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Recital
MTA BENEFIT CONCERT FEATURES FAURE, DVORAK, JANACEK AND BARBER WORKS
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 11, 2018
In a splendid concert Nov. 11 the Music Teachers Association of California, Sonoma County Chapter, presented their sixth annual benefit concert before 40 avid listeners in the Santa Rosa home of Helen Howard and Robert Yeats. Highlights of the performances, involving eight musicians in various perf...
Recital
SERKIN'S SINGULAR MOZART AND BACH PLAYING IN WEILL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 09, 2018
Returning to Weill Hall following a fire-related recital cancellation in 2017, pianist Peter Serkin programmed just three works in his Nov. 7 concert, three masterworks that challenged both artist and audience alike. It needs to be said at the outset that Mr. Serkin takes a decidedly non-standard a...
Chamber
LUMINOUS FAURE TOPS LINCOLN TRIO'S SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, November 07, 2018
Familiarity in chamber music often evokes warm appreciation, and it was thus Nov. 7 when the Chicago-based Lincoln Piano Trio made one of their many Sonoma County appearances, this time on the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series. Regularly presented by local impresario Robert Hayden, the Lin...
Symphony
PEACE AND LOVE FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 04, 2018
Before the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Nov. 4 performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story,” Symphony CEO Alan Silow took a moment to acknowledge the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack and to observe that music offers a more peaceful and loving view of the world. Mr. ...
Chamber
ATOS TRIO IN MILL VALLEY CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, November 04, 2018
When the ATOS Piano Trio planned their all-Russian touring program at their Berlin home base, it had a strong elegiac, even tragic theme that surely resonated with their Mill Valley Chamber Music Society audience Nov. 4 in Mill Valley. Comprised of Annette von Hehn, violin; Thomas Hoppe, piano; and...
Chamber
ATOS TRIO IN OCCIDENTAL CHAMBER CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 03, 2018
When the Berlin-based ATOS Piano Trio entered the cramped Occidental Performing Arts stage Nov. 3, the audience of 100 anticipated familiar works in the announced all-Russian program. What they got was a selection of rarely-plays trios, with a gamut of emotions. Then one-movement Rachmaninoff G Mi...
Symphony
MIGHTY SHOSTAKOVICH 10TH OPENS MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Just two works were on the opening program of the Marin Symphony’s 67th season Oct. 28, Tchaikovsky’s iconic D Major Violin Concerto, and Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony. Before a full house in the Marin Center Auditorium conductor Alasdair Neale set a judicious opening tempo in the brief orchestra i...
Symphony
VIVALDI FOR ALL SEASONS IN WEILL BAROQUE CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, October 27, 2018
The Venice Baroque Orchestra, a dozen superb musicians that include strings, harpsichord and recorder, played an uplifting concert Oct. 27 of mostly Vivaldi sinfonias and concertos. The Weill Hall audience of 600 had rapt attention throughout, and the playing was of the highest musical level. This r...
Recital
LIN'S PIANISM AND PERSONA CHARM SCHROEDER HALL AUDIENCE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 21, 2018
In somewhat of a surprise a sold out Schroeder Hall audience greeted pianist Steven Lin Oct. 21 in his local debut recital. Why a surprise? Because Mr. Lin was pretty much unknown in Northern California, and Schroeder is rarely, very rarely sold out for a single instrumentalist. But no matter, and...
Chamber
HEROIC TRUMPET AND ORGAN MUSIC AT INCARNATION
by Jerry Dibble
Friday, October 12, 2018
The strong connections between Santa Rosa’s musical community and California State University Chico were on display Oct. 12 as David Rothe, Professor Emeritus in the Chico Music Department, and Ayako Nakamura, trumpet with the North State Symphony, presented a concert titled “Heroic Music for Trumpe...
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.