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Chamber
UNEXPECTED ARENSKY AND MENDELSSOHN BY THE NAVARRO
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 17, 2019
The 100 people entering Schroeder Hall Feb. 17 for a Trio Navarro concert were handed a program that appeared to feature two popular piano trios, Mendelssohn and Arensky. But continuing the Navarro’s tradition of repertoire exploration, the pieces were not the usual first Mendelssohn and first Aren...
Symphony
MENDELSSOHN'S SCOTTISH SAVES THE EVENING IN SRS WEILL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Monday, February 11, 2019
The audience entering Weill Hall for Santa Rosa Symphony concerts Feb. 9-11 were presented with a program that on first glance appeared a curious patchwork – a great symphony mixed with a seldom heard concerto and two disparate overtures, and a guest conductor unknown locally. Monday night’s concer...
Recital
INTRIGUING BELL-HAYWOOD RECITAL BEFORE FULL HOUSE IN WEILL HALL
by Abby Wasserman
Friday, February 08, 2019
A big portion of the capacity audience in Weill Hall February 8th came to hear violinist Joshua Bell’s virtuosity, and were treated as well to splendid playing from Sam Haywood, Mr. Bell’s regular pianist since 2010. The duo performed three engaging sonatas, highlighted by Mr. Bell’s sterling techn...
Symphony
TRIPLE PLAY UKIAH SYMPHONY CONCERT AND TCHAIKOVSKY SERENADE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Over the years the Ukiah Symphony’s concerts have been in the Classical Sonoma Calendar sections, but rarely has this Orchestra, now in its 39th season, had a full winter season concert review. The provocative Jan. 27 program in Mendocino College’s Center Theater seemed a good reason to reacquaint ...
Symphony
JACKSON THEATER WELCOMES A NEW RESIDENT ORCHESTRA
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Moving to a permanent new performance venue can be a perilous undertaking for an orchestra, with different acoustics, the loyal audience finding the new spot and infrastructure challenges of lighting and lobby and backstage operations. In their first concert Jan. 26 in Windsor’s Jackson Theater the...
Symphony
ECLECTIC PASSIONATE PROGRAMMING AT MARIN SYMPHONY CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, January 26, 2019
The Marin Symphony’s second Masterworks concert of the 2018-19 season featured works by John Adams, Sibelius and Brahms, a masterful assembly. In a spoken introduction before the program’s first half, conductor Alasdair Neale primed the audience for the “terra incognita” of Adams’ The Chairman Dance...
Symphony
A SLICE OF HEAVEN FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Under its vibrant new music director, Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Santa Rosa Symphony this past Sunday offered a nearly perfect afternoon of Mozart (Symphony No. 40) and Mahler (Symphony No. 4). While the two works share a common digit, the only element uniting them is genius. They made for a dazzlin...
Recital
KHOZYAINOV'S BRILLIANT PIANISM IN MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, January 13, 2019
In its third concert of the season the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society Jan. 13 presented Russian virtuoso Nikolay Khozyainov. His intelligent and sensitive interpretations, masterful pedal work, and virtuoso technique left the near-capacity audience in Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church astounded and ...
Chamber
A COMPLETE MUSICAL PACKAGE IN ARRON'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Cellist Edward Arron has been a welcome artist at the Music at Oakmont series, and after his Jan. 10 recital it’s easy to understand his popularity. His artistry is a complete package, with potent instrumental technique wedded to integral musical conceptions. In a nearly flawless concert with pian...
Choral and Vocal
COMPELLING WEILL HALL MESSIAH ORATORIO FROM THE ABS
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Each holiday season when a Classical Sonoma reviewer is assigned to cover a concert with Handel’s seminal Oratorio The Messiah, the question arises about what new commentary can possibly apply to the often performed choral work. Well, if it’s the American Bach Soloists performing the piece, written...
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.