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Chamber
SPARKLING WIND, STRING, HARP MUSIC AT DEVON HOUSE GARDEN CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, October 9, 2021
Take a mild autumn evening, a garden gazebo with patterned rugs and lit with soft bulbs, shake in a fine chamber ensemble, add a rising new moon, and you have a recipe for the musical delight that violist Elizabeth Prior presented Oct. 9 in her Devon House Garden Concert series. The Marin Terra Li
Recital
AUTHORITATIVE BEETHOVEN SONATA IN KLEIN'S OCCIDENTAL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, October 8, 2021
People attending the first Redwood Arts Council Occidental concert in 20 months found a surprise – a luxurious new lobby attached to the Performing Arts Center. It was a welcome bonus to a recital given by pianist Andreas Klein where the music seemed almost as familiar as was the long shuttered hal
Symphony
MOVIE MUSIC ON THE WINDSOR GREEN IN SO CO PHIL SEASON OPENER
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 3, 2021
People approaching the Windsor Green bandstand Oct. 3 for the Sonoma County Philharmonic’s season opening concert had some cause for concern. After 18 months of silence would the all-volunteer orchestra have enough musicians for a big movie music program? After all, performers can move, retire, or
Symphony
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY RETURNS IN TRIUMPH
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 3, 2021
It is often the case that a single piece or performer steals the show at a symphony concert, but at the Oct. 3 performance of the Santa Rosa Symphony, the show itself stole the show. The concert opened with a serene 1982 tone poem by Libby Larsen, followed by a masterful performance by soloist Julia
Symphony
TWO WIND SOLOISTS CHARM AT SSU ORCHESTRA CONCERT IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 26, 2021
The house of music has many rooms. That dusty adage was never truer than when Weill Hall Sept. 25 hosted a roaring New Orleans-style musical party, and less than a day later a mostly sedate Sonoma State University student orchestra performance. Before a crowd of 200 conductor Alexander Kahn led a
Other
CLEARY'S NEW ORLEANS BAND IGNITES PARTY FOR THE GREEN AT SSU
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 25, 2021
A dramatic and unique start to the new Green Music’s Center’ 2021-2022 season exploded in a “Party for the Green” Sept. 25, a New Orleans (NO) style commotion featuring Jon Cleary and his Absolute Monster Gentlemen band, inside and outside of Weill Hall. Beginning with a private gourmet dinner in t
GAULIST FLAVOR IN FINAL SF PIANO FESTIVAL CONCERT AT OLD FIRST
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Final summer music festival programs are often a mix of what has come before, with the theme and even a featured composer taking a last stage appearance, with a dramatic wrap up composition. San Francisco’s International Piano Festival defied the norm August 29 with an eclectic French-flavored prog
SPARE DUO PRECEDES MYSTEROUS DUO AT DEN BOER RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, August 27, 2021
In a departure from usual summer festival fare Julia Den Boer played an August 27 virtual recital in the San Francisco Piano Festival’s 4.5 season with four works, all mostly quiet but all in separate ways insistently demanding of artist and listener. Throughout the 40 minutes there was nary a powe
HARMONIC COMPLEXITY IN PHILLIPS' ALL-GRIFFES RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, August 20, 2021
Charles Griffes’ piano music is similar to that of Busoni, Reger and even Poulenc, in that there is a sporadic flourish of interest with concerts and scholarly work, then a quick fade into another long period of obscurity. So, it was a delight to have an all-Griffes recital August 20 on the San F
Chamber
ONE PIANO, TWO PIANO, THREE PIANO, FORE
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Schroeder Hall was nearly full July 29 for the final pianoSonoma concert of their season, and presumably the draw and highlight for many of the 150 attending was Bach’s Concerto for Four Pianos. And that performance was probably going to be a North Bay premiere. However, it wasn’t the highl
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.