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Chamber
CLARA SCHUMANN TRIO COMMANDS VOM CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT AT HANNA
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, July 24, 2021
The Valley of the Moon Chamber Music Series has begun several virtual and a few live concerts in its new seventh season, some broadcast from Sonoma’s Hanna Center Hall and some in posh local venues. July 24’s video had a small live audience and a well-produced video program of three works. Titled “
Chamber
EXEMPLARY QUARTET PLAYING IN MENDO FESTIVAL FT. BRAGG CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Faced with the impossibility of presenting concerts in the iconic large white tent on the bluff, the Mendocino Music Festival opted to use Ft. Bragg’s Cotton Auditorium for ten events in the abbreviated 35th season. San Francisco’s Alexander String Quartet played July 21 to a fully masked audience
Chamber
ECLECTIC PROGRAMMING AT PIANOSONOMA CONCERT IN SCHROEDER HALL
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
After a dark year bereft of live performance, pianoSonoma launched July 20 the first Vino & Vibrato concert of the 2021 season in Sonoma State's Schroeder Hall, albeit sadly senza vino due to Covid protocols. Three exceptional musicians showered the audience with an interesting variety of pia
Chamber
RARELY-PLAYED SCHUMANN HIGHLIGHTS HEALDSBURG RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Brave New Music sporadically produces concerts in and around Healdsburg, and July 10’s violin recital in downtown St. Paul’s Church must have been one of the first post-lockdown, post-be-extra-careful classical music concerts in Sonoma County's summer season. New Music Founder Gary McLaughlin with
Chamber
ECHOS ON A WARM SUMMER NIGHT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, July 10, 2021
ECHO Chamber Orchestra’s first concert in a year and a half, “A Musical Promenade,” was a promenade indeed. When patrons arrived at San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church for the 6:00 performance July 10, they were funneled through the garden to the Duncan Hall patio, where folding chairs were set
Chamber
LONG DISTANCE LOVE BEGINS VOM SUMMER FESTIVAL
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Thursday, June 24, 2021
The Valley of the Moon Music Festival offered a 7th season preview June 24 with a stunning online concert, aptly named Long Distance Love, featuring inspired performances of Beethoven's short song cycle An die ferne Geliebte,, and selections from Brahms’ beloved Liebeslieder Wal
Recital
ROMERO'S ARTISTRY IN SLV RECITAL PROGRAMMING AND PERFORMANCE
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Gustavo Romero has been an admired visitor to North Bay stages, playing over a decade recitals at Dominican University, the Music at Oakmont concerts and at the Spring Lake Village Concert Series. He returned June 2 to SLV in a virtual recital, videoed from his home concert hall the University of N
RUBICON'S VIRTUAL CONCERT A MALANGE OF CONTRASTS
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, May 16, 2021
The inaugural concert of a new Mendocino County chamber group is a reason for celebration, and the Rubicon Trio made the most of a mixed musical menu during a May16 virtual concert. Presented by the Ukiah Symphony Orchestra as the last in their “Salons with the Symphony” Series, the Rubicon began w
Recital
PIANO VIRTUOSITY IN YAKUSHEV'S REDWOOD ARTS RECITAL
by Nicki Bell
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev’s recital for the Redwood Arts Council was perhaps the local season’s virtual music at the greatest distance, as the filming May 16 came from a church in St. Petersburg. And good filming it was, with multiple camera viewpoints of the church, full and split screens and
Chamber
STYLISH HAYDN QUARTETS CLOSE GREEN ROOM SERIES
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, May 9, 2021
Completing the Green Music Center’s spring series series of “Green Room” virtual concerts, the St. Lawrence String Quartet played May 9 a lightweight program of two Haydn works. Lightweight perhaps, but in every way satisfying. The G Major Quartet (Op. 76, No.1) began the music that was supplement
RECITAL REVIEW

Pianist Einav Yarden

PIANISM OF SUBSTANCE AND CONTROL

by Terry McNeill
Thursday, October 16, 2014

Israeli pianist Einav Yarden has had several past Sonoma County appearances, but her Oct. 16 Music at Oakmont recital exhibited a new and attractive level of resolute programming, instrumental mastery and impressive musicianship.

She played three substantial works, including the opening Second English Suite of Bach (BWV 807), which was in many ways the most memorable. The Prelude was lively but never too fast, allowing clarity in the mainly two-voiced contrapuntal lines, and leading smoothly into the stately Allemande and a Courante of rhythmic complexity.

Ms. Yarden used minimal damper pedal throughout, enhancing a chaste pianissimo touch in the expressive Sarabande and providing lucidity in the concluding Gigue. There isn’t much dynamic contrast in the two Bourrées and in the da capo part of the Gigue, but it’s a low-temperature work that mated well with the artist’s interpretation and mood.

Closing the first half was Ravel’s popular "Valses Nobles et Sentimentales," a series of eight connected pieces that range from a forceful opening to a delicate closing waltz recapitulation. The playing of each captured ample mystery and chordal structure, especially in the Assez lent and Assez animé waltzes. It was thoughtful and at times pensive playing in a work that in lesser hands can sound raucous.

Occupying the entire second half was the monumental Schubert G Major Sonata, D. 894, one of the composer’s four last sonatas. It took courage to program in Oakmont a restrained work that can take close to 45 minutes to play, with extended themes and long repetitions. But it’s a heavenly length and as in the Bach, the pianist opted for judicious tempos throughout. She brought the long crescendo in the first movement’s development section to a firm but not loud climax, and contrasted it with the rest of the movement’s lyrical serenity. In fact the entire recital didn’t have any fortissimo playing, the music instead demanding the artist’s careful chordal weighting and rhythmic control. The lovely motive where the left hand plays legato single notes against short right-hand figurations was captivatingly played, each of the six times being slightly different.

The Minuetto-Allegretto was appropriately played in a dance-like manner and the finale (Allegretto) was spacious and convincing. It’s a difficult work to sustain and Ms. Yarden’s approach to each work in the recital had to be taken on its own terms. I found all of the playing compelling. There was no encore.

One hundred and fifty attended the recital in Berger Auditorium, which has a continuously noisy HVAC system.