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 Recent Reviews
SYMPHONY
NOSTALGIC BARBER KNOXVILLE AT SO CO PHIL JACKSON THEATER CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 14, 2021
Morgan Harrington Nov. 14
In their first Jackson Theater appearance of the new season the Sonoma County Philharmonic presented Nov. 14 a program devoid of novelty, but showcasing the “People’s Orchestra” in splendid performance condition after a long COVID-related layoff. Conductor Norman Gamboa drew a committed and boister...
CHAMBER
THRILLING PIANO QUINTETS IN MILL VALLEY CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, November 14, 2021
Manhattan Chamber Players
The Mill Valley Chamber Music Society sprang back to life on November 14 when a stellar ensemble from the Manhattan Chamber Players, a New York-based collective, arrived to perform two piano quintets: Vaughn-Williams’ in C Minor (1903), little known and rarely performed; and Schubert’s in A Major D....
CHAMBER
MUSCULAR BRAHMS FROM IVES COLLECTIVE IN GLASER
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 14, 2021
Ives Collective Chamber Ensemble
Leaving SRJC’s Newman Auditorium for the first time in decades, the College’s Chamber Concert Series presented a season-opening concert Nov. 14 in Santa Rosa’s Glaser Center with the four-musician Bay-Area based Ives Collective. The season, the first given since 2020, is dedicated to Series Founder...
SYMPHONY
MONUMENTAL BRAHMS SYMPHONY HIGHLIGHTS MARIN SYMPHONY RETURN
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 7, 2021
Conductor Alasdair Neale
In the waning COVID pandemic the Marin Symphony is one of the last Bay Area orchestras to return to the stage, and they did with considerable fanfare Nov. 7 before 1,200 in Civic Center Auditorium, with resident conductor Alasdair Neale leading a demanding concert of Brahms, Schumann and New York-ba...
SYMPHONY
APOLLO'S FIRE LIGHTS UP VIVALDI'S FOUR SEASONS IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, October 30, 2021
Apollo's Fire Oct. 30 with Visual
Long ago the Canadian violin virtuoso Gil Shaham played a program in Weill Hall of solo Bach, with a visual backdrop of slowly developing visuals, such as a pokey flower opening over four minutes. The Bach was sensational, and some in the audience liked the photos but many found them disconcerting,...
CHAMBER
SPARKLING WIND, STRING, HARP MUSIC AT DEVON HOUSE GARDEN CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, October 9, 2021
Take a mild autumn evening, a garden gazebo with patterned rugs and lit with soft bulbs, shake in a fine chamber ensemble, add a rising new moon, and you have a recipe for the musical delight that violist Elizabeth Prior presented Oct. 9 in her Devon House Garden Concert series. The Marin Terra Li...
RECITAL
AUTHORITATIVE BEETHOVEN SONATA IN KLEIN'S OCCIDENTAL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, October 8, 2021
Andreas Klein in Occidental
People attending the first Redwood Arts Council Occidental concert in 20 months found a surprise – a luxurious new lobby attached to the Performing Arts Center. It was a welcome bonus to a recital given by pianist Andreas Klein where the music seemed almost as familiar as was the long shuttered hal...
SYMPHONY
MOVIE MUSIC ON THE WINDSOR GREEN IN SO CO PHIL SEASON OPENER
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 3, 2021
Norman Gamboa Conducts Oct. 3 in Windsor
People approaching the Windsor Green bandstand Oct. 3 for the Sonoma County Philharmonic’s season opening concert had some cause for concern. After 18 months of silence would the all-volunteer orchestra have enough musicians for a big movie music program? After all, performers can move, retire, or ...
SYMPHONY
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY RETURNS IN TRIUMPH
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 3, 2021
Violinist Julian Rhee
It is often the case that a single piece or performer steals the show at a symphony concert, but at the Oct. 3 performance of the Santa Rosa Symphony, the show itself stole the show. The concert opened with a serene 1982 tone poem by Libby Larsen, followed by a masterful performance by soloist Julia...
SYMPHONY
TWO WIND SOLOISTS CHARM AT SSU ORCHESTRA CONCERT IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Saxophonist Matthew Bowker
The house of music has many rooms. That dusty adage was never truer than when Weill Hall Sept. 25 hosted a roaring New Orleans-style musical party, and less than a day later a mostly sedate Sonoma State University student orchestra performance. Before a crowd of 200 conductor Alexander Kahn led a ...
Local Concerts  
CHAMBER REVIEW
Music at Oakmont / Thursday, November 18, 2021
Lincoln Piano Trio. Desirée Ruhstrat, violin; David Cunliffe, cello; Marta Aznavoorian, piano

Lincoln Piano Trio

THE LINCOLN RETURNS WITH CLARKE'S PUNGENT TRIO

by Terry McNeill
Thursday, November 18, 2021

There were many familiar faces Nov. 18 during Music at Oakmont’s initial concert of the season, but perhaps the most necessary were the three musicians of the Lincoln Piano Trio, the Chicago-based group that has performed often in Oakmont since 2006.

A smaller than unusual audience in Berger Auditorium warmly greeted cellist David Cunliff’s introductory remarks from the stage, and settled into listening to Bloch’s short Three Nocturnes for Piano Trio. These are lovely and often muted short atmospheric works, with the Lincoln’s admirable ability to play really softly. The Tempestoso featured sweeping arpeggios from pianist Marta Aznavoorian, the music veering back to a romantic theme that had majesty in this performance. It also had a quiet ending. Low-register string playing in the bucolic Andante Quieto was captivating.

Wheaton College composer Shawn Okpebholo’s “Aqua,” a section of his three-part City Beautiful, was also played atmospherically, but with the infusion of jazz, off-beat accents and the cello line echoing the sound of violinist Desirée Ruhstrat. There was a pretty tune for the piano part.

Turina’s Second Piano Trio (Op. 76, in B Minor) concluded the first half, and the Lincoln demonstrated fine ensemble in a work that was played sounding more French than from the composer’s native Spain. There were driving rhythms in the opening Lento-Allegro Molto and a hint of Fauré’s style. The middle movement was played playfully with fast passage work from Ms. Ruhstrat, and the finale was played full of sonic contrasts and a colorful piano tone. There were many tempo changes, but the music made no bow to contemporary compositional trends at its 1933 birth. A fetching performance of just under 14 minutes.

The afternoon’s highlight was Rebecca Clarke’s Piano Trio, a work now often played and here generously offered by the Trio. Some music in the opening Moderato was at times plaintive and even pleading, but with ample passion. The ending faded to lovely pizzicato. The Andante Molto was played with quaint lyricism and featured Mr. Cunliff’s double stops and another bantamweight ending.

The finale had an exciting reading with the piano line jumping about, slashing cello bowing, string slides in both the cello and violin, glissandos in the piano line, and splendid rumblings in the piano’s bottom register. Phrases were longer here, and at the 24-minute ending the music simply erupted in splendor.

Praise needs to go to Ms. Aznavoorian’s piano sound, perhaps an unfair comparison with the same instrument in an Oakmont jazz concert three weeks ago (which I enjoyed). The pianist then simply hammered out notes, loud and soft, fast and slow, but Ms. Aznavoorian made the instrument sing, the top end sparkling and the bass thundering.

Piazzolla’s Otoño Porteño from his popular Four Seasons of Buenos Aires closed the concert in high style, the first big theme given to Mr. Cunliff’s wide vibrato and fast rhythmic phrasing unique to the composer. The playing again had instrumental slides and the Lincoln changed tone color for effect, making the sound at times dry. Speeding to a Presto ending, this exciting performance generated a standing ovation.

An encore? Sure, and it was another Lincoln surprise – Londonderry Air, the Irish Air that became widely known in “Danny Boy” from 1913. It was a winsome and nostalgic performance with the audience seemingly holding its breath.

Music at Oakmont Founder Robert Hayden was in the audience, and was warmly acknowledged for his soon to be celebrated 100th birthday. MOA Artistic Director Rosemary Waller announced the Dec. 9 concert that will feature cellist Nicholas Canellakis and pianist Michael Brown.

Events Calendar

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Saturday, December 4, 2021
7:30 PM - Rohnert Park
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor. Kathleen Raynolds, flute; Roy Zajac, clarinet; Dan Levitan, harp;
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 47; Hindemith: Concerto for Flute, Harp, Bassoon, Clarinet and Oboe; Vaughan-Williams: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis...
Details

SYMPHONY
Ukiah Symphony
Saturday, December 4, 2021
8:00 PM - Ukiah
Phillip Lenberg, conductor.
Tansman: Variations on a Theme by Frescobaldi; Fanny Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words; Felix Mendelssohn: Sinfonia in B Minor (No. 10); Glass: Arioso # 2; Gerald Finzi: Romanze, Op. 11...
Details

CHAMBER
Agave
Saturday, December 4, 2021
4:00 PM - Sebastopol
Musicians TBA. Two violins, cello, organ, theorbo
Biber: Joyful Mystery, Rosary Sonatas; seasonal music TBA...
Details

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Sunday, December 5, 2021
3:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor. Roy Zajac, clarinet; Laura Reynolds, oboe; Dan Levitan, harp; Kat
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 47; Vaughan-Williams: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis: Hindemith: Concerto for Oboe, Bassoon, Harp, Flute and Clarinet...
Details

SYMPHONY
Ukiah Symphony
Sunday, December 5, 2021
2:00 PM - Ukiah
Phillip Lenberg, conductor
Glass: Arioso # 2; Finzi: Romanze, Op. 11; Sinfonia # 10 in B Minor; Tansman: Variations on a theme of FrescobaldiFanny Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words: Felix Mendelssohn: ...
Details

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Monday, December 6, 2021
7:30 PM - Rohnert Park
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor. Karla Ekholm bassoon; Dan Levitan, harp; Kathleen Reynolds, flute
Hindemith: Concerto for Harp, Oboe, Clarinet, Flute and Bassoon; Vaughan-Williams: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis; Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 47...
Details

CHAMBER
Music at Oakmont
Thursday, December 9, 2021
1:30 PM - Santa Rosa
Nicholas Canellakis, cello; Michael Brown, piano
Rachmaninoff: G Minor Sonata, Op. 19; Debussy: Sonata; Ginastera: Pampeana No. 2, Op. 21; Fauré: Romance, Op. 69 (arr. Canellakis); Michael Brown: Prelude and Dance; Ravel: Aborada del Gracioso; Gersh...
Details

CHAMBER
Angelica Duo
Sunday, December 12, 2021
3:00 PM - Mendocino
Anita Felix, violin; Beverly Wesner-Hoehn, harp
Music of Saint-Saëns, Andres Zerbina, and TBA Tickets: $22 in advance, $25 at door; under 18 free...
Details

CHORAL AND VOCAL
Sonoma Bach
Saturday, December 18, 2021
8:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Bob Worth, conductor
Early Music Christmas; Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming. Music TBA...
Details

CHORAL AND VOCAL
Green Music Center
Sunday, December 19, 2021
3:00 PM - Rohnert Park
American Bach Soloists and American Bach Choir. Jeffrey Thomas, conductor
Handel: Oratorio "The Messiash" Tickets are $35 - $95...
Details