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Chamber
SONGS AND ECHOES OF HOME IN AIZURI QUARTET CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, March 08, 2020
From the first richly layered harmonies of Dvořák’s Cypresses, the Aizuri Quartet held the March 8th audience at Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church in thrall. The church was more than half full, a good crowd considering present anxiety about the spread of the coronavirus. Taking precautions, the M...
Choral and Vocal
COLORFUL BORN BACH AT AGAVE BAROQUE'S SCHROEDER HALL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, February 28, 2020
Bach’s obituary records that “Johann Sebastian Bach belongs to a family that seems to have received a love and aptitude for music as a gift of Nature to all its members in common.” Agave Baroque presented their Feb. 28 concert, Born Bach, as a partial musical story of several generations in this rem...
Chamber
ECLECTIC VIOLIN AND PIANO WORKS IN VIRTUOSIC MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Blending virtuosity with sublime artistry, violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky and pianist Wu Qian gave the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society audience many thrills February 23, performing four muscular and soulful works by four composers from four countries: de Falla, Schumann, Stravinsky, and Grieg. T...
Chamber
PREMIER OF KAIZEN AND DRAMATIC MOZART HIGHLIGHT ECHO CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 16, 2020
As concertgoers took their seats in San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church for ECHO Chamber Orchestra’s February 16 program, they were surprised to see at center stage two bass drums, a tom-tom, bongos, high hat and cymbals. It was the occasion of the world premiere of "Kaizen," composed and perf...
Chamber
BEETHOVEN'S VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT IN RAC SEBASTOPOL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, February 14, 2020
Continuing a season of Redwood Arts Council successes, the Kouzov Duo performed an eclectic Valentine’s Day concert in Sebastopol’s Community Church before an audience of 125. Beethoven’s charming Op. 66 Variations on Mozart’s “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen” from the opera the Magic Flute was a bouncy ...
LUSH BACH PERFORMANCE IN DENK'S WEILL HALL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Memorable artistic interpretations of musical masterpieces are often at extremes, and with the Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (WTC - Book I) that Jeremy Denk played in Weill Hall Feb. 13, the pianist was only sporadically at unique or ebullient musical ends. But his playing wasn’t exactly at opposite...
BROWNE, PAREMSKI HEAD STELLAR CAST AT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CONCERT
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 09, 2020
The Feb. 9 performance by the Santa Rosa Symphony offered a healthy dose of 21st century music firmly bound to the 19th. Matt Browne’s first symphony, “The Course of Empire”—based on a series of five paintings by Thomas Cole, who founded the Hudson River School of American painting in the 1820s—emp...
FRENCH ORCHESTRAL MUSIC A FIRST FOR THE SO CO PHILHARMONIC
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 02, 2020
Over many years the Sonoma County Philharmonic has played little French music, but perhaps this oversight was corrected Feb. 2 in a splendid all-Gallic program Feb. 1 and 2 in the Jackson Theater. Classical Sonoma reviewed the Sunday afternoon concert. In his eighth conducting season with the So C...
Symphony
POLISH MUSICAL WORLDS GLOW BRIGHT IN NFM WROCLAW WEILL PERFORMANCE
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, February 01, 2020
The NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic, with conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, gave a concert of enormous energy and emotional impact on Feb.1 to a small audience in Weill Hall. This orchestra has been a major cultural force in Poland since 1949, playing under many renowned conductors and has been committed to pr...
Opera
EXTRAVAGANT ARIAS IN NEXT GENERATION TENORS GALA VALLEJO CONCERT
by Mark Kratz
Saturday, February 01, 2020
“Beautiful, strange, and unnatural…” said orchestra conductor Thomas Conlin when speaking of the tenor voice. One of the coveted voice types of the opera world, the tenor voice is known for it’s piercing tones and soaring, unnatural high notes. The iconic image of the Pagliacci clown (in the famed...
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.