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Chamber
HEROIC TRUMPET AND ORGAN MUSIC AT INCARNATION
by Jerry Dibble
Friday, October 12, 2018
The strong connections between Santa Rosa’s musical community and California State University Chico were on display Oct. 12 as David Rothe, Professor Emeritus in the Chico Music Department, and Ayako Nakamura, trumpet with the North State Symphony, presented a concert titled “Heroic Music for Trumpe...
Symphony
LECCE-CHONG PROVES HIS METTLE WITH SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 07, 2018
Francesco Lecce-Chong was handed two warhorses for his debut as conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony, and he rode them both to thrilling victory. For the first win, Brahms’ violin concerto, he owed much to soloist Arnaud Sussman, but for the other triumph, Beethoven’s fifth symphony, he and his musi...
Chamber
THORNY BARTOK AND ELEGANT MENDELSSOHN FOR THE BRENTANO
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, September 30, 2018
In a minor masterpiece of programming choices the Brentano String Quartet played a Sept. 30 Weill Hall program with an emphasis on refinement, even with a challenging Bartok work in the mix. Dvorák’s Miniatures for Two Violins and Viola (Op. 75a) opened the concert with charm and gentle loveliness,...
Chamber
ECHO'S RICH MUSICAL TAPESTRY IN MARIN
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Marin’s Echo Chamber Orchestra unfurled a glorious tapestry of Mozart, Weber and Respighi music Sept. 30 in San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church. The church, located on the grounds of San Francisco Theological Seminary, boasts a ceiling high enough for angels to fly, and its quiet setting and aco...
Recital
IDIOMATIC SCHUMANN AND BEETHOVEN HIGHTLIGHT WALKER'S CONCERTS GRAND RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Mostly known as a concert producer and indefatigable promoter of Sonoma County music, pianist Judy Walker stepped into the soloist’s role Sept. 23 in a sold out recital for the Concerts Grand House recitals series. Two Scarlatti Sonatas, in D Minor (K. 213) and D Major (K. 29), began the hour-long ...
Symphony
SAKAKEENY'S LION AND ROSE HIGHLIGHTS SO CO PHIL'S 20TH SEASON OPENER
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Fresh from a triumphant tour in Latin America the Sonoma County Philharmonic opened its 20th season Sept. 22 in a celebratory concert in the Santa Rosa High School Auditorium. Keeping to the evening’s orchestra history and past performance, conductor emeritus Gabriel Sakakeeny, who led the So Co Ph...
Recital
DEDIK'S POTENT BEETHOVEN AND CHOPIN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Monday, September 17, 2018
Anastasia Dedik returned Sept. 17 to the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series in a recital that featured three familiar virtuoso works in potent interpretations. Chopin’s G Minor Ballade hasn’t been heard in Sonoma County public concerts since a long-ago Earl Wild performance, and Beethoven’s...
Recital
DUO WEST OPENS OCCIDENTAL CONCERT SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 09, 2018
Before a full house at the Occidental Performing Arts Center Sept. 9 the cello-piano Duo West, playing from score throughout, presented a recital that on paper looked stimulating and thoughtful. Beginning with MacDowell’s To A Wild Rose (from Woodland Sketches, Op. 51), the transcription by an unan...
Chamber
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 Hadle...
Chamber
EXTRAVAGANT FUSION OF STYLES AT CHRIS BOTTI BAND WEILL HALL CONCERT
by Jerry Dibble
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Trumpeter Chris Botti still performs in jazz venues including SF Jazz and The Blue Note, but now appears mostly in cavernous halls or on outdoor stages like the Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. He brought his unique road show to the packed Weill Hall August 12 in a concert of effusive e...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Echo Chamber Orchestra / Sunday, September 30, 2018
Daniel Canosa, Conductor. Dan Ferreira, Clarinet

D. Ferreira and D. Canosa Sept. 30 (Abby Wasserman Photo)

ECHO'S RICH MUSICAL TAPESTRY IN MARIN

by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, September 30, 2018

Marin’s Echo Chamber Orchestra unfurled a glorious tapestry of Mozart, Weber and Respighi music Sept. 30 in San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church. The church, located on the grounds of San Francisco Theological Seminary, boasts a ceiling high enough for angels to fly, and its quiet setting and acoustical warmth enhanced the musical experience.

Conducted by Daniel Canosa, the ambitious program opened with Mozart’s last Symphony in C major, K. 551, the “Jupiter.” Composed in 1788, it demands a “Mozartian” perfection of sonic balance and clarity of expression. Mr. Canosa’s tempos were brisk, and the orchestra’s sections, some in this performance comprising a single instrument, blended admirably. The first chords (“Jupiter’s thunderbolts”) of the opening allegro vivace produced a palpable thrill that lasted through the movement. In the pastoral andante cantabile second movement the six violinists in the section, led by concertmaster Wendy Loder, carried the singing line while the mourning voices of the woodwinds reminded one that perhaps Mozart was working on his Requiem Mass when he composed this Symphony. A light-hearted and finely articulated minuetto followed.

The tour de force finale, allegro molto in five-part fugue, emerged here in shaky ensemble, with the strong brass section too often dominating the string’s soaring melodic lines. The final six identical chords capped the performance of a monumental piece.

Carl Maria von Weber is famous for his operas, and his E-flat Clarinet Concertino Op. 26 (J. 109), is an operatic piece for an instrument that arguably is most like the human voice. The Concertino introduced the piece in operatic style with the clarinet projecting the music like a great diva. Soloist Dan Ferreira, the orchestra’s principal clarinetist, illuminated every note with emotion and style. Weber wrote the one-movement piece (adagio ma non troppo-andante-allegro) so that the clarinet never has to compete with the orchestra for sonic clarity. Each lilting and cascading solo passage holds the stage, as a singer would. The ensemble lets loose when the clarinet rests, and in this performance their entrances were sometimes overly emphatic. Mr. Ferreira’s expressive performance of the piece was convincing and elegant, and he was received with a prolonged ovation.

There was no intermission in the program, but none was needed. Mr. Canosa continued with Respighi’s Trittico Botticelliano (Botticelli Triptych), a suite of tone poems inspired by three famous paintings by the early Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli. Respighi was a master of highly colored and intricate orchestration, and a music scholar who often incorporated fragments of early music into his impressionist compositions.

The triptych opens with Primavera. Here the Echo ensemble achieved an exquisite balance of sound, and a chorus of birdsong, gentle breezes, and exuberant life springing from the earth were musically evoked by the various sections. L’adorazione dei Magi (The Adoration of the Magi) was reverent and celebratory, yet contained subtle musical intimations of tragedy to come in the life of the newborn Jesus. The Christian hymn, ”O Come, O Come Emanuel” is intertwined in this tone poem, with intriguing modulations. Notable among the soloists in L’adorazione were oboist Bennie Cottone, flutist Carol Adee, bassoonist Chloe Watson and percussionist Kevin Neuhoff.

The third piece, La nascita di Venere (the Birth of Venus) intersperses calm and quiet with a bountiful gathering force of sonority. Echo’s strings sections were especially virtuosic here. At the end, the audience held their applause for a moment, and then gave an enthusiastic standing ovation.

A reception followed in the church’s social hall with the musicians and conductor. Now in its fourth season, Echo Chamber Orchestra is gathering attention, attracting musicians from as far away as Mendocino, and the performance launched an auspicious four-concert series.