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Chamber
PERFORMER AS PROMOTER: CLARA SCHUMANN AND MUSICAL SALONS CLOSE VOM FESTIVAL
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Sunday, July 28, 2019
The July 28 closing performance of the Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival could have been subtitled "Friends", as it was devoted to works by both Clara and Robert Schumann, and those of their friends and protégés Brahms and virtuoso violinist Joseph Joachim, with whom Clara toured extensively...
Chamber
ROMANTIC CHAMBER WORKS HIGHLIGHT VOM FESTIVAL AT HANNA CENTER
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, July 27, 2019
Now in its 5th season the Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival presented July 27 a concert titled “My Brilliant Sister,” featuring Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s compositions for combinations of voice, fortepiano and strings. Fanny and her brother Felix were close, and Felix occasionally published ...
Symphony
ROMANTIC DREAMS AT THE MENDOCINO MUSIC FESTIVAL
by Kayleen Asbo
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Romanticism, contrary to many popular perceptions, wasn’t simply about diving into the habitat of the heart. Romanticism began as a literary movement that elevated the power of nature as a transcendent force and sought with keen nostalgia to rediscover the wisdom of the past. The Romantics in both l...
Chamber
CHAUSSON CONCERTO SHINES IN A VISIONARY'S SALON
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Ernest Chausson’s four-movement Concerto in D Major for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet (1891) is neither concerto nor sonata nor symphony, but it somehow manages to be all three, especially when played with fire and conviction by an accomplished soloist. Those incendiary and emotional elements w...
Chamber
EUROPEAN SALON MUSIC CAPTIVATES AT VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Two stunning programs of 19th and 20th century chamber music were presented on July 21 and 28 as part of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival at the Hanna Center in Sonoma. Festival founders and directors pianist Eric Zivian and cellist Tanya Tompkins were both on hand to contribute brilliantly at ...
Chamber
ECLECTIC INSTRUMENTAL COMBINATIONS IN VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, July 20, 2019
A Lovely summer afternoon in Sonoma Valley, an excellent small concert hall, enthusiastic audience, exciting musicians and creative programming with interesting story lines. All these were combined July 20 at a Valley of the Moon Festival concert titled “An Italian in Paris.” This is the fifth seaso...
Opera
'ELIXIR' A WELCOME TONIC IN SPRIGHTLY ANNUAL MMF OPERA
by Terry McNeill
Friday, July 19, 2019
In most of the Mendocino Music Festival’s 33 seasons a single evening is given over to a staged opera, with bare bones sets, lighting, costumes, minimal cast and short length. No Wagner or Verdi here, no multiple acts and complicated production demands. Light and frothy are the usual, and so it wa...
Recital
PUNGENT WALTZES AND VIRTUOSITY IN LADEUR'S SLV RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
San Francisco based pianist Jeffrey LaDeur has become one of the most sought-after North Bay virtuosi, and cemented that reputation July 17 in a short but eclectic recital in Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Village Chamber Music Series. Before 140 in the Village’s auditorium Mr. LaDeur began with Schubert...
Choral and Vocal
NOBLE BRAHMS REQUIEM PERFORMANCE CLOSES SONOMA BACH'S SEASON
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Saturday, June 01, 2019
Sonoma Bach, conducted by Robert Worth, presented a truly grand finale to their 2018-19 "Light Out of Darkness" season in two sold out Schroeder Hall performances June 1 and 2. The program "A Human Requiem" was received rapturously with a well-deserved standing ovation for the main work, Brahms' ...
Chamber
THREE SONG CYCLES HIGHLIGHT VIBRANT SLV RECITAL
by Pamela Hicks-Gailey
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
An ambitious recital of vocal and piano music was presented May 8 at Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Village by mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich and pianist Jeffrey LaDeur. The duo engaged the enthusiastic audience with scholarly friendliness and artistry in performances of Beethoven's short cycle of six song...
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.