 62, No. 1; three mazurkas (Op. 41 Nos. 2 and 3, and Op. 50, No. 3), and the Polonaise-fantaisie, Op. 61. The Nocturne was played movingly by this master of big and small gestures, color at his fingertips, trills creating shimmering melodies, the music glowing. Mr. Goode seemed to magically exceed the limitations of a piano. In the Mazurkas he created simplicity, Polish character, folk sounds, delicacy and heroism. The pianist was portraying dancing and weaving tales. The Polonaise-fantaisie commenced with tragic chords and delicate sounds rose out of them. Spectacular pianism with exquisite chord voicing led to the end where the last sounds heard could invoke "Ring the bells that still can ring…" (L. Cohen).

The evening’s finale was Beethoven's Sonata A Major Sonata,Op. 101. The allegretto was orchestral in its rocking rhythms and the vivace ala marcia had humor with sweetness always creeping in. One had a feeling of improvisation within a highly ordered environment. The Schumannesque recitative of the adagio was poignant. The rising interval of a sixth was a beautiful returning pianistic gesture, and the fugue was energetic and wild, at times possessed, but the pianist managed to keep careful melodic control. It was splendid!

An enthusiastic ovation followed from the audience of 400 and generated an encore: Janacek’s "Good Night" from the 1908 Suite “On An Overgrown Path.”