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Chamber
TURINA PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS SSU FACULTY CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 29, 2023
Chamber
ROMANTIC FERVOR IN FRISSON ENSEMBLE'S RAC CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Symphony
RACH-ING OUT: SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY EXPLORES HOLLYWOOD’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH RACHMANINOFF
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Choral and Vocal
ORGAN-CHOIR COMBO IN BACH CELEBRATION
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Recital
FRENCH FLAVOR IN RARE FOUR-HAND RECITAL
by Judy Walker
Sunday, January 15, 2023
Choral and Vocal
POTENT HANDEL ORATORIO IN ABS' WEILL HALL HOLIDAY CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, December 18, 2022
Choral and Vocal
HALLELUJAH! MARIN ORATORIO IN HOLIDAY SPLENDOR CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, December 17, 2022
Choral and Vocal
SILVER ANNIVERSARY BACH RECITAL AT INCARNATION'S EVENSONG SERVICE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, December 4, 2022
Symphony
JOY, LOVELY DIVINE SPARK!
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 4, 2022
Other
DINOVA PIANISM CHARMS SATED AUDIENCE AT J-B MARIN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 20, 2022
REVIEW
Julia Den Boer / Friday, August 27, 2021
Julia Den Boer, piano

Julia Den Boer August 27

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 powerful forte or flying scale passage to be heard, most music being built on small clusters of notes with often wide separation between. Rebecca Saunders’ “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall” (1994) was played in a pointillistic character, the short beginning leading into a long section of sharply jabbed notes, extended pauses and slow repeated phrases. Ms. Den Boer’s right-hand leaps to the top keyboard notes were accurate, and low bass notes were played almost inaudibly. There was mystery in this piece, but I quickly wondered where the musical thread was going.

Anthony Braxton’s “Composition No. 5” was remarkedly similar in scope and style, only occasionally leavened by lyrical passages and tonal shimmer. The wide distance between top end and bottom end notes provided interest, and Ms. Den Boer, playing from score, mastered the tricky time signatures and hesitations.

“Oiseaux tristes” from Ravel’s 1905 set Miroirs was a welcome respite as the melancholy nature of “Sad Birds” was an antidote to the equally dilatory works preceding it. It was played with a light touch and less than usual damper pedal, as was the concluding work, Janácek’s impressionistic set “In the Mist.” Ms. Den Boer gave the work from 1912 an ardent reading, never needing to push the tempo through the 15 minutes of luxurious yet flexible music. Her playing underscored the ambiguity of the whole tone scale composition and displayed the most refined pianistic tone colors of the recital.