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Chamber
BEETHOVEN FEATURED IN SF TRIO'S OCCIDENTAL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 19, 2020
Conventional repertoire in uncommonly good performances highlighted the San Francisco Piano Trio’s Jan. 19 concert in the Occidental Center for the Arts. Haydn’s No. 44 Trio (Hob. XV:28) came from late in his long career, when he was in and out of London, and received a sparkling reading that featu...
SIMONE PORTER ASPIRES TO STARDOM WITH SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 12, 2020
The Sibelius violin concerto is one of several mountains that violin soloists need to ascend before they can lay claim to stardom. Hundreds make the attempt every year, but only a few reach the top. Simone Porter, who played the concerto with the Santa Rosa Symphony on Sunday afternoon, got close bu...
Choral and Vocal
ORPHEUS OF AMSTERDAM'S MUSIC IN SCHROEDER ORGAN CHORAL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, January 10, 2020
“All over the map.” Sonoma Bach, directed by Bob Worth, has taken its audiences this season on journeys through many centuries and many lands. The programming is fresh and intriguing and the performers varied and creators of beauty and interest. The January 10 program was centered on organ works by...
Choral and Vocal
OLD NORTH GERMAN CAROLS IN SONOMA BACH'S SCHROEDER CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, December 15, 2019
“Cast off all sorrows…also dance in heavenly fashion.” A volume called Piae Cantiones was printed in 1582 in North Germany, lively songs going back to the 14th century, and this treasure trove provided material for numerous composers to arrange Christmas carols over following generations, from simp...
Symphony
EVERLASTING LIGHT AT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Monday, December 09, 2019
The Mozart Requiem includes four intermittent vocal soloists, but the real star is the choir, which is featured in almost every movement. That stardom shone bright at the Santa Rosa Symphony’s memorable Requiem performance on Monday night. The soloists were good, but the choir was superb. Located wi...
Symphony
UNFINISHED AND FINNISH
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, December 08, 2019
Having a new resident conductor on the podium for the Ukiah Symphony was an attractive invitation for a long-delayed visit to Mendocino College’s Center Theater Dec. 8. The insouciant Les Pfutzenreuter recently retired after decades of conducting the ensemble, replaced by Phillip Lenberg who also j...
Choral and Vocal
PRAERTORIUS IN RENAISSANCE GLORY FROM SONOMA BACH
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Sonoma Bach Choir, in collaboration with Barefoot All-Stars Viol Consort and The Whole Noyse Brass Ensemble, presented “Sing Glorious Praetorius!” November 16 to an almost full Schroeder Hall at the Green Music Center. The Soloists were soprano Dianna Morgan, Christopher Fritzsche, (countertenor), m...
Symphony
ECLECTIC INSTRUMENTAL EXCITEMENT IN SO CO PHIL CONCERT IN JACKSON
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Beginning with a scintillating reading of Rossini’s Overture to the Opera “Semiramide,” the Sonoma County Philharmonic performed a splendid program Nov. 16 in the Jackson Theater, and featured two additional works, one showcasing the winner of the San Francisco Conservatory’s Young Artist Award. It...
Chamber
SPIRITUAL LATE BEETHOVEN QUARTET HIGHLIGHTS MILL VALLEY CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, November 10, 2019
Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131, called “unparalleled in its inexhaustibility” by critic Thomas May, is a daunting challenge. Orchestral in concept, filled with wit and charm, melancholy and fury, it almost overwhelms listeners. Playing the frenetic Scherzo, a viol...
Symphony
MUSICAL EXTRAVAGANCE IN UNIQUE SRS CONCERT IN WEILL HALL
by Terry McNeill
Monday, November 04, 2019
It was a concert full of surprises Nov. 4 as the Santa Rosa Symphony responded to the area’s wild fires and evacuations with challenging, songful and somewhat unique music in Weill Hall. The last of a three-concert series titled "Master of the Modern Banjo" is reviewed here. The evening began with...
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.