Home  Reviews  Articles  Calendar  Presenters  Add Event     
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Reader Comments 0 new this week
We value your participation. Contribute by leaving a comment in the box following articles and reviews.
 Recent Reviews
SYMPHONY
SONIC CONTRASTS HIGHLIGHT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY SPRING PROGRAM
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Violinist Joseph Edelberg
In a curious mixture of compositions, the Santa Rosa Symphony’s penultimate virtual concert of the season April 25 unfolded in ways both highly satisfying and a bit perplexing. Directed by resident Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, the event followed a familiar format – several contemporary wor...
SYMPHONY
ZUILL PLAYS ZWILICH WITH SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, March 28, 2021
Cellist Zuill Bailey
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
Eric Vivian and Tanya Tomkins
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
Composer Ellen Taafe Zwilich
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
Tom Aiken and Beth Aiken
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
Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong
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
Composer Jesse Montgomery
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
Conductor Franceso Lecce-Chong
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
Violist Paul Ehrlich
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...
Local Concerts  
RECITAL REVIEW
Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series / Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Dmitry Rachmanov, piano

Pianist Dmitry Rachmanov

ECLECTIC PIANISM IN SPRING LAKE VILLAGE VIRTUAL RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, May 5, 2021

During the pandemic The Santa Rosa Symphony’s virtual concerts received their due in performance praise, but another series, Spring Lake Village, more quietly presented monthly virtual concerts to a select local audience.

May 5 saw the latest event, produced by impresario Robert Hayden, and featured Russian-American virtuoso pianist Dmitry Rachmanov in an eclectic hour-long recital of familiar but beautifully played compositions. The artist, faculty pianist at Cal State Northridge, is no stranger to Sonoma County audiences, as he has appeared on Concerts Grand, in a previous SLV engagement, and in an all Scriabin Weill Hall recital for SSU Prof. Marilyn Thompson’s piano course.

Mr. Rachmanov began with a work new to his catholic repertoire, Beethoven’s E Flat Sonata, Op. 81a (Les Adieux). He didn’t linger in the slow opening, and turned his warm tonal palette in the Adagio-Allegro to advantage, keeping the fast staccato chords clear. He brought out the melancholic nature of the following Adagio, and his subtle and balanced pianism perfectly depicted the triumphal finale. It was a joyous interpretation with carefully graded sonics.

Brahms’ Op. 118 “Six Pieces” were written fours years before his death, and their autumnal character always seems to me to need playing only late in the evening with no one about. Happily in the video this was possible in the artist’s playing of the first three in the set – A Minor and A Major Intermezzos and G Minor Ballade. The first had an explosive interpretation with grand sweep, and the A Major unfolded with tenderness and melodic charm. The pianist’s sensitive legato phrasing in the Ballade’s middle section contrasted the fiery nature of the two outer sections.

All through the video, filmed in Mr. Rachmanov’s home, the recorded sound was plangent and several camera angles were used. Visual fades were flawless. The concert instrument had a clarion sound, but was never overly bright in the home’s small space.

Two Chopin works of mostly opposite character came next, the B Major Nocturne of Op. 9, and the propulsive C-Sharp Minor Study, Op. 10, No. 4. Both received masterful playing with the Nocturne’s focus alternatively stormy and then full of vocal filigree. Rubatos were authoritative and sparse. The toccata-like Etude was surprising underplayed, the usual speed slowed for desired shape and clarity.

Russian composers completed the recital beginning with three Scriabin works – the two Impromptus from Op. 14, and the Prelude in F-Sharp Minor, Op.15, No. 2. Mr. Rachmanov has been a Scriabin champion since his student days and is a scholar of the composer’s unique chromatic harmonic music, and is now recording in New York the almost the entire corpus. The Op. 14 works (B Major and F-Sharp Minor) owe much to Chopin, and are seldom played. The pianist caught the wistful nostalgia of the B Major, and gracefully brought out rhythmic left-hand rocking figurations in the somber F-Sharp Minor. Lyrical harmonic progressions and brisk swirls of notes characterized the playing of the short Prelude, another uncommonly performed piece.

Mr. Rachmanov’s elegant and balanced playing was again heard in Rachmaninoff’s sweetly serene E-Flat Major Prelude from Op. 23. It’s softly ascending and descending motifs in the artist’s interpretation gave a serene charm to the Prelude composed in 1904, and the concert’s concluding Etude Tableaux (Op. 33, No. 7), in the same key as the preceding Prelude, was broadly conceived from the trumpet-like call to arms at the beginning to forte repeated chords leading to the end.

Perhaps lacking the last ounce of momentum, Mr. Rachmanov’s performance was still compelling and thoroughly captured the composer’s muscular conception.

Events Calendar

SYMPHONY
Rubicon Trio
Sunday, May 16, 2021
5:00 PM - Ukiah
Ben Rueb, piano; Jeff Ives, violin; Joel Cohen, cello
Buxtehude: Trio Sonata No. 2; Brahms: Scherzo from Trio No. 2, Op. 87; Suk: Elegie; Haydn: Trio No. 38 in D Major (Andante, Allegro); Turina: Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 35 (Prelude and Fugue); Schoenfeld: ...
Details

RECITAL
Redwood Arts Council
Sunday, May 16, 2021
6:00 PM - Occidental
Ilya Yakushev, piano
Beethoven: C-Sharp Minor Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2 (Moonlight): Chopin: Ballade No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 38; Tchaikovsky: Dumka, Op. 59; Liszt: Vallée de Doberman Virtual concert. See Redwood res Council w...
Details

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Sunday, May 16, 2021
3:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor. Elizabeth Dorman, piano
Haydn: Symphony No. 45 in F-Sharp Minor ("Farewell"); Paul Dooley: Sonoma Strong; Zwilich: Peanuts Gallery for Piano and Orchestra; Michael Daugherty: Asclepius (Fanfare for Brass and Percussion); Ros...
Details

RECITAL
Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
7:00 PM - Santa Rosa
Gustavo Romero, piano
Haydn: C Major Sonata Hob. XVI:48; Chopin: E Major Nocturne, Op. Post, Mazurka in C minor, Op. 56, No. 3, B Minor Sonata, Op. 58 Virtual concert; Spring Lake Village residents and guests...
Details

RECITAL
Redwood Arts Council
Saturday, June 19, 2021
6:00 PM - Occidental
Paul Galbraith, guitar
Program: TBA. Virtual concert, no admission to the Occidental Center for the Arts. Access at the RAC website...
Details

CHAMBER
Valley of the Moon Music Festival
Sunday, July 18, 2021
4:00 PM - Sonoma
Tanya Tomkins, cello; Elizabeth Blumenstock, Carla Moore, Rachel Barton Pine, violin; Liana Bérubé,
Clara Schumann: Three Romances, Op. 22; Mozart Piano Concerto (TBA), in a transcription by Suren Barry for piano and string quartet. Virtual concert, pre recorded. RSVP to Valley of the Moon Festiva...
Details

CHAMBER
Valley of the Moon Music Festival
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
3:00 PM - Sonoma
Rachel Barton Pine, violin. Participants TBA
Master Class. Program TBA Live video stream - Valley of the Moon Festival website. ...
Details

CHAMBER
Valley of the Moon Music Festival
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
6:00 PM - Sonoma
Kyle Stegal, tenor; Eric Zivian, piano
Songs of Josephine Lang (TBA) Virtual concert, pre recorded. RSVP at VOM Festival website...
Details

CHAMBER
Valley of the Moon Music Festival
Saturday, July 24, 2021
5:00 PM - Sonoma
Rachel Ellen Wong, violin; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Zivian, piano
Music of Louise Farrenc, Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn (TBA) Virtual concert, live stream. $5 to $25. RSVP at VOM Festival website. Concert is two hours long...
Details

CHAMBER
Valley of the Moon Music Festival
Sunday, July 25, 2021
5:00 PM - Sonoma
Kako Miura and Vivian Mayers, violin; Ramón Carrera-Martínez, viola; Drake Driscoll, cello
Schubert: Grand Duo: Weber (TBA) Virtual concert, live stream. $5 to $25. RSVP to Valley of the Moon Festival website. Ninety-minute concert...
Details