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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...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Saturday, July 21, 2018
Kyle Stegall, tenor; Nikki Einfield, soprano; Augusta McKay Lodge, Sarah Bleile and Anna Presler, violin; Phyllis Kamrin, viola; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Zivian, piano. Apprentices TBA

E. Zivian, N. Einfield, K. Stegall June 21 at VOM Festival (J. Hill Photo)

VIENNA INSPIRATION FOR VOM FESTIVAL PROGRAM AT HANNA CENTER

by Nicki Bell
Saturday, July 21, 2018

A music-loving audience filled Sonoma’s Hanna Center Auditorium July 21 to begin a record weekend of three concerts, produced by the Valley of the Moon Music Festival. The Festival’s theme this summer is “Venice in Transition – From the Enlightenment to the Dawn of Modernism”

Prior to Saturday’s music UC Berkeley Professor Thomas Laquer lectured on composer Arnold Schoenberg’s Vienna, and the arts in the City’s first decade after 1900. Mentioned during the talk, in addition to Schoenberg, were Klimt, Mahler, Schiele, Kokoshka, Freud, Anna Mahler and Kandinsky.

Mozart’s F Major (K. 377) Violin Sonata opened the program in a deft performance by violinist Augusta McKay Lodge and pianist Eric Zivian. Mr. Zivian played his Mozart-era instrument copied from a piano of 1791, and produced a crisp bell-like sound throughout. The opening allegro with its repeated descending figures was light and fast, and Ms. Lodge’s phrasing was exemplary in the second movement’s Tema con Variazioni, and a lovely play of textures and moods.

Next was music with voice, and past Festival standouts soprano Nikki Einfield and tenor Kyle Stegall sang, beginning with two Schubert Duets, with Mr. Zivian switching to a Mendelssohn-era piano. The two Schubert works – Mignon unt der Harfner (D. 877) and Lichte unt Liebe (D. 352) - were sung with clear diction and elegant phrasing to audience acclaim.

Mr. Stegall continued solo with three Wolf Lieder and five songs of Brahms. His voice had ardor and lyricism and the poetry he conveyed, full of love and longing, was deeply affecting.

After intermission Wagner’s Im Treibhaus (from the Wesendonck Lieder) for soprano and string quartet was presented, in an arrangement by Mr. Zivian. Joining Ms. Einfield was Anna Presler and Sarah Bleile (violin), violist Phyllis Kamrin and cellist Tanya Tomkins. It was a reading of sustained and ethereal beauty, darkly anguished in places that finally rose to a philosophical end. It was a gorgeous performance.

Schoenberg’s Second String Quartet (F-Sharp Minor, Op.10) from 1908 closed the program, and seemed to come out of Wagner’s milieu with its passionate beauty. The warmth of the gut string sound, called for in the score but rarely heard today in performance, was striking. The performance generated a complex and romantic journey, seemingly always searching in throbs and surges. Ms. Einfield sang in the last two movements, “Litanei” and “Rapture.”

Each work on the program was greeted enthusiastically by the audience, with a final standing ovation that led to gratis finger foods and wine with the musicians on the auditorium’s patio. One more weekend (of three) remains for this fourth VOM Festival, with concerts listed in the Calendar Section of Classical Sonoma.