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SIX GUITARISTS IN UNIQUE NAPA RECITAL
by Gary Digman
Sunday, July 25, 2021
The first Napa Valley Guitar Festival was held at Napa’s First Presbyterian Church July 25, and featured performances from six classical guitarists. The Church is an iconic structure in downtown Napa, its huge white presence dominating the scene, and the white theme continues inside punctuated by be
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 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