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Chamber
SCHUBERT "MIT SCHLAG" AT VOM FESTIVAL MORNING CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, July 29, 2018
The spirit of 19th century Vienna was present July 29 on the final day of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival. The Festival in the second half of July glittered with innovative programming and the new, old sound of original instruments played by musicians who love music with historic instruments. ...
Chamber
PASSIONATE BRAHMS-SCHOENBERG MUSIC CLOSES VOM FESTIVAL SUMMER
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, July 29, 2018
An extraordinary program of chamber music by Brahms and Schoenberg attracted a capacity crowd to the Valley of the Moon Music Festival’s final concert July 29th in Sonoma’s Hanna Center. It opened with a richly expressive reading by Festival Laureate violinist Rachell Wong and pianist Jeffrey LaDeur...
Chamber
PRAGUE AND VIENNA PALACE GEMS HIGHLIGHT VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, July 28, 2018
The remarkable Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival presented a concert called “Kinsky Palace” July 28 on their final Festival weekend in Sonoma’s Hanna Center. Two well-known treasures and one lesser gem were programmed. Starting the afternoon offerings were violinist Monica Huggett and Fest...
Chamber
INNOVATIVE CHAMBER WORKS IN HANNA CENTER CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, July 22, 2018
The Valley of the Moon Music Festival presented a July 22 concert featuring three giants: Haydn, Schubert and Schumann, composers who altered music of their time with creative innovations and artistic vision. In the fourth season the Festival’s theme this year is “Vienna in Transition”, and VOM Fes...
Chamber
VIENNA INSPIRATION FOR VOM FESTIVAL PROGRAM AT HANNA CENTER
by Nicki Bell
Saturday, July 21, 2018
A music-loving audience filled Sonoma’s Hanna Center Auditorium July 21 to begin a record weekend of three concerts, produced by the Valley of the Moon Music Festival. The Festival’s theme this summer is “Venice in Transition – From the Enlightenment to the Dawn of Modernism” Prior to Saturday’s m...
Chamber
VANHAL QUARTET AT VOM FESTIVAL DISCOVERY AT HANNA CENTER
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, July 15, 2018
A near-capacity crowd of 220 filled the Sonoma Hanna Boys Center Auditorium July 15 for the opening concert of the fourth Valley of the Moon Music Festival. This Festival presents gems of the Classical and early Romantic periods performed on instruments of the composer’s era, which presents a few ch...
Chamber
COMMANDING CHOPIN AND DEBUSSY IN SLV RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Concerts at the classy Spring Lake Village Retirement Home in Santa Rosa have admission limited to residents and a few guests, but the chance to hear a first cabin North Bay pianist June 6 brought a Classical Sonoma reviewer into the audience of 100. The crowd numbers were unusually low due to a ba...
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...
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...
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.