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Recital
GLITTERING PIANISM IN LI'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Piano prodigies have always been a fascination for the music public, and the greatest of them (some were Mozart, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Saint Saëns, Hofmann) went on to legendary fame. George Li, who made is local debut at a Music at Oakmont recital April 11, was a remarkable recent keyboard prodigy t...
Symphony
SO CO PHIL'S SEASON CLOSER WITH EXPANSIVE PROKOFIEV 5TH IN JACKSON
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 07, 2019
Closing their 20th season with their usual programming aplomb, the Sonoma County Philharmonic played a provocative set of concerts April 6 and 7 in the Jackson Theater, the Orchestra’s new home at the Sonoma Country Day School by the Sonoma County Airport. Local composer Nolan Gasser’s Sonoma Overt...
Choral and Vocal
SISTINE CHAPEL INSPIRATION FOR THE TALLIS SCHOLARS IN WEILL HALL
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, April 05, 2019
Returning to Weill Hall April 5 after a seven year absence, the ten singers of the Tallis Scholars brought the sacred choral tradition of Palestrina and his contemporaries to an audience of delighted music lovers. Under the direction of Peter Phillips, the 1973 founder of the group, the program was...
Symphony
AUTUMNAL SIBELIUS 7TH HIGHLIGHTS VSO'S SEASON CLOSING CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 31, 2019
Closing their 87th Season March 30 and 31 the Vallejo Symphony has moved from a single weekend concert to a set of two, and the late March response was two full houses in the charming downtown Vallejo Empress Theater. Conductor Marc Taddei opened the Sunday program with a rousing performance of B...
Recital
SHARED INSTRUMENTAL BEAUTY IN VIEAUX-MEYERS WEILL HALL CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, March 30, 2019
Exciting timbral sound and intricate counterpoint, made possible when two artists with complementary instruments play together, were richly explored by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and guitarist Jason Vieaux March 30 in Weill Hall. Whether in close harmony, or unison, or weaving separate melodies to...
Chamber
RARE MAHLER QUARTET AT MILL VALLEY CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, March 24, 2019
Piano quartets are relatively rare in the classical literature, and there are only about 40 compositions for the combination of piano, violin, viola and cello, mostly from the Romantic period of the mid to late 1800s. It therefore was special March 24 to hear three great works of this medium, perfor...
Symphony
AMERICAN CLASSICS SPARKLE UNDER KAHANE’S BATON
by Steve Osborn
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Jeffrey Kahane, the Santa Rosa Symphony’s former conductor, returned to the Weill Hall podium on Saturday night, and the results were expectedly wonderful. The concert of American classics was by turns playful (Gershwin’s “An American in Paris”), emotional (Barber’s violin concerto) and triumphant (...
Chamber
FLORESTAN TRIO'S MENDELSSOHN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Friday, March 08, 2019
Spring Lake Village’s monthly concerts usually clock in under an hour, but the March 8 Florestan Trio’s performance was more extended as so much good music was on tap for the 125 residents attending at Santa Rosa’s premiere retirement residence facility. Four short pieces made up the first half, be...
Chamber
TILDEN TRIO'S BOHEMIAN ENERGY AT DOMINICAN CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Hard on the heels of the Trio Navarro’s late February concert in Sonoma State’s Schroeder Hall, Northern California’s other premiere resident piano trio, the Tilden, played an equally convincing program March 3 in Dominican University’s Angelico Hall. Clearly each hall’s acoustics, stage pianos and...
Recital
24 SONGS IN A MENKE-THOMPSON RECITAL ODYSSEY
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Sonoma County pop and country singing enjoys continued popularity but it rare to see a professional classical vocal concert announced. Diva Ruth Ann Swenson was once a local star, but she has long departed and not much virtuoso recital singing can be found in the North Bay. But the exception to th...
SYMPHONY REVIEW
Marin Symphony / Sunday, January 18, 2009
Alasdair Neale

THE DANCE CONTINUES IN MARIN

by
Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Marin Symphony, in keeping with the season’s theme of the dance, performed two big Bartok and Prokofiev Suites Jan. 18 at the Marin Center, masterfully conducted by Alasdair Neale.

The initial audience interest rested with these provocative works, but the concert’s spotlight finally rested on David Requiro, cello soloist in Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme”, Op. 33. Despite being a youthful 23, Requiro is clearly a mature performer. An Oakland native and Naumberg Competition winner, Requiro gave an effortless performance, drawing in listeners with precise intonation, suave phrasing, technical mastery and a tone that carried to the reaches of the large hall, albeit with amplification for the soloist. There was rapt audience attention and impeccable balance in the orchestral accompaniment.

The extraordinary and convincing Requiro performance framed the Bartok Suite from the “Miraculous Mandarin”, an edgy, brash and dissonant work that Bartok composed in 1918. Calling the piece a “grotesque pantomime”, the great Hungarian chose to depict a tale of urban depravity meeting with supernatural lust. Usually performed as a Suite rather than a full ballet, Neale preceded the performance with pragmatic explanatory comments. The instrumental execution was excellent with the woodwind and brass sections playing elegantly.

Prokofiev’s Suite No. 1, Op. 64a, from “Romeo and Juliet,” is one of the Russian’s most famous compositions, and Neale selected mostly music from the second act of the Ballet. Seven different dances, written in 1935-1936, were performed with the charming addition of two excellent dancers from San Francisco’s Smuin Ballet Troupe. Erin Yarborough-Stewart and Aaron Thayer reflected in their athletic grace the shimmering orchestra, with Neale attentive throughout. The last dance, “Death of Tybalt”, was powerfully presented and generated a climatic ending.

The Marin Symphony is continuing to play music in an energetically “moving” dance season, tackling difficult works and succeeding brilliantly.