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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...
Opera
SPARKLING CIMAROSA OPERA HIGHLIGHTS MENDOCINO MUSIC FESTIVAL
by Kathryn Stewart
Friday, July 13, 2018
The Classical music era was a time of extraordinary innovation. Dominated by composers from the German-speaking countries, the period witnessed the handiwork of masterpieces by two classical giants, Haydn and Mozart. Both composers put forth a tremendous catalog of masterful works and perhaps to our...
Symphony
!PURA VIDA! A SONIC TRIUMPH FOR SO CO PHIL IN THRILLING COSTA RICA TOUR CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Long anticipated events, such as a great sporting game, gourmet feast, holiday trip or a concert, occasionally fall way short of expectations. The results don’t measure to expectations. With the Sonoma County Philharmonic’s Costa Rica concert June 19, the performance exceeded any heated or tenuou...
Symphony
SO CO PHIL BON VOYAGE CONCERT AN ODYSSEY OF CONTRASTING SOUND
by Terry McNeill
Friday, June 15, 2018
In a splashy bon voyage concert June 15 the Sonoma County Philharmonic Orchestra launched its June 17-25 Costa Rica tour, performing gratis in Santa Rosa’s Jackson Theater the repertoire for tour concerts in San José, Costa Rica’s capital, and in surrounding towns. Conductor Norman Gamboa pr...
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.”