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SONGS AND ECHOES OF HOME IN AIZURI QUARTET CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, March 08, 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...
Choral and Vocal
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...
BROWNE, PAREMSKI HEAD STELLAR CAST AT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CONCERT
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 09, 2020
The Feb. 9 performance by the Santa Rosa Symphony offered a healthy dose of 21st century music firmly bound to the 19th. Matt Browne’s first symphony, “The Course of Empire”—based on a series of five paintings by Thomas Cole, who founded the Hudson River School of American painting in the 1820s—emp...
FRENCH ORCHESTRAL MUSIC A FIRST FOR THE SO CO PHILHARMONIC
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 02, 2020
Over many years the Sonoma County Philharmonic has played little French music, but perhaps this oversight was corrected Feb. 2 in a splendid all-Gallic program Feb. 1 and 2 in the Jackson Theater. Classical Sonoma reviewed the Sunday afternoon concert. In his eighth conducting season with the So C...
POLISH MUSICAL WORLDS GLOW BRIGHT IN NFM WROCLAW WEILL PERFORMANCE
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, February 01, 2020
The NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic, with conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, gave a concert of enormous energy and emotional impact on Feb.1 to a small audience in Weill Hall. This orchestra has been a major cultural force in Poland since 1949, playing under many renowned conductors and has been committed to pr...
EXTRAVAGANT ARIAS IN NEXT GENERATION TENORS GALA VALLEJO CONCERT
by Mark Kratz
Saturday, February 01, 2020
“Beautiful, strange, and unnatural…” said orchestra conductor Thomas Conlin when speaking of the tenor voice. One of the coveted voice types of the opera world, the tenor voice is known for it’s piercing tones and soaring, unnatural high notes. The iconic image of the Pagliacci clown (in the famed...
SYMPHONY REVIEW

Daniel Celidore, APSC Principal Oboe

HOMETOWN ORCHESTRA PLAYS TO CHEERING FANS AT WELLS

by
Sunday, April 05, 2009

The American Philharmonic Sonoma County, a community orchestra celebrating its 10th season, presented a “Quintessential Classics” program April 4 and 5 at the Wells Fargo Center. The event featured the concertmaster as conductor and its principal oboe as soloist.

Beginning with a lively reading of the overture to Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, conductor Evan Craves directed the whole program without a score. He has a terrific ability to introduce works verbally to the audience, showing himself to be both witty and enlightening — and the audience ate it up.

The program continued with Marcello’s Concerto for Oboe and Strings. The work was introduced by the soloist, Daniel Celidore, who is also the orchestra’s principal oboe. He played with elegance and lyric charm, supported by the solid continuo line of harpsichordist Phebe Craig and cellist Kathy Vast. Celidore has been with the orchestra from the beginning, and the audience of 1,000 gave him a huge ovation.

The program moved into the Romantic era with a reading of Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn. Here one wished for a larger string section to achieve the lush romantic sound so characteristic of Brahms. In particular, the orchestra’s lower strings are quite unbalanced in number, with nine cellos and only two basses. The work is a tour de force for the French horns, and the American Phil’s horn section sounded great. The cello section also distinguished itself.

After intermission the orchestra returned for a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. The first movement (vivace) seemed to be without direction or intensity, and it simply did not match Craves’ introductory description of the work as a “dance” symphony. However, in the allegretto second movement, conductor and orchestra hit their stride and by the end of the 35-minute masterpiece the orchestra was clicking on all cylinders and brought the work to a rousing finish. The woodwind section played masterfully, and ensemble and intonation were exemplary. At the Symphony’s conclusion the audience jumped to its collective feet and literally hooted and hollered its way through several orchestra curtain calls.

Prior to the Beethoven, Artistic Director Gabriel Sakakeeny took center stage and presented an award to County Supervisor Shirlee Zane for her work with Sonoma County‘s senior citizens. It is rare and refreshing to see an orchestral organization publicly acknowledge an elected official.

American Phil concerts are free, and the organization depends on voluntary donations, perhaps explaining the large number of families in attendance. While the concert ran long at two and half hours (maybe there was one piece too many on the program?), nobody was seen leaving the theater, the audience staying until the very end to applaud its hometown community orchestra. Beethoven would have loved it.