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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
RECITAL REVIEW

Jeffrey LaDeur July 17 at Spring Lake Village

PUNGENT WALTZES AND VIRTUOSITY IN LADEUR'S SLV RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

San Francisco based pianist Jeffrey LaDeur has become one of the most sought-after North Bay virtuosi, and cemented that reputation July 17 in a short but eclectic recital in Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Village Chamber Music Series.

Before 140 in the Village’s auditorium Mr. LaDeur began with Schubert’s lovely E-Flat Major work from the Drei Klavierstücke, D. 946, a piece from the composer’s last year that juxtaposes an energetic section with modulations into with two poignant episodes. He played it at a good clip with admirable clarity, at times a little to fast with scant attention to phrase ending ritards. The pianist inserted beguiling short pauses, reminiscent of much Schubert from the early “Grazer” Fantasy to the last B-Flat Sonata. It was convincing if a tad perfunctory.

In remarks to the audience Mr. LaDeur spoke of three Schubert Waltzes from Twelve Valses Nobles, D. 969, and how they influenced Ravel. Two he played were lilting and effective, the second familiar from Liszt’s transcription in his Soirées de Vienne and beguiling in recordings of Rosenthal and Horowitz. All the Schubert was played from score, and proved that the great composer’s music should not be sentimental but full of sentiment. The pianist’s interpretation was often aggressive and right hand thirds never failed him.

Two of Ravel’s works from the early 1900s came next, the popular Valses Nobles et Sentimentales and the first part (Ondine) from the exciting Gaspard de la Nuit suite of 1908. Mr. LaDeur prefaced the seven Waltzes by showing at the piano how masterfully Ravel transfigured Schubert’s muses, with dissonances and sound that he characterized as sometimes “an out of tune guitar and a car horn.”

Playing without score the pianist’s interpretation was the evening’s highlight with many small climaxes, elegantly shaped themes, pedal point in the bass and in the one really fast dance a circus-like feeling. It was a reading that could quickly change from shrillness to a slow atmospheric sonority and finally a beautiful concluding shimmer of sound. Captivating.

Ondine is usually played quite fast (as is the last piece in the Suite, Scarbo) but Mr. LaDeur’s approach featured a judicious tempo, aiming again for clarity and artful balance between the hands. His pedaling never allowed the music to become blurred, even with the forte descending bass phrases that the hall’s piano produced with a palpable roar. Of course many in the audience wanted the two ending movements, but the time schedule did not permit it, and the pianist closed with Chopin’s Op. 46 Allegro de Concert.

It was a muscular interpretation of the rarely heard work, said to be a discarded attempt by Chopin of a third concerto. Here in 12 minutes Mr. LaDeur didn’t let much air into the piece with little consideration to slowing at phrase endings and cantilena secondary to momentum, although there was charm in the tunes that as in all Chopin are operatic, and the pianist’s clean scales and fast appoggiaturas were splendid. It’s a work than can easily be overplayed but, well, it is a scintillating showpiece, and Mr. LaDeur’s virtuosity produced a standing ovation and happy faces from Spring Lake Village residents.

No encore was offered.