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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...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Mill Valley Chamber Music Society / Sunday, February 18, 2018
Bomsori Kim, violin; Drew Petersen, piano

Violinist Bomsori Kim

KIM-PETERSEN DUO SHINE IN MILL VALLEY CHAMBER RECITAL

by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 18, 2018

“Bomsori” means “the sound of spring” in Korean, and violinist Bomsori Kim’s sound is like spring - fresh, clarion, and nuanced. Her expressiveness and obvious pleasure in engaging with audiences is substantial, and she partnered with pianist Drew Petersen in a Feb. 18 recital for the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society.

On stage at the Mill Valley United Methodist Church. Ms. Kim and Mr. Petersen chose a program that was technically demanding and aesthetically thrilling, with pieces by Beethoven, Schumann, Ravel, Wieniawski, and Ysäye. The pulse and arc of each of her phrases was exquisitely shaped. If one weren’t already in love with the violin, this concert would have been the heart-winning valentine.

Beethoven’s 8th Sonata in G, Op. 30, No. 3, begins with a pulsating, passionate allegro, where “Sturm und Drang” alternate with tender, singing passages. At first the tempo seemed too fast but Ms. Kim captured each pulse in the music, and it never spun out of control. When Beethoven composed the Sonata in 1802, he was dealing with impending deafness, and the terror, dread and shame are manifest in the violence of the movement. In the minuetto Mr. Petersen took the bright musical lead even as the violin line wove a tragic leitmotif. The furious finale (allegro vivace) was masterfully controlled.

Ms. Kim’s playing captured the character of Schumann’s grief and movement towards insanity in the A Minor Sonata from 1851. Unfortunately, the piano sound was occasionally too loud, covering the violin’s line. The house piano’s lid was fully open, and as the instrument had a brilliant sound, Mr. Petersen’s playing at times swamped that of Ms. Kim. The allegretto was nostalgic and sweet, evoking childhood play, and then came the lebhaft with its abrupt changes and mood swings, expressing with delicacy and anguish the composer’s complex emotional state.

A standout of the program was Ravel’s Sonata No. 2 (G Major), composed in 1927. The piano sound had a bell-like clarity and the violin line soared. Here the musical lines blend and diverge in a fascinating meander. In the first movement allegretto the two instruments created their own eccentric harmonies, parting and meeting again. The movement with blues character, with its sensual slides and jazzy pizzicato, was spellbinding, and midway through the stirring perpetuum mobile finale Ms. Kim’s playing was joyous and her joy was palpably shared with the Church’s audience.

The last two selections, a Wieniawski D Major Polonaise and Ysäye’s Caprice d’Apres l’Etude en Forme de Valse de Concert (St. Saëns), were pure, exuberant showpieces. The duo captured the panache and yearning of the Polonaise, and the Ysäye was a fascinating journey into the astonishing capabilities of the virtuoso violinist. Ms. Kim bowed and plucked through each surprise, relishing each joke, and glided through the tour-de-force acrobatics of the transcribed study as though they came freshly from her imagination.

It was a generous program and the audience responded with two standing ovations. Clearly touched, Ms. Kim and Mr. Petersen offered two encores - Ponce’s “Estrellita,” arranged by Heifitz, and Kreisler’s “Schoen Rosemarin.” With their transparent and lilting lines, both encores were effervescent and an audience delight.