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RECITAL REVIEW
Heinberg Tubridy Duo / Saturday, December 30, 2017
Richard Heinberg, violin; Sonia Morse Tubridy, piano

Sonia Tubridy (l) and Richard Heinberg Dec. 30 in Guerneville

HOME RECITAL BACH COMPLETES HOLIDAY SEASON

by Terry McNeill
Saturday, December 30, 2017

The just closing 2017 year was a calamity for many, but locally in music there were joys galore, and it was fitting Dec. 30 have the balm of two Bach’s violin sonatas in a private Guerneville home recital hosted by the eminent musician Sonia Tubridy.

Violinist Richard Heinberg joined Ms. Tubridy in a program that began with the C Minor Sonata, BWV 1017. Both the four-movements Sonatas featured judicious tempos and made minimal reference to current Baroque music practices of minimal vibrato, slight ritards and lower string-tension sound. Repeats were carefully taken and the sadness and lament character of much of the music came through clearly in the long opening largo and the third-part adagio. Balances were occasionally a problem with Ms. Tubridy’s piano line covering the violin part, and Mr. Heinberg’s intonation can waver in extended single notes.

In the complex second movement allegro the violinist’s trills were secure and the playing was agile and convincing. The allegro finale displayed a fugue that took time to develop, and the duo played deftly the many thematic transformations and inversions.

Finishing the afternoon was the E Major Sonata (BWV 1016), a more sunny work built on the same slow-fast-slow-fast movement structure as the C Minor. The beginning adagio was played romantically in a deliberate tempo, emphasizing the march-like rhythms, and the adagio ma non tanto had traits of a yearning love song, with a mysterious ending. There wasn’t a hint of schmaltz.

To sharp applause one encore was offered, the opening (andante) movement from the Bach A Major Second Sonata (BWV 1015).

Between the two Sonatas the duo adroitly demonstrated technical details of the works, including encompassing three lines (two separate ones in the piano and one in the violin line) and Bach’s frequent use of dissonance. The examples they presented of contrapuntal writing in the E Major’s second movement were especially enlightening.