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Chamber
FLORESTAN TRIO'S MENDELSSOHN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Friday, March 08, 2019
Spring Lake Village’s monthly concerts usually clock in under an hour, but the March 8 Florestan Trio’s performance was more extended as so much good music was on tap for the 125 residents attending at Santa Rosa’s premiere retirement residence facility. Four short pieces made up the first half, be...
Chamber
TILDEN TRIO'S BOHEMIAN ENERGY AT DOMINICAN CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Hard on the heels of the Trio Navarro’s late February concert in Sonoma State’s Schroeder Hall, Northern California’s other premiere resident piano trio, the Tilden, played an equally convincing program March 3 in Dominican University’s Angelico Hall. Clearly each hall’s acoustics, stage pianos and...
Recital
24 SONGS IN A MENKE-THOMPSON RECITAL ODYSSEY
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Sonoma County pop and country singing enjoys continued popularity but it rare to see a professional classical vocal concert announced. Diva Ruth Ann Swenson was once a local star, but she has long departed and not much virtuoso recital singing can be found in the North Bay. But the exception to th...
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...
Recital
GLOVER'S ECLECTIC PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHT'S CINNABAR RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Daniel Glover is arguably the busiest virtuoso pianist in the San Francisco Bay area, but rarely is heard in North Bay concerts. So 90 local pianophiles were anxious to hear him Feb. 17 in Petaluma’s charming small Cinnabar Theater, and they were rewarded with an eclectic program of sometimes unfam...
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...
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.