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Symphony
ZUILL PLAYS ZWILICH WITH SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, March 28, 2021
The Santa Rosa Symphony took a cautious step toward the return of live music in their March 28 virtual concert by sharing the stage with an actual live soloist rather than an apparition. Star cellist Zuill Bailey was still masked, and his back was toward the equally masked and plexiglassed orchestra...
Chamber
ECLECTIC CELLO PIANO VIRTUAL RECITAL FROM TOMKINS ZIVIAN DUO
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 28, 2021
The venerable 41-year Redwood Arts Council Series in Occidental has joined the virtual recital world with low budget but artistically satisfying programs, mostly using videos filmed in the performer’s residences. March 28 saw the Tanya Tomkins-Eric Zivian duo present an eclectic program from their ...
Symphony
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY HITS THE SWEET SPOT
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Small orchestras can inhabit a sweet spot between chamber ensembles and full orchestras, but how well they hit that spot depends on the composer's orchestration and the players' ability to project. That dependence was on full display in the Santa Rosa Symphony's Feb. 28 concert, which featured three...
Chamber
NOVEL OBOE-HARPSICHORD RECITAL FROM AIKEN DUO IN UKIAH
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Oboe and harpsichord recitals are a rare North Bay event, even in a pandemic environment where a formal hall setting isn’t available. So it was a delight Feb. 21 to experience on the Ukiah Symphony’s website a recital by Symphony oboist Beth Aiken and harpsichordist husband Tom. The Aiken home vis...
Symphony
A HEALTHY MIX OF TRANSCRIPTIONS AND ORIGINALS FROM THE SR SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Transcriptions and ascending arpeggios were the order of the day on Jan. 24, as the Santa Rosa Symphony performed uplifting works by Bach/Webern, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Marianna Martínes and Mozart. The concert video was made in Weill Hall on Jan. 9. The first transcription was Webern’s 1935 renderi...
Symphony
HEROIC EFFORT FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 13, 2020
December 13 was a rainy day, perfect for huddling indoors and watching a prerecorded “live” performance by the Santa Rosa Symphony. The program was expansive, with music from the 18th through 21st centuries, and the mood was festive, in keeping with the holiday season. There was something in the fea...
Symphony
MASKED SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CARRIES ON BRILLIANTLY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 15, 2020
In some ways the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Nov. 15 concert on YouTube resembled a Conceptual Art performance from the 1970s. On display were about 30 masked orchestral musicians playing six feet apart from each other on stage, some of them separated by plexiglass barriers. In the 1970s, the concept behi...
Chamber
SPLENDID STRINGS IN A SUNLIT GARDEN
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, November 1, 2020
A sun-drenched autumn afternoon, a Marin County garden and six superb string players from the Santa Rosa Symphony were manna from heaven to a pandemic-weary audience starved for live music. The sextet of Santa Rosa Symphony musicians performed to a small group of 20 Nov. 1, the day after Halloween....
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...
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.