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by Terry McNeill
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ORCHESTRAL SPLENDOR IN MARIN SYMPHONY'S SEASON OPENER
by Abby Wasserman
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Choral and Vocal
CANTIAMO BLOOMS AT CHURCH OF THE ROSES
by Pamela Hicks Galley
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DRAMATIC SHOSTAKOVICH SONATA HIGHLIGHTS BOSCO-GABRIELSON CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 9, 2022
CHAMBER REVIEW
College of Marin / Saturday, October 1, 2022
Joanna Pinckney, violin; Paul Smith, Cheryl Ziedrich, Jim Stopher and Jeffrey Paul, piano; Michael Mohammed, voice; Trevor Björklund, guitar; Mark Culbertson, bass viol

J. Stopher T. Björklund M. Culbertson J. Paulino J. Paul C. Ziedrich M. Mohammed P. Smith J. Pinckney

NINE COM FACULTY IN GALA MARIN RECITAL

by Abby Wasserman
Saturday, October 1, 2022

The second of two performances by College of Marin’s music faculty members October 1, featured a satisfying balance of modern, folk and classical music, with a dose of poetry thrown in.

The concert in the College’s small hall opened with Cheryl Ziedrich’s charming “Five Poems by Mary Oliver in Piano Settings,” with Joe Paulino, voice, and Ms. Ziedrich at the piano. Mr. Paulino’s low, mellow readings and Ms. Ziedrich’s shining pianism were in dialogue, sometimes in excited conversation, sometimes patiently waiting for conclusion of a statement before answering. The Oliver poems are unadorned and the music added vibrant texture.

Pianist Paul Smith and violinist Joanne Pinckney then played Amy Beach’s Romance for Violin and Piano, Op. 23. The composer dedicated the Romance to violinist Maud Powell, and the two performed its premiere in 1893. While Mr. Smith’s tone was rich throughout this beautiful piece, Ms. Pinckney’s sound was a bit on the thin side, but there were many highlights of sweet blending.

Trevor Björklund, guitar, next performed the traditional English ballad “John Riley,” which has many versions. An intriguing idea is that the song may be based on The Odyssey by Homer, where Penelope, Odysseus’ wife, weaves by day, promising to wed one of her many suitors once the garment is completed, but rips out stitches by night, remaining faithful to her husband. In the song a maid’s loyalty to her lover “across the sea” is similarly tested. Mr. Björklund sang pleasantly and played his own rich arrangement that emphasized the haunting melody.

Pianist Jim Stopher then performed short works by Haydn, Brahms and Beethoven. The first movement Allegro moderato of Haydn’s F Major Sonata Hob.XVI:23 was played in a buoyant and joyful way. Brahms’ Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118, No. 2, had exquisite sonorities and inner voices, with a fine balance of melodic lines in both hands. Mr. Stopher drew out the luxuriant textures of the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 7 Allegro molto e con brio). I could hear traces of brass, woodwinds, timpani and cellos in the performance, an orchestral texture that Mr. Stopher achieved with elegance and élan.

Double-bass player Mark Culbertson followed, playing and reciting two works by Bertram Turetzky (b. 1933). They were “Neruda,” a poem by David Henderson, and “The Violin and the Horse,” from a poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The intriguing effects Mr. Culbertson achieved by plucking, slurring and bowing made for a rewarding listening experience; however, the words of the poems were almost submerged (at least to those of us in the back of the audience) beneath the vibrant sound of his double-bass.

Pianist Jeffrey Paul performed Schubert’s Impromptu in G-flat Major, Op. 90, No. 3 with sensitivity and grace, bringing out the passion and tenderness in the composition. Mr. Paul then accompanied countertenor Michael Mohammed in Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14. There were some flatted vocal notes and phrases and one discernable break between tenor and soprano registers, but on balance Mr. Mohammed sang with much feeling, and Mr. Paul’s accompaniment was a gentle enhancement.

The appreciative audience of 150 mingled with the musicians following the concert.