Home  Reviews  Articles  Calendar  Presenters  Add Event     
Recital
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 feature...
Symphony
SONIC CONTRASTS HIGHLIGHT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY SPRING PROGRAM
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 25, 2021
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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....
RECITAL REVIEW

Organist Beth Zucchino

ORGANIST ZUCCHINO PLAYS HOLIDAY TREATS IN AGO RECITAL AT INCARNATION

by Harold Julander
Friday, December 14, 2012

In the fourth recital in the fourth season of Twilight Pipe Organ Mini Recitals organist Beth Zucchino delighted a large audience in Santa Rosa’s Church of the Incarnation with a provocative program.

Ms. Zucchino opened with Bach’s four-part Pastorella pro organa (BWV 590) and closed with Rheinberger’s Pastorale, Con moto, from his Sonata for Organ No. 3 in G major, Op. 88. The Pastorale musical form, Italian in origin, is usually written in ‘triplets’ or is based upon meters in three, and many times has a “drone” (single note) in the pedal, and conjures up images of shepherds in idyllic settings. Bach, as usual, took this form and besides the opening serene shepherd setting enriched it with movements described as portraying the Magi adoration, the Holy Family, and angels above the manger. But the Leipzig master but never abandoned the root of the Pastorale form. The artist’s choice of stops on the organ matched the “color” of each movement. The Rheinberger rendition of the Pastorale, played with full organum plenum, emphasized the triple meter within the context of a rich harmonic development, romantic in nature but certainly not divorced from the tightness of form derived from its Baroque origins. The framing of the program with this musical form was very effective.

Sandwiched between the Pastorales was Alexandre-François-Pierre Boëly’s 14-movement Quatorze préludes avec pédale obligée sur les cantiques de Denizot, Op. 15. The work is obviously based on Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, composed 130 years earlier. Boëly took the music from “Cantiques du Premier Advenement de Jesu–Christ,” unaccompanied songs on the subject of the Nativity by “le Conte d’Alsinois” (the anagrammatic pseudonym of Nicolas Denisot) who was one of the Pléiades. They introduced to French poetry modern forms such as the sonnet. Boëly in his rendering emphasized strict yet fluid compositional styles in each movement, never overstating nor extending each movement. Ms. Zucchino captured these concise, rich gems, using well chosen stops and articulation, and included a silent pause between each so they could be “digested” before the next.

These seldom heard delicacies were a treat for this holiday season and appropriately fitting a day when national events were hard to understand or comprehend.

These recitals are co-sponsored by the Redwood Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and the fifth of the series January 11th will feature soprano Carol Menke performing with Incarnation staff organist Harold Julander.