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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
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.

Mozart’s 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 Thompson’s 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 Romasevich’s 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 Brindel’s 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 Quartet’s 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 “Blue Moon.” 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.