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Symphony
HEROIC EFFORT FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 13, 2020
December 13 was a rainy day, perfect for huddling indoors and watching a prerecorded “live” performance by the Santa Rosa Symphony. The program was expansive, with music from the 18th through 21st centuries, and the mood was festive, in keeping with the holiday season. There was something in the fea...
Symphony
MASKED SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CARRIES ON BRILLIANTLY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 15, 2020
In some ways the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Nov. 15 concert on YouTube resembled a Conceptual Art performance from the 1970s. On display were about 30 masked orchestral musicians playing six feet apart from each other on stage, some of them separated by plexiglass barriers. In the 1970s, the concept behi...
Chamber
SPLENDID STRINGS IN A SUNLIT GARDEN
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, November 1, 2020
A sun-drenched autumn afternoon, a Marin County garden and six superb string players from the Santa Rosa Symphony were manna from heaven to a pandemic-weary audience starved for live music. The sextet of Santa Rosa Symphony musicians performed to a small group of 20 Nov. 1, the day after Halloween....
Chamber
EXAMPLARY QUARTET PLAYING IN MARIN GARDEN CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Taped video concerts have pretty much dominated the recent fare for classical music fans, but sporadic live music making can still be found in the North Bay with outdoor chamber music. Of course with the obligatory social distancing and often decorative facial masks. Four San Francisco Opera Orc...
Chamber
VIDEO CHAMBER MUSIC FROM LINCOLN CENTER IN GREEN'S BROADCAST
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Along with hosting its resident the Santa Rosa Symphony, Weill Hall has contracted to produce sporadic virtual programs of classical music, and began Oct. 17 with a charming three-part concert from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York. Hosted with comely introductions by CMSLC di...
Symphony
THRILLING SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY PERFORMANCE IN AN EMPTY WEILL HALL
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Viewers of the Santa Rosa Symphony’s inaugural socially distanced YouTube concert on Oct. 11 could be forgiven for thinking they had stumbled upon a performance of Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera” (A Masked Ball), given that the string players in the opening shot all wore black masks. The sole excepti...
Symphony
BROWN VIDEO GALA LAUNCHES SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Similar to many North Coast musical organizations the Santa Rosa Symphony has scheduled a series of virtual concerts on video, spotlighting sections of the orchestra and the exuberant activities of its conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong. However, as an introduction to the season, a Sept. 12 gala vide...
SONGS AND ECHOES OF HOME IN AIZURI QUARTET CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, March 8, 2020
From the first richly layered harmonies of Dvořák’s Cypresses, the Aizuri Quartet held the March 8th audience at Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church in thrall. The church was more than half full, a good crowd considering present anxiety about the spread of the coronavirus. Taking precautions, the M...
COLORFUL BORN BACH AT AGAVE BAROQUE'S SCHROEDER HALL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, February 28, 2020
Bach’s obituary records that “Johann Sebastian Bach belongs to a family that seems to have received a love and aptitude for music as a gift of Nature to all its members in common.” Agave Baroque presented their Feb. 28 concert, Born Bach, as a partial musical story of several generations in this rem...
ECLECTIC VIOLIN AND PIANO WORKS IN VIRTUOSIC MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Blending virtuosity with sublime artistry, violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky and pianist Wu Qian gave the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society audience many thrills February 23, performing four muscular and soulful works by four composers from four countries: de Falla, Schumann, Stravinsky, and Grieg. T...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Santa Rosa Concert Association / Sunday, January 11, 2009
Philippe Quint

Philippe Quint

TOUR DE FORCE

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 11, 2009

Violinist Philippe Quint’s third appearance on the Santa Rosa Concert Association stage Jan. 11 was indeed the charm, easily surpassing his two previous recitals in the Wells Fargo Center. He displayed both consummate virtuosity and audience appeal.

In a program divided equally between familiar classical works and arcane selections, Quint and pianist Dmitry Cogan were an ideal pair, opening with an amiable reading of Mozart’s E Minor Sonata, K. 304. Good balance was the order of the day here, with the extended unison playing in the Allegro absolutely seamless. The tranquility continued in Beethoven’s F Major Sonata, Op. 24, the ever-popular “Spring.” The playing had lift throughout, and Quint’s intonation was precise. In the lovely Adagio molto espressivo, many violinists sound like they are playing a sequence of phrases that start and stop. In contrast, Quint sculpted one long breathtaking phrase. The Rondo finale lacked drama, the musicians opting for a serene dialogue of question and answer, stressing joy over momentum. Both the Mozart and Beethoven were played from score.

Finishing the first half was the Brahms Sonatensatz in C Minor, a seldom-performed scherzo that is similar to much of the great master’s D Minor Sonata. Here again the union of the instruments was nearly ideal, though Cogan is an accompanist wholly deferential to the soloist, without ever mounting ringing forte. One wonders how he would sound in the piano part of one of the repertoire’s more muscular sonatas, such as the Strauss, Franck, Respighi or Beethoven’s “Kreutzer.” That said, Cogan’s rhythm is rock solid and his ear for instrumental color is uncanny. What more could a violinist want?

Three of the Corigliano Caprices from the movie score “Red Violin” opened the second half, preceded by a charming story told by Quint concerning a telephone conversation with the composer regarding a bedside lamp. These virtuoso works, Nos. 2, 4, and 5, demonstrated Quint’s steady control of the bow and his marvelous slides. The final Caprice was a tour de force of extraordinary fingerboard skill and daring. In Bloch’s “Nigun” from the Baal Shem Suite, Quint used a much broader vibrato, the notes of the tender ending easily carrying to the top balcony row.

Two fast-paced pieces concluded the program, led by Tchaikovsky’s sprightly “Valse Scherzo.” Quint’s spiccato bow danced around the lyrical theme, with his string tone occasionally darkening for telling effect. Nothing was tentative here, or in the “Tzigane” showpiece of Ravel. Early in the latter, the climactic high G on the G string was taken cleanly with a sharp attack and no “slithering” up to the note. Virtuoso stuff, played with abandon and just the right measure of pyrotechnics. A large portion of the audience stood and shouted.

Time dictated hearing just the first of the encores, a Brahms Hungarian Dance, No. 5 in the set of 21. Here again the deft passagework and bow speed of the young Russian were impressive, and later I am told some Kreisler and the “Meditation from Thais” were offered to loud acclaim.

Philippe Quint and Dmitry Cogan are an imaginative partnership. They mounted the most impressive violin-and-piano recital in the North Bay concert season.

Violinist Daniel Greenhouse collaborated in this review