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Chamber
FINAL VOM MUSICIANS CONCERT IN SCHROEDER A SCHUBERT DELIGHT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, May 12, 2018
It's rare to have the opportunity to compare in a short period two performances of the same major Schubert work, in this case the great B Flat Piano Trio, D. 898. The chance came May 12 when the Valley of the Moon Festival musicians played it in Schroeder, just over a month since the Hall’s residen...
Symphony
FERRANDIS BIDS ADIEU WITH MAHLER’S FINAL SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 06, 2018
Sonoma State students in graduation robes posed for pictures and hugged each other at the university’s stone gates on Sunday afternoon, mirroring the prolonged farewells within the university’s Green Music Center, where Bruno Ferrandis bid adieu to the Santa Rosa Symphony after a dozen years at the ...
Symphony
SONIC SPLENDOR AT MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE
by Abby Wasserman
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
The Marin Symphony Orchestra ended the current season with a flourish, interpreting big and small works by Richard Strauss and Stravinsky. Strauss and Stravinsky were contemporaries for 40 years, but inhabited different worlds. Both composers were affected by cataclysmic changes and war, and musical...
Symphony
ORGAN SYMPHONY IN SSU ORCHESTRA CONCERT IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Though Classical Sonoma seldom reviews student concerts, as ample North Coast concerts keep the staff of 11 reviewers busy. But the chance to hear the Sonoma State University Orchestra tackle St. Saëns’ majestic Organ Symphony April 29 was a rare opportunity and not easily to be missed. Avec l’...
Recital
HEAVENLY SCHUBERT AND DEMONIC CHOPIN
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 21, 2018
One of the anomalies in the long ago “Golden Era” of romantic pianism (about 1905 to 1940) is that the virtuoso giants of the time didn’t play Schubert. It took the German pianist Artur Schnabel to bring the beauties of Schuber’s work to the public’s attention, and now they seem to be on almost ever...
Symphony
SPLENDID JUPITER AND ZOOMING CONCERTO AT VALLEJO SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Over the past two years the Vallejo Symphony has made big changes, moving from a stark middle school auditorium to the snazzy remodeled 1911-era downtown Empress Theater, and engaging Marc Taddei as its seventh conductor. April 15 was the season’s final concert of the 86th season. In a programmin...
Chamber
VIRTUOSO CELLO AND GUITAR TRANSCRIPTIONS AT RAC SEBASTOPOL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Listeners and yes even music critics usually prepare for a concert with research, checking recorded performances, looking at artist biographies and even reviewing sheet music. This was a difficult task for the April 14 Redwood Arts Council concert in Sebastopol’s Community Church, as the performers...
Chamber
TRIO NAVARRO'S POPULAR FARE IN SCHROEDER HALL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 08, 2018
Long time Classical Sonoma readers may recall many Trio Navarro concert reviews that lauded their virtuosity and interest in rarely played repertoire. The April 8 concert in Schroeder Hall before 85 chamber music fans featured sterling performances but had a mostly conservative menu of popular trio...
Recital
KENNER'S ALL POLISH RECITAL HAS PADEREWSKI RARITY
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, April 08, 2018
Kevin Kenner’s April 8 recital at Dominican University’s Angelico Hall had been advertised as all-Chopin, but he added a detour into another seminal Polish composer-pianist, Paderewski. Several of Mr. Kenner’s teachers were Poles, he speaks Polish, and he navigated at the piano both composers’ deman...
Symphony
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE VOICE AT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, April 08, 2018
In an April 8 Santa Rosa Symphony concert filled to the brim with instruments--electric violin, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard samplers, harps, piano and myriad drums, gongs and bells, to say nothing of winds, brass and strings--the instrument that came out on top was the hum...
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.