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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
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...
SYMPHONY REVIEW
Sonoma County Philharmonic / Saturday, February 14, 2015
Reginald Nasciemento, conductor. Dylan McKinstry, mandolin

Conductor Reginaldo Nacimento

LENGTH? HEAVENLY LENGTH AT SO CO PHIL CONCERT

by Terry McNeill
Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Bruckner Symphony performance can be a demanding task for both the orchestra and audience, as each of the nine are long and musically wandering. But not all that wander are lost, as the Sonoma County Philharmonic proved in their Feb. 15 concert in the Santa Rosa High School Performing Arts Center.

Led by guest conductor Reginaldo Nascimento the SCP took on the E Major 7th (“Lyric”) Symphony in a performance that lasted 63 minutes. The work is long but it’s a heavenly length, the conductor crafting a beguiling opening and controlling the pace throughout. Bruckner’s symphonies have protracted climaxes, often even more extended than in similar Sibelius and Tchaikovsky works, and here they had heft and fervor without bombast. Solos from Debra Scheuerman (flute) and clarinetist Jeff Chan were elegant. There is a grand and majestic arch in the first movement that was arrestingly played, and the theme in the cellos was aptly supported by the horns and violas.

In the Adagio the great C Major climax in upward steps was thunderous and the SCP gave the finale the needed solemnity and even festive humor. As often with this orchestra the releases were cleaner than the attacks. Floyd Reinhart’s tuba playing was outstanding, as were the short solo segments from trumpeter Tom Hyde. A long ovation ensued for a performance that for most of the 400 attending didn’t seem all that extended.

Israeli composer Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto with Dylan McKinstry opened the concert, and was a curious mixture of pungent orchestra motives, strong tremolo projection from the solo instrument and stretches of silence. There was an esoteric shimmer to the mandolin’s sound, often in 2nds and 3rds, and the Orchestra’s strings sounded well in pizzicato and with minimal vibrato. Violist Pam Otsuka played a chaste solo.

In this music that has strains of David Diamond and Rodrigo’s Aranjuez Fantasy the soloist mounted a short cadenza that grew in volume and intensity, his right hand a blur and his artistic focus palpable.

At intermission SCP resident conductor Norman Gamboa presented Mr. McKinstry with the organization’s 2014-2015 Young’s Artist Award, and the customary raffle found two delighted winners.