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Choral and Vocal
A SEASONAL MESSIAH WITH BALANCE AND HEFT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, December 10, 2017
The mid-December concert season seems for jaded reviewers to invariably include a Messiah performance, and perhaps a Messiah in a long string of similar and mundane performances. This was decidedly not the case when San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque mounted Handel’s eminent three-part 1742 Orato...
Symphony
ANDREW GRAMS FINDS HIS GROOVE SR SYMPHONY IN RACHMANINOFF
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 03, 2017
Last Sunday’s Santa Rosa Symphony concert featured two elegant and refined guests: music director candidate Andrew Grams and pianist Stewart Goodyear. Both displayed dazzling technique and consummate artistry, but Goodyear was the more consistent of the two. Some of Grams’ inconsistency may have st...
Symphony
SONIC SPLASH AND ENSEMBLE DELICACY AT SO CO PHIL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Franck’s wonderful D Minor Symphony is a rarity on today’s concert programs, and I can’t remember a North Bay performance in many years from any of the six resident area orchestras. So it was good to see the Sonoma County Philharmonic feature it in their Nov. 18 and 19 concerts at Santa Rosa High S...
Chamber
TETZLAFF QUARTET'S MASTERY IN MOZART AND SCHUBERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 11, 2017
German violin virtuoso Christian Tetzlaff presented a critically successful Weill Hall recital Feb. 18, and returned to the same venue Nov. 11 with his admirable Tetzlaff Quartet in a program of Berg, Schubert and Mozart. Clarity of ensemble has always been a hallmark of this Quartet, and contrapun...
Chamber
RAVISHING SHORT OPERAS FROM FRENCH TROUPE IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 10, 2017
Standard Weill Hall fall and winter classical programs are pretty routine – symphonic music, chamber, solo recitals – so it was a rare treat Nov. 10 when just two works from the 17th century were gloriously presented. With such specialized compositions, period performers with commanding authenticit...
Symphony
MEI-ANN CHEN PROVES A WORTHY CONTENDER FOR SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CONDUCTING POST
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 05, 2017
These days the focus of Santa Rosa Symphony concerts is as much on the conductor candidates as on the soloists. This past weekend’s concerts featured the second of those candidates, Mei-Ann Chen, along with pianist Nareh Arghamanyan, each of whom cut an imposing figure on the stage. Chen is diminut...
Symphony
TO RUSSIA WITH BRILLIANCE
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 03, 2017
Russian pianist Denis Matsuev’s high velocity and frequently slam-bang virtuosity came to the Green Music Center last year with a thrilling and equally perplexing solo performance. So many in Weill Nov. 3 were interested to hear if his pianistic style would mesh well in a concerto, and with a fine ...
Symphony
THUNDEROUS TCHAIKOVSKY FOURTH OPENS MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
North Coast weather is turning cool and the nights longer, ideal for Tchaikovsky’s big boned symphonies. The Santa Rosa Symphony recently programmed the Fourth (F Minor Symphony) as did the San Francisco Symphony. Norman Gamboa’s Sonoma County Philharmonic just played the Tchaikovsky First, forgoi...
Recital
RESPIGHI'S PUNGENT SONATA HIGHLIGHTS KENNEY-GUTMAN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Respighi’s B Minor Violin Sonata seems never to gain conventional repertoire status. Perhaps the great Heifetz recording is intimidating, and I can recall over many years just two local performances: Jason Todorov and William Corbett-Jones years go in Newman, and a titanic reading in March by Anne S...
Chamber
MIRÓ QUARTET AND JEFFERY KAHANE PROVIDE MUSICAL RELIEF FOR FIRE-RAVAGED SONOMA COUNTY
by Steve Osborn
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Sonoma County’s Green Music Center has stood silent but unscathed the past few weeks as the county begins to recover from the devastating fires that began on the evening of October 8, only a few hours after a Santa Rosa Symphony concert in the Music Center. Since then, concerts by the Symphony, the ...
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