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Chamber
SONGS AND ECHOES OF HOME IN AIZURI QUARTET CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, March 08, 2020
From the first richly layered harmonies of Dvořák’s Cypresses, the Aizuri Quartet held the March 8th audience at Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church in thrall. The church was more than half full, a good crowd considering present anxiety about the spread of the coronavirus. Taking precautions, the M...
Choral and Vocal
COLORFUL BORN BACH AT AGAVE BAROQUE'S SCHROEDER HALL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, February 28, 2020
Bach’s obituary records that “Johann Sebastian Bach belongs to a family that seems to have received a love and aptitude for music as a gift of Nature to all its members in common.” Agave Baroque presented their Feb. 28 concert, Born Bach, as a partial musical story of several generations in this rem...
Chamber
ECLECTIC VIOLIN AND PIANO WORKS IN VIRTUOSIC MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Blending virtuosity with sublime artistry, violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky and pianist Wu Qian gave the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society audience many thrills February 23, performing four muscular and soulful works by four composers from four countries: de Falla, Schumann, Stravinsky, and Grieg. T...
Chamber
PREMIER OF KAIZEN AND DRAMATIC MOZART HIGHLIGHT ECHO CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 16, 2020
As concertgoers took their seats in San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church for ECHO Chamber Orchestra’s February 16 program, they were surprised to see at center stage two bass drums, a tom-tom, bongos, high hat and cymbals. It was the occasion of the world premiere of "Kaizen," composed and perf...
Chamber
BEETHOVEN'S VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT IN RAC SEBASTOPOL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, February 14, 2020
Continuing a season of Redwood Arts Council successes, the Kouzov Duo performed an eclectic Valentine’s Day concert in Sebastopol’s Community Church before an audience of 125. Beethoven’s charming Op. 66 Variations on Mozart’s “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen” from the opera the Magic Flute was a bouncy ...
LUSH BACH PERFORMANCE IN DENK'S WEILL HALL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Memorable artistic interpretations of musical masterpieces are often at extremes, and with the Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (WTC - Book I) that Jeremy Denk played in Weill Hall Feb. 13, the pianist was only sporadically at unique or ebullient musical ends. But his playing wasn’t exactly at opposite...
BROWNE, PAREMSKI HEAD STELLAR CAST AT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CONCERT
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 09, 2020
The Feb. 9 performance by the Santa Rosa Symphony offered a healthy dose of 21st century music firmly bound to the 19th. Matt Browne’s first symphony, “The Course of Empire”—based on a series of five paintings by Thomas Cole, who founded the Hudson River School of American painting in the 1820s—emp...
FRENCH ORCHESTRAL MUSIC A FIRST FOR THE SO CO PHILHARMONIC
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 02, 2020
Over many years the Sonoma County Philharmonic has played little French music, but perhaps this oversight was corrected Feb. 2 in a splendid all-Gallic program Feb. 1 and 2 in the Jackson Theater. Classical Sonoma reviewed the Sunday afternoon concert. In his eighth conducting season with the So C...
Symphony
POLISH MUSICAL WORLDS GLOW BRIGHT IN NFM WROCLAW WEILL PERFORMANCE
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, February 01, 2020
The NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic, with conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, gave a concert of enormous energy and emotional impact on Feb.1 to a small audience in Weill Hall. This orchestra has been a major cultural force in Poland since 1949, playing under many renowned conductors and has been committed to pr...
Opera
EXTRAVAGANT ARIAS IN NEXT GENERATION TENORS GALA VALLEJO CONCERT
by Mark Kratz
Saturday, February 01, 2020
“Beautiful, strange, and unnatural…” said orchestra conductor Thomas Conlin when speaking of the tenor voice. One of the coveted voice types of the opera world, the tenor voice is known for it’s piercing tones and soaring, unnatural high notes. The iconic image of the Pagliacci clown (in the famed...
RECITAL REVIEW
Cinnabar Theater / Sunday, February 17, 2019
Daniel Glover, pianist

Daniel Glover Acknowledging Applause Feb. 17 at Cinnabar

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 unfamiliar but always intriguing music.

At the outset it’s important to know that Mr. Glover does not structure his recitals in the usual format, and he loves to provide extended remarks prior to each piece. At times the commentary was wayward and arcane, but it was always laced with humor and sporadically with novel insights to the music. The pianist is a musical crusader, and tonight was often irrepressible with his stage energy carrying over to most of the music on the program

The evening’s pièce de résistance was Liszt’s seminal B Minor Sonata, and Mr. Glover’s interpretation of the masterful work from 1853 was at turns energetic, quietly lyrical and demonic. Liszt scholar Alan Walker feels the Sonata needs to clock in just under 30 minutes, and Mr. Glover’s performance was a fast 28, but it’s even possible to stretch the Sonata to 31 minutes (Garrick Ohlsson’s reading) by spending time sniffing the lovely flowers amongst the sonic thunder. In this recital the artist certainly wanted to project the work as high drama, attacking the under gunned house instrument with rapid-fire scale passages, repeated fortissimo chords and paying scant attention to extended rubatos and languorous parts. In the recitativo and andante sostenuto sections he played with an engaging poetry, letting in some air to the drama that was otherwise mostly absent.

Surprisingly the allegro energicofugue was played at a judicious tempo, and the interpretation grew in intensity towards the presto sections where running octaves in both hands demanded both speed and clarity. Mr. Glover’s octaves never failed him, and he left nothing on the table, and his copious wrong notes seemed only to establish that this performance was one fashioned with musical animation, potent motive projection and conviction.

Liszt’s six Consolations, from the same period as the Sonata, were played with the short E Major’s chordal legato seamlessly moving to No. 2 in the same key. The well-known D-Flat Consolation had the right-hand melody played slower than usual, but without much rhythmic subtlety at the end of phrases or attention paid to the mysterious dissonant chord five bars before the pianissimo end. Arpeggio playing in the D-Flat adagio was lovely, and the final E Major allegretto cantabile was subtlety poetic and at a brisk clip.

What could follow such provocative Liszt after intermission? Mr. Glover is often a man of repertoire surprises, and three works by Beryl Rubinstein were fascinating pianism with a French flavor, reminiscent of Poulenc, Chaminade and even bits of Chabrier. The toccata-like Arabesque was played with repeated echo notes in the right hand, followed by the mildly dissonant nocturne’s impressionism with phrases in slow modulations, and the big contrasts in the concluding caprice at a presto pace where the pianist managed clarity in difficult close hand positions. It’s a marvelous suite of beguiling pieces, and clearly congenial to the pianist.

Four Gershwin Preludes from 1934 were next, each with Broadway melodies tinged with jazz syncopations. Highlights for me were the heat-of-the-night wet sound (right out of “Porgy and Bess”) with ostinato accompaniment in the andante con moto e poco rubato and the brilliantly played rhythms of the allegro ben ritmato e desiso. Beryl Rubinstein’s transcription of “Bess You Is My Woman” from Gershwin’s 1935 Opera “Porgy and Bess” followed, and here the pianist opted for some unique inner voices in the intricate contrapuntalism. It was a wonderful evocation of Gershwin’s singular genius.

Concluding the all-American composer second half was Gottschalk’s sparking F-Sharp Major “Banjo,” Op. 15, written at the same time as the Liszt Sonata but worlds apart in style and effect. The artist frequently mimicked the twang and pluck of the string banjo in repeated figurations, and his acrobatic skips in both hands were impressive along with inspired presentation of the captivating themes and pianistic sonority.

Of course it brought the house down, and Mr. Glover responded with additional Gershwin Broadway Show pieces, “The Man I Love” (from Lady Be Good) and “I Got Rhythm” (from Girl Crazy). Both were excitable performances, each with a nod to pianist Earl Wild, in the vein of musical theatricality that characterized a splendid recital.