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Chamber
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CHAMBER REVIEW

Violinist Eugenia Wie

FACULTY AND COMMUNITY MUSICIANS JOIN IN SCHROEDER CELEBRATION

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, August 24, 2014

Though many of the inaugural Schroeder Hall concerts had larger audiences than the Aug. 24 faculty and community musician event, few of them had such lovely music on display.

Some of the best were first, with ravishing music from SSU guitarist Eric Cabalo and Santa Rosa Symphony violinist Eugenie Wie. This fetching duo played Piazzolla’s “Historie du Tango” with bandoneon concertina effects and rich sonority. Ms. Wie played with minimal vibrato, and Mr. Cabalo exhibited subtle control of pianissimo and elegant phrasing. Stefane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt could not have played Piazzolla’s delicious piece with more charm.

Joining Mr. Cabalo in his own “Event Horizon” were his guitar students Kenny Campbell, Brandyn Klinect and Cody Martin. The composer described the work as having an astrophysical character with Lydian key instability. The work was never dissonant, and it had a repetitive and minimalist design and some snappy hand slaps on the guitar body. It was a novel and accomplished piece for guitar quartet, astutely played.

Brahms’ opening Allergo Moderato from the C Minor Piano Trio, Op. 87, was played by SSU faculty pianist Marilyn Thompson and cellist Judiyaba, along with Santa Rosa Symphony violinist Joseph Edelberg. It was a brawny reading, emphasizing the two string parts' alternating vigorous chords with the piano. I wanted to hear the concluding two movements of a composition best heard on a cold winter’s evening.

Two short guitar works with new performers Henry Alonzo and Patricia Castaneda came before a beguiling Jean-Michel Damase concert sonata for flute, cello and piano. Symphony flutist Kathleen Lane Reynolds played the work with an easy virtuosity, carrying the thematic weight away from Ms. Judiyaba and Ms. Thompson.

This happy concert sonata from 1952 has strains of the palm court and the café, the many sprightly sections demanding a deft touch from each performer. Ms. Judiyaba was perhaps too differential playing the bass line, but Ms. Thompson was as always a sure-footed and consummate pianist. The rapid movement toward the end of the sonata spotlighted Ms. Reynolds’ masterful command of tonal colors and animated rhythms. Her flute playing in symphonic or chamber music is always vivacious and prismatic.

Though not a full house, the Schroeder audience gave loud applause to these shapely and accomplished performances.