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Chamber
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by Abby Wasserman
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Chamber
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by Terry McNeill
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Chamber
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Symphony
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by Abby Wasserman
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Symphony
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Other
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by Pamela Hicks Gailey
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Symphony
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by Steve Osborn
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Chamber
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by Terry McNeill
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Chamber
A TRIO WITH BRIO AT CHAMBER MUSIC MARIN!
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 12, 2023
Other
SUBDUED PIANISM IN RARE FORTEPIANO RECITAL IN THE RAVEN
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 12, 2023
CHAMBER REVIEW
Department of Music Facuty Concert / Sunday, January 29, 2023
Gail HernŠndez Rosa, violin; Jill Rachuy Brindel, cello; Marilyn Thompson, piano

Violinist Gail HernŠndez Rosa

TURINA PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS SSU FACULTY CONCERT

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 29, 2023

Music Faculty members used to be obligated to play a formal recital each year, at least in conservatories. But fortunately Sonoma Stateís most frequent faculty performers, pianist Marilyn Thompson and cellist Jill Brindel, perform around here regularly and were joined Jan. 28 by violinist Gail HernŠndez Rosa in Schroeder Hall with three disparate trios with disparate success.

Beethovenís sprightly E Flat Trio (Op. 1, No. 1) opened the concert before a paltry audience of 70. Well, it was a cold day and playoff football was being televised, but the performance was bracing and convincing. As is often said the early Beethoven chamber music sharply diverges from trios of Mozart, Haydn and C.P.E. Bach, and the genius composer in the late 1780s already had a unique voice and telling importance.

Here the work shed Haydnís pattern of keyboard dominance and involves the strings more, up to the final two pizzicato chords of the allegro followed by two answering in the piano. The Hallís piano has a warm sound, even in the scherzo that was never fast or peppered with aggressive phrasing. The presto finale, based on upward jumps of 5ths, was characterized by driving rhythms and Ms. Brindelís strong thematic projection. A splendid beginning.

Romantic elegance closed the first half with the afternoonís zenith, Turinaís B Minor Trio from 1933, his Op.76. There is lots of Ravel flavor in this thick textured work, and the Spanish nature of the music appears first only in the impressionistic molto vivace that the trio played well with much interplay of musical lines. Playing was bass heavy in the stately march of the finale with its block of dark phrases, themes occasionally bursting out and a speedier tempo towards the end.

Over nine minutes the playing in the lento -andante- allegro had a unity and a slight bit of Spanish poetical flair, the excitement at the end generating substantial applause and arguably the afternoonís performance high musical point. Each instrument was expressively employed and captured the expressive nature of this short but magisterial composition.

Mendelssohnís D Minor Trio (Op. 49) closed the program and surely is an old shoe for these performers, and should have been provided the delightful musical effect that has made the 1839 work the most performed classical piano trio. The playing in the first three movements was underpowered, especially with Ms. HernŠndez Rosaís subdued sound throughout the concert and intonation problems in the lush andante movement.

In just over 31 minutes the trio gave Mendelssohnís great work a workmanlike reading that was surprisingly tentative, lacking a needed compelling drive and ardent sonority. The concluding allegro fared best with spicey brief dissonant right-hand chords from Ms. Thompson, needed interpretative momentum, and Ms. Brindelís usual tonal richness in the bottom register.

There was no encore.