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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
SPLENDID STRINGS IN A SUNLIT GARDEN
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, November 1, 2020
A sun-drenched autumn afternoon, a Marin County garden and six superb string players from the Santa Rosa Symphony were manna from heaven to a pandemic-weary audience starved for live music. The sextet of Santa Rosa Symphony musicians performed to a small group of 20 Nov. 1, the day after Halloween....
RECITAL REVIEW

Pianist Anastasia Dedik At Spring Lake Village Sept. 17

DEDIK'S POTENT BEETHOVEN AND CHOPIN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Monday, September 17, 2018

Anastasia Dedik returned Sept. 17 to the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series in a recital that featured three familiar virtuoso works in potent interpretations.

Chopin’s G Minor Ballade hasn’t been heard in Sonoma County public concerts since a long-ago Earl Wild performance, and Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata with Valentina Lisitsa was a distant memory from 2010, both in Newman Auditorium. The same for the warhorse B Flat Scherzo of Chopin, so it was good to hear music that is justly famous and justly glorious.

But no nod to the past, as the Russia-born pianist gave full measure of dramatic intensity to all three in a 50-minute concert before 150 in Montgomery Auditorium. Perhaps the finest playing occurred in the Beethoven Sonata, with an interpretation that captured the big-boned drama that never sounded frantic or too fast. The frequent left hand repeated notes in c had the proper menace, the trills were even and tone colors were rich. The five piu piano notes at the end of the allegro were played in a lovely decrescendo.

The repeats in the variation movement were played without differentiation but sang softly, leading to a held damper pedal for the clangorous entry of the famous 13 fortissimo notes that begin the volcanic finale. Here Ms. Dedik used a staccato touch in places and a left-hand inner voice to add to the momentum and sweep. The last crashing chords generated a loud ovation.

In a program of minor key drama, the Op. 23 Ballade fit right in, and the initial playing did the right thing – eliciting the feeling of an unfolding story. Here and there wrong notes crept in, and over pedaling blurred scale passages after the orchestral repeat of the second theme. That said, throughout the evening Ms. Dedik’s scale mastery never left her, and there were Romantic-era touches such as legato octaves that were shaped rather than rushed. She built the big climaxes late in the piece and heightened the drama before the terrifying ascending runs in the coda by taking two extra-long pauses. Repose among the carnage.

Muscular playing continued in the Op. 31 Chopin Scherzo, with the “call to battle” opening bars juxtaposing histrionic tension with a languorous approach in the quiet Trio. It was a brassy and exciting reading that featured brilliant finger technique and again brought a standing ovation.

Somehow among all the tempestuous music and brawny playing Ms. Dedik chose a slow expressive Chopin Waltz, the A Minor of Op. 34, and she played the cello-like themes with chaste phrasing and amorous attention to the subtle alterations of rhythms.