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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...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Santa Rosa Concert Association / Sunday, January 11, 2009
Philippe Quint

Philippe Quint

TOUR DE FORCE

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 11, 2009

Violinist Philippe Quint’s third appearance on the Santa Rosa Concert Association stage Jan. 11 was indeed the charm, easily surpassing his two previous recitals in the Wells Fargo Center. He displayed both consummate virtuosity and audience appeal.

In a program divided equally between familiar classical works and arcane selections, Quint and pianist Dmitry Cogan were an ideal pair, opening with an amiable reading of Mozart’s E Minor Sonata, K. 304. Good balance was the order of the day here, with the extended unison playing in the Allegro absolutely seamless. The tranquility continued in Beethoven’s F Major Sonata, Op. 24, the ever-popular “Spring.” The playing had lift throughout, and Quint’s intonation was precise. In the lovely Adagio molto espressivo, many violinists sound like they are playing a sequence of phrases that start and stop. In contrast, Quint sculpted one long breathtaking phrase. The Rondo finale lacked drama, the musicians opting for a serene dialogue of question and answer, stressing joy over momentum. Both the Mozart and Beethoven were played from score.

Finishing the first half was the Brahms Sonatensatz in C Minor, a seldom-performed scherzo that is similar to much of the great master’s D Minor Sonata. Here again the union of the instruments was nearly ideal, though Cogan is an accompanist wholly deferential to the soloist, without ever mounting ringing forte. One wonders how he would sound in the piano part of one of the repertoire’s more muscular sonatas, such as the Strauss, Franck, Respighi or Beethoven’s “Kreutzer.” That said, Cogan’s rhythm is rock solid and his ear for instrumental color is uncanny. What more could a violinist want?

Three of the Corigliano Caprices from the movie score “Red Violin” opened the second half, preceded by a charming story told by Quint concerning a telephone conversation with the composer regarding a bedside lamp. These virtuoso works, Nos. 2, 4, and 5, demonstrated Quint’s steady control of the bow and his marvelous slides. The final Caprice was a tour de force of extraordinary fingerboard skill and daring. In Bloch’s “Nigun” from the Baal Shem Suite, Quint used a much broader vibrato, the notes of the tender ending easily carrying to the top balcony row.

Two fast-paced pieces concluded the program, led by Tchaikovsky’s sprightly “Valse Scherzo.” Quint’s spiccato bow danced around the lyrical theme, with his string tone occasionally darkening for telling effect. Nothing was tentative here, or in the “Tzigane” showpiece of Ravel. Early in the latter, the climactic high G on the G string was taken cleanly with a sharp attack and no “slithering” up to the note. Virtuoso stuff, played with abandon and just the right measure of pyrotechnics. A large portion of the audience stood and shouted.

Time dictated hearing just the first of the encores, a Brahms Hungarian Dance, No. 5 in the set of 21. Here again the deft passagework and bow speed of the young Russian were impressive, and later I am told some Kreisler and the “Meditation from Thais” were offered to loud acclaim.

Philippe Quint and Dmitry Cogan are an imaginative partnership. They mounted the most impressive violin-and-piano recital in the North Bay concert season.

Violinist Daniel Greenhouse collaborated in this review