Home  Reviews  Articles  Calendar  Presenters  Add Event     
Chamber
EXAMPLARY QUARTET PLAYING IN MARIN GARDEN CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Taped video concerts have pretty much dominated the recent fare for classical music fans, but sporadic live music making can still be found in the North Bay with outdoor chamber music. Of course with the obligatory social distancing and often decorative facial masks. Four San Francisco Opera Orc...
Chamber
VIDEO CHAMBER MUSIC FROM LINCOLN CENTER IN GREEN'S BROADCAST
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Along with hosting its resident the Santa Rosa Symphony, Weill Hall has contracted to produce sporadic virtual programs of classical music, and began Oct. 17 with a charming three-part concert from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York. Hosted with comely introductions by CMSLC di...
Symphony
THRILLING SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY PERFORMANCE IN AN EMPTY WEILL HALL
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Viewers of the Santa Rosa Symphony’s inaugural socially distanced YouTube concert on Oct. 11 could be forgiven for thinking they had stumbled upon a performance of Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera” (A Masked Ball), given that the string players in the opening shot all wore black masks. The sole excepti...
Symphony
BROWN VIDEO GALA LAUNCHES SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Similar to many North Coast musical organizations the Santa Rosa Symphony has scheduled a series of virtual concerts on video, spotlighting sections of the orchestra and the exuberant activities of its conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong. However, as an introduction to the season, a Sept. 12 gala vide...
SONGS AND ECHOES OF HOME IN AIZURI QUARTET CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, March 8, 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
RECITAL REVIEW

Jeffrey LaDeur July 17 at Spring Lake Village

PUNGENT WALTZES AND VIRTUOSITY IN LADEUR'S SLV RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

San Francisco based pianist Jeffrey LaDeur has become one of the most sought-after North Bay virtuosi, and cemented that reputation July 17 in a short but eclectic recital in Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Village Chamber Music Series.

Before 140 in the Village’s auditorium Mr. LaDeur began with Schubert’s lovely E-Flat Major work from the Drei Klavierstücke, D. 946, a piece from the composer’s last year that juxtaposes an energetic section with modulations into with two poignant episodes. He played it at a good clip with admirable clarity, at times a little to fast with scant attention to phrase ending ritards. The pianist inserted beguiling short pauses, reminiscent of much Schubert from the early “Grazer” Fantasy to the last B-Flat Sonata. It was convincing if a tad perfunctory.

In remarks to the audience Mr. LaDeur spoke of three Schubert Waltzes from Twelve Valses Nobles, D. 969, and how they influenced Ravel. Two he played were lilting and effective, the second familiar from Liszt’s transcription in his Soirées de Vienne and beguiling in recordings of Rosenthal and Horowitz. All the Schubert was played from score, and proved that the great composer’s music should not be sentimental but full of sentiment. The pianist’s interpretation was often aggressive and right hand thirds never failed him.

Two of Ravel’s works from the early 1900s came next, the popular Valses Nobles et Sentimentales and the first part (Ondine) from the exciting Gaspard de la Nuit suite of 1908. Mr. LaDeur prefaced the seven Waltzes by showing at the piano how masterfully Ravel transfigured Schubert’s muses, with dissonances and sound that he characterized as sometimes “an out of tune guitar and a car horn.”

Playing without score the pianist’s interpretation was the evening’s highlight with many small climaxes, elegantly shaped themes, pedal point in the bass and in the one really fast dance a circus-like feeling. It was a reading that could quickly change from shrillness to a slow atmospheric sonority and finally a beautiful concluding shimmer of sound. Captivating.

Ondine is usually played quite fast (as is the last piece in the Suite, Scarbo) but Mr. LaDeur’s approach featured a judicious tempo, aiming again for clarity and artful balance between the hands. His pedaling never allowed the music to become blurred, even with the forte descending bass phrases that the hall’s piano produced with a palpable roar. Of course many in the audience wanted the two ending movements, but the time schedule did not permit it, and the pianist closed with Chopin’s Op. 46 Allegro de Concert.

It was a muscular interpretation of the rarely heard work, said to be a discarded attempt by Chopin of a third concerto. Here in 12 minutes Mr. LaDeur didn’t let much air into the piece with little consideration to slowing at phrase endings and cantilena secondary to momentum, although there was charm in the tunes that as in all Chopin are operatic, and the pianist’s clean scales and fast appoggiaturas were splendid. It’s a work than can easily be overplayed but, well, it is a scintillating showpiece, and Mr. LaDeur’s virtuosity produced a standing ovation and happy faces from Spring Lake Village residents.

No encore was offered.