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Chamber
PERFORMER AS PROMOTER: CLARA SCHUMANN AND MUSICAL SALONS CLOSE VOM FESTIVAL
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Sunday, July 28, 2019
The July 28 closing performance of the Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival could have been subtitled "Friends", as it was devoted to works by both Clara and Robert Schumann, and those of their friends and protťgťs Brahms and virtuoso violinist Joseph Joachim, with whom Clara toured extensively...
Chamber
ROMANTIC CHAMBER WORKS HIGHLIGHT VOM FESTIVAL AT HANNA CENTER
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, July 27, 2019
Now in its 5th season the Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Festival presented July 27 a concert titled ďMy Brilliant Sister,Ē featuring Fanny Mendelssohn Henselís compositions for combinations of voice, fortepiano and strings. Fanny and her brother Felix were close, and Felix occasionally published ...
Symphony
ROMANTIC DREAMS AT THE MENDOCINO MUSIC FESTIVAL
by Kayleen Asbo
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Romanticism, contrary to many popular perceptions, wasnít simply about diving into the habitat of the heart. Romanticism began as a literary movement that elevated the power of nature as a transcendent force and sought with keen nostalgia to rediscover the†wisdom of the past. The Romantics in both l...
Chamber
CHAUSSON CONCERTO SHINES IN A VISIONARY'S SALON
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Ernest Chaussonís four-movement Concerto in D Major for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet (1891) is neither concerto nor sonata nor symphony, but it somehow manages to be all three, especially when played with fire and conviction by an accomplished soloist. Those incendiary and emotional elements w...
Chamber
EUROPEAN SALON MUSIC CAPTIVATES AT VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Two stunning programs of 19th and 20th century chamber music were presented on July 21 and 28 as part of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival at the Hanna Center in Sonoma. Festival founders and directors pianist Eric Zivian and cellist Tanya Tompkins were both on hand to contribute brilliantly at ...
Chamber
ECLECTIC INSTRUMENTAL COMBINATIONS IN VOM FESTIVAL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, July 20, 2019
A Lovely summer afternoon in Sonoma Valley, an excellent small concert hall, enthusiastic audience, exciting musicians and creative programming with interesting story lines. All these were combined July 20 at a Valley of the Moon Festival concert titled ďAn Italian in Paris.Ē This is the fifth seaso...
Opera
'ELIXIR' A WELCOME TONIC IN SPRIGHTLY ANNUAL MMF OPERA
by Terry McNeill
Friday, July 19, 2019
In most of the Mendocino Music Festivalís 33 seasons a single evening is given over to a staged opera, with bare bones sets, lighting, costumes, minimal cast and short length. No Wagner or Verdi here, no multiple acts and complicated production demands. Light and frothy are the usual, and so it wa...
Recital
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 Rosaís Spring Lake Village Chamber Music Series. Before 140 in the Villageís auditorium Mr. LaDeur began with Schubert...
Choral and Vocal
NOBLE BRAHMS REQUIEM PERFORMANCE CLOSES SONOMA BACH'S SEASON
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Saturday, June 01, 2019
Sonoma Bach, conducted by Robert Worth, presented a truly grand finale to their 2018-19 "Light Out of Darkness" season in two sold out Schroeder Hall performances June 1 and 2. The program "A Human Requiem" was received rapturously with a well-deserved standing ovation for the main work, Brahms' ...
Chamber
THREE SONG CYCLES HIGHLIGHT VIBRANT SLV RECITAL
by Pamela Hicks-Gailey
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
An ambitious recital of vocal and piano music was presented May 8 at Santa Rosaís Spring Lake Village by mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich and pianist Jeffrey LaDeur. The duo engaged the enthusiastic audience with scholarly friendliness and artistry in performances of Beethoven's short cycle of six song...
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.