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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 Hallís residen...
Symphony
FERRANDIS BIDS ADIEU WITH MAHLERíS FINAL SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 06, 2018
Sonoma State students in graduation robes posed for pictures and hugged each other at the universityís stone gates on Sunday afternoon, mirroring the prolonged farewells within the universityís 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. SaŽnsí majestic Organ Symphony April 29 was a rare opportunity and not easily to be missed. Avec lí...
Recital
HEAVENLY SCHUBERT AND DEMONIC CHOPIN
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, April 21, 2018
One of the anomalies in the long ago ďGolden EraĒ of romantic pianism (about 1905 to 1940) is that the virtuoso giants of the time didnít play Schubert. It took the German pianist Artur Schnabel to bring the beauties of Schuberís work to the publicís 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 seasonís 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 Sebastopolís 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 Kennerís April 8 recital at Dominican Universityís Angelico Hall had been advertised as all-Chopin, but he added a detour into another seminal Polish composer-pianist, Paderewski. Several of Mr. Kennerís teachers were Poles, he speaks Polish, and he navigated at the piano both composersí 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
Trio Navarro / Sunday, February 18, 2018
Victor Romasevich, violin; Jill Rachuy Brindel, cello; Wayne Roden, viola; Marilyn Thompson, piano

Trio Navarro

POWERHOUSE TANEYEV QUARTET IN TRIO NAVARRO CONCERT

by Sonia Tubridy
Sunday, February 18, 2018

Now in their 26th year of presenting chamber music as artists in residence at Sonoma State University, members of the Navarro Trio have performed, over the years, piano trios both famous and rarely performed, including many contemporary works.

Mozartís Piano Quartet in G Minor, K. 478 opened the Feb. 18 program in Schroeder Hall with its dark, almost ominous unison statement followed by cascades of bright piano passages. The tempo was brisk and the attitude direct and clear. The ensemble sound ranged from lovely elegance to passionate exuberance with hints of contemplative sorrow. Individual solos blended often into a unity of ensemble befitting this masterpiece.

The andante was touchingly played. Pianist Marilyn Thompsonís sound was warm and drew the other instruments into a palette of subtle tone colors. The piano line did not overwhelm in this work that needs transparency. Victor Romasevichís violin playing was by turns bright and soaring or dark and brooding, and violist Wayne Roden playing sang exquisitely when the viola blossomed out of the surrounding parts. Cellist Jill Brindelís musical contribution was gracious and well balanced. The third movement Rondo was full of sparkle and musical wit, and the piano part alternated with the strings in lighthearted games of back and forth, providing many delicate surprises in the dynamics and rubatos. There was a delightful sense of ease, ending with effervescent excitement.

After intermission, the audience, which included many students, heard the monumental Piano Quartet, Op. 20, by Taneyev. The composer was the teacher of Rachmaninoff and Scriabin, and for a time Prokofiev. His works are not as well known and he was not drawn into Russian nationalist streams of composing. Taneyev looked to Mozart for inspiration and Bach for counterpoint, and he was considered a master of counterpoint by his contemporaries. Pairing Taneyev with Mozart in this program was a fitting gesture. The Quartetís first movement (Allegro brillante is a world of fire and fury. There follow many abrupt changes, sweet meditation of the violin, a cello and piano duo, playfulness with dark piano rumbling. The writing is orchestral and ranges from diabolical to heroic. This is music of unrestrained romanticism played by musicians completely engaged in this rich expressive world.

Next was Adagio piu tosto largo, a very emotional musical journey. It starts starts with calm piano chords and soon plaintive viola and cello solos lead to a powerful climax. There is a fugue, viola solo with dazzling piano arpeggios, more rising to limits of sonority and a return to trio sound with piano chords accompanying. One of the memorable themes is closely related to a later famous pop song ďBlue Moon.Ē The third movement was like a whirlwind with moments of calm - capricious, threatening, anguished. It sometimes evoked wandering through the wilderness with almost no rest. A fugue then carries the music until finally there is a return to the calm loving song from the second movement. The viola seems to sing that nature is beautiful and the cello joins with a heartfelt answer, leading all to join for the conclusion.

This Trio Navarro concert was a rich and inspiring experience.