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Symphony
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY HERALDS THE HOLIDAYS
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 02, 2018
Antlers are typical headgear during the holiday season, but the ushers and one bassist at the Santa Rosa Symphony concert on Dec. 2 sported apples atop their heads. The red fruits were festive but perplexing until the orchestra began Rossini’s “William Tell” overture, at which point even the dull-wi...
Symphony
A HERO'S ODYSSEY IN SO CO PHIL CONCERT
by Art Hofmann
Sunday, November 18, 2018
The audience at the Sonoma County Philharmonic’s Nov. 18 concert was warned at the outset that the old Santa Rosa High School auditorium boiler was turned off, and there was a steady eminently audible tone in the hall. Conductor Norman Gamboa said the tone was an A, a high one. But there it was, a...
Recital
MTA BENEFIT CONCERT FEATURES FAURE, DVORAK, JANACEK AND BARBER WORKS
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 11, 2018
In a splendid concert Nov. 11 the Music Teachers Association of California, Sonoma County Chapter, presented their sixth annual benefit concert before 40 avid listeners in the Santa Rosa home of Helen Howard and Robert Yeats. Highlights of the performances, involving eight musicians in various perf...
Recital
SERKIN'S SINGULAR MOZART AND BACH PLAYING IN WEILL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 09, 2018
Returning to Weill Hall following a fire-related recital cancellation in 2017, pianist Peter Serkin programmed just three works in his Nov. 7 concert, three masterworks that challenged both artist and audience alike. It needs to be said at the outset that Mr. Serkin takes a decidedly non-standard a...
Chamber
LUMINOUS FAURE TOPS LINCOLN TRIO'S SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, November 07, 2018
Familiarity in chamber music often evokes warm appreciation, and it was thus Nov. 7 when the Chicago-based Lincoln Piano Trio made one of their many Sonoma County appearances, this time on the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series. Regularly presented by local impresario Robert Hayden, the Lin...
Symphony
PEACE AND LOVE FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 04, 2018
Before the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Nov. 4 performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story,” Symphony CEO Alan Silow took a moment to acknowledge the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack and to observe that music offers a more peaceful and loving view of the world. Mr. ...
Chamber
ATOS TRIO IN MILL VALLEY CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, November 04, 2018
When the ATOS Piano Trio planned their all-Russian touring program at their Berlin home base, it had a strong elegiac, even tragic theme that surely resonated with their Mill Valley Chamber Music Society audience Nov. 4 in Mill Valley. Comprised of Annette von Hehn, violin; Thomas Hoppe, piano; and...
Chamber
ATOS TRIO IN OCCIDENTAL CHAMBER CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 03, 2018
When the Berlin-based ATOS Piano Trio entered the cramped Occidental Performing Arts stage Nov. 3, the audience of 100 anticipated familiar works in the announced all-Russian program. What they got was a selection of rarely-plays trios, with a gamut of emotions. Then one-movement Rachmaninoff G Mi...
Symphony
MIGHTY SHOSTAKOVICH 10TH OPENS MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Just two works were on the opening program of the Marin Symphony’s 67th season Oct. 28, Tchaikovsky’s iconic D Major Violin Concerto, and Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony. Before a full house in the Marin Center Auditorium conductor Alasdair Neale set a judicious opening tempo in the brief orchestra i...
Symphony
VIVALDI FOR ALL SEASONS IN WEILL BAROQUE CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, October 27, 2018
The Venice Baroque Orchestra, a dozen superb musicians that include strings, harpsichord and recorder, played an uplifting concert Oct. 27 of mostly Vivaldi sinfonias and concertos. The Weill Hall audience of 600 had rapt attention throughout, and the playing was of the highest musical level. This r...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series / Wednesday, September 05, 2018
Monica Scott, cello; Hadley McCarroll, piano

H. McCarroll and M. Scott

CELLO-PIANO DUO IN HUSKY SPRING LAKE VILLAGE PROGRAM

by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Two thirds of the way through a stimulating 22-concert season the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series Sept. 5 presented two splendid cello sonatas before 110 people in the Village’s Montgomery auditorium.

A duo for more than a decade, East Bay musicians cellist Monica Scott and pianist Hadley McCarroll began with Shostakovich’s D Minor Sonata, Op. 40, in a performance that captured the composer’s contrasts of contemplation and drama. Playing from score, as they did throughout, the duo’s sound carried well in the acoustically bright hall, and they chose in the opening allegro a judicious tempo that continued into the slow march with a hint of menace. Ms. Scott wove a lovely threnody above the piano, though often the tone was harsh. But this music supports this often-raw string sound. A slower than expected tempo continued into the scherzo, giving the music a little less frenzy and more air but lacking sonic punch.

Ms. Scott’s best playing came in the wonderful largo with rich bottom-end register sonority. There was a beguiling ascending phrase at the end, followed by a descending one with thirds to close. The finale (allegro) was well played and Ms. McCarroll’s fast scales half pedaled and clear. A witty reading of the 1934 work.

Beethoven’s short C Major Sonata (Op. 102, No. 1) doesn’t have the impact of the Shostakovich, or the Ginastera that followed, but in two extended movements the two instruments were treated with consummate beauty. The stately introductory andante was lovely, the syncopated rhythms robust, though Ms. McCarroll’s trills were often muddy. The extended adagio allegro vivace again had a quiet beginning, leading to sharp thematic contrasts and phrasing that was “cat and mouse.” The duo’s playing in this inventive movement caught the composer’s humor and joy and, though often subtle, was for me the recital’s highlight.

Ginastera’s early music, especially the Piano Sonata and the Danzas Argentinas, are never subtle and never lacking in energy. The Op. 21, No. 2, Pampeanas is popular with cellists, was written in 1951, and is in three large sections. It’s a short work that featured Ms. Scott’s long, wailing high-register phrases and efficient bow control, with double stops. The ostinato piano part supported Ms. Scott’s virtuosic and propulsive playing, especially in fast repeated notes. The duo made the thick textures and frantic momentum palpable, and received a loud ovation.

No encore was played.

The Shostakovich Sonata, with Fauré’s First Sonata, will be played Sept. 9 in a recital in the Occidental Performing Arts Center in Occidental.