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Chamber
UNEXPECTED ARENSKY AND MENDELSSOHN BY THE NAVARRO
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 17, 2019
The 100 people entering Schroeder Hall Feb. 17 for a Trio Navarro concert were handed a program that appeared to feature two popular piano trios, Mendelssohn and Arensky. But continuing the Navarroís tradition of repertoire exploration, the pieces were not the usual first Mendelssohn and first Aren...
Symphony
MENDELSSOHN'S SCOTTISH SAVES THE EVENING IN SRS WEILL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Monday, February 11, 2019
The audience entering Weill Hall for Santa Rosa Symphony concerts Feb. 9-11 were presented with a program that on first glance appeared a curious patchwork Ė a great symphony mixed with a seldom heard concerto and two disparate overtures, and a guest conductor unknown locally. Monday nightís concer...
Recital
INTRIGUING BELL-HAYWOOD RECITAL BEFORE FULL HOUSE IN WEILL HALL
by Abby Wasserman
Friday, February 08, 2019
A big portion of the capacity audience in Weill Hall February 8th came to hear violinist Joshua Bellís virtuosity, and were treated as well to splendid playing from Sam Haywood, Mr. Bellís regular pianist since 2010. The duo performed three engaging sonatas, highlighted by Mr. Bellís sterling techn...
Symphony
TRIPLE PLAY UKIAH SYMPHONY CONCERT AND TCHAIKOVSKY SERENADE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Over the years the Ukiah Symphonyís concerts have been in the Classical Sonoma Calendar sections, but rarely has this Orchestra, now in its 39th season, had a full winter season concert review. The provocative Jan. 27 program in Mendocino Collegeís Center Theater seemed a good reason to reacquaint ...
Symphony
JACKSON THEATER WELCOMES A NEW RESIDENT ORCHESTRA
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Moving to a permanent new performance venue can be a perilous undertaking for an orchestra, with different acoustics, the loyal audience finding the new spot and infrastructure challenges of lighting and lobby and backstage operations. In their first concert Jan. 26 in Windsorís Jackson Theater the...
Symphony
ECLECTIC PASSIONATE PROGRAMMING AT MARIN SYMPHONY CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, January 26, 2019
The Marin Symphonyís second Masterworks concert of the 2018-19 season featured works by John Adams, Sibelius and Brahms, a masterful assembly. In a spoken introduction before the programís first half, conductor Alasdair Neale primed the audience for the ďterra incognitaĒ of Adamsí The Chairman Dance...
Symphony
A SLICE OF HEAVEN FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Under its vibrant new music director, Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Santa Rosa Symphony this past Sunday offered a nearly perfect afternoon of Mozart (Symphony No. 40) and Mahler (Symphony No. 4). While the two works share a common digit, the only element uniting them is genius. They made for a dazzlin...
Recital
KHOZYAINOV'S BRILLIANT PIANISM IN MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, January 13, 2019
In its third concert of the season the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society Jan. 13 presented Russian virtuoso Nikolay Khozyainov. His intelligent and sensitive interpretations, masterful pedal work, and virtuoso technique left the near-capacity audience in Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church astounded and ...
Chamber
A COMPLETE MUSICAL PACKAGE IN ARRON'S OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Cellist Edward Arron has been a welcome artist at the Music at Oakmont series, and after his Jan. 10 recital itís easy to understand his popularity. His artistry is a complete package, with potent instrumental technique wedded to integral musical conceptions. In a nearly flawless concert with pian...
Choral and Vocal
COMPELLING WEILL HALL MESSIAH ORATORIO FROM THE ABS
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Each holiday season when a Classical Sonoma reviewer is assigned to cover a concert with Handelís seminal Oratorio The Messiah, the question arises about what new commentary can possibly apply to the often performed choral work. Well, if itís the American Bach Soloists performing the piece, written...
SYMPHONY REVIEW
Marin Symphony / Sunday, March 01, 2009
Of Britain, Bizet and Balanchine
Alasdair Neale, conductor
Jeremy Constant, violin
Marin Symphony Chorus
with guest pre-concert appearance by Katita Waldo, San Francisco Ballet

Jeremy Constant

CONSTANT BEAUTY AT MARIN SYMPHONY

by
Sunday, March 01, 2009

A stormy night did not seem to deter an enthusiastic Marin County audience March 1 from attending the fourth concert of the Marin Symphony 2008-2009 season. Marinís Civic Auditorium was nearly filled to capacity to hear the Orchestraís own concertmaster, violinist Jeremy Constant, and Marinís Symphony Chorus perform works by the English composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), and Georges Bizetís (1838-1875) Symphony No. 1 in C Major.

The Lark Ascending, composed before World War I and based on lines by British poet George Meredith, was superbly performed by Mr. Constant on his 1700 Stradivarius. This work is a stunning and beautiful poem of musical imagery. After the orchestraís brief introduction, Mr. Constantís solo entrance began a five-note theme that instantly depicted the gracious bird soaring higher to the heavens. Mr. Constantís performance was breathtaking and the audience seemed to be captivated with every note. This work is lyrical and often nostalgic, and Mr. Constantís unforgettable performance set the tone for another memorable evening with the Marin Symphony. A standing ovation for Mr. Constant was certainly deserved.

Juxtaposed to the resounding ďLarkĒ was a performance of the composerís powerful Dona Nobis Pacem (Give Us Peace), sung by the Symphony Chorus under the direction of Stephen McKersie, and accompanied by the orchestra. This is a reflective and thought-provoking statement to the horrors of war. Composed in 1936, it was the composerís plea (and warning of wars to come) for peace after his own horrific experiences during World War I. Inspired by Walt Whitmanís poetry and selected Biblical passages, Dona Nobis Pacem is sung in six movements and performed without a break. Solo sections connect the six movementís passionate entreaties for concord, and were hauntingly sung by soprano Helen Zindarsian and baritone Matt Trevino. Although written in English, the lyrics were projected on a screen behind the orchestra so the audience could easily understand the plaintive poetry and literary message of the composer. It was a welcome addition, giving the entire listening experience even more impact.

In keeping with the Symphonyís homage to music written for the dance, the concluding work was Bizetís effervescent Symphony. Composed in 1855 when Bizet was seventeen and a student at the Paris Conservatory, it was lost and forgotten until 1933, when it was discovered and finally premiered two years later. It has been in a standard in the orchestral repertoire since that time, and in 1947 choreographer George Balanchine created a version for the New York City Ballet Company. The Marin Symphony, under the baton of Alasdair Neale, presented a praiseworthy and commendable performance, with special kudos to the Principal Oboist, Margot Golding, for her expressive and chaste playing of the main theme in the second movement. The Orchestra played well all evening, the elegance of the strings and section balances superb.