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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

J. Guggenheim, C. Sindell and Hamilton Cheifetz March 8 at Spring Lake Village

FLORESTAN TRIO'S MENDELSSOHN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE CONCERT

by Terry McNeill
Friday, March 8, 2019

Spring Lake Village’s monthly concerts usually clock in under an hour, but the March 8 Florestan Trio’s performance was more extended as so much good music was on tap for the 125 residents attending at Santa Rosa’s premiere retirement residence facility.

Four short pieces made up the first half, beginning with Handel’s G Minor Passacaglia for violin and cello in an 1897 arrangement by Johan Halvorsen. The variations were briskly played with much pizzicato and high register violin sound from Carol Sindell. Catalan cellist Gaspar Cassadó’s transcription of the intermezzo from Granados’ Goyescas followed, which cellist Hamilton Cheifetz announced was a piece familiar to him for decades, but only recently learned. Mr. Cheifetz’ tone was round over pianist Janet Guggenheim’s tremolos in the bass, and the juxtaposition of instrumental sonority was fetching.

Mr. Cheifetz introduced the Haydn Divertimento (arr. Piatigorsky) by speaking about his teacher Janos Starker, and the three section work began with a slow adagio rich in bottom register cello sound. The concluding allegro was played vigorously and with a lilting character. Ms. Guggenheim was a fluent and attentive pianist in this sparkling music.

Mendelssohn’s ever-popular D Minor Trio, Op. 49, was the concert’s chief work, and received a reading with a range of moods. Slow arpeggios in the piano part supported the opening melodious theme from Mr. Cheifetz and the music was alternatively melancholy and dramatic, though the violin part was not prominent and not always clear. Ensemble in the andante’s heart-on-sleeve was excellent. Surprisingly Ms. Guggenheim found some inner voices in the yearning romanticism, but as throughout the 1839 work little interest was shown in extended ritards.

The scherzo always has an “only Mendelssohn could have written this” effect, and the Florestan played it very well with small murmurs of appreciation from the audience. Musical momentum carried into the dance-like finale but here clarity was cloudy as the piano part tended to overwhelm the strings, especially when the violin needed more sonic projection. Phrasing was conventional and the attractive second theme was warm and compelling. It was a muscular interpretation of the Mendelssohn first Trio that at the same time was tastefully orthodox.

Prior to the Mendelssohn Ms. Sindell and Ms. Guggenheim played the John Williams theme from the movie Schindler’s List, and the lament of the beguiling composition moved over a long line to a beautiful ending high e note in the violin.