Home  Reviews  Articles  Calendar  Presenters  Add Event     
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Reader Comments 0 new this week
We value your participation. Contribute by leaving a comment in the box following articles and reviews.
 Recent Reviews
RECITAL
MYER'S MENDO FESTIVAL RECITAL SPOTLIGHTS MOZART TO BALCOM
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Completing the Mendocino Music Festivalís piano series July 22 was an energetic recital by returning Festival artist Spencer Myer. The nearly full Preston Hall audience was treated to a program, announced from the piano, that had broad musical appeal and panache. Exploring the Festivalís Mozart t...
SYMPHONY
MOZART'S GENIUS UPSTAGES DIVA, YOUTH AND CONDUCTOR IN STERLING MMF CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Mendocinoís eclectic Music Festival gave a strong imprimatur to the Mozart theme July 22 with a radiant orchestral and vocal concert in the big white tent on the Mendocino headlands. The Overture from ďThe Abduction from the SeraglioĒ (K. 384) opened the concert in an adroit reading that was...
CHAMBER
CLARINET MUSIC LAUNCHES NEW FESTIVAL IN SONOMA VALLEY
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Among the several North Coast summer festivals in 2015 is a new one, the Valley of the Moon Music Festival, directed by San Francisco-area artists Tanya Tomkins and Eric Zivian. Itís unique in presenting seven concerts of the Classical and Romantic eras with instruments designed and mostly built wh...
OPERA
OPERA BUFFA HI JINX IN ROSSINI'S BARBER AT MENDO FESTIVAL
by Ken Bullock
Friday, July 17, 2015
During his July 17 lecture before the sole Mendocino Music Festival performance of Rossiniís The Barber of Seville, stage director Eugene Brancoveanu spoke of Commedia DellíArte. Mr. Brancoveanu, who sang the baritone title role of Figaro, alluded to the stylized clowning that is sometimes p...
RECITAL
ELEGANT SCRIABIN, CHOPIN AND GRANADOS IN MENDO FESTIVAL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Taiwanese pianist Ching-Yun Hu made a formidable Mendocino Music Festival debut recital July 16 in Mendocinoís Preston Hall. A full house warmly greeted the diminutive artist, and she responded with a pensive and then dramatic performance of Scriabinís Sonata Fantasy, Op. 19. Writers refer to thi...
SYMPHONY
SPLASHY RUSSIAN MUSIC IN MENDOCINO MUSIC FESTIVAL OPENER
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Summer music festivals season tend to be launched each season with a sparkling audience-pleasing program, and the 29th Mendocino Music Festival opening concert was no exception July 11 with an all-Russian program in the big white tent concert hall on Mendocinoís breezy bluff. Conducted by Artistic ...
RECITAL
FRENCH ROMANTIC ORGAN MUSIC IN NUMINA RECITAL
by James Harrod
Friday, July 10, 2015
Etienne Walhain played a magical recital July 10 of organ music of Bach, Scarlatti and Franck. Displaying total command of the Church of the Incarnationís Casavant instrument under his hands and feet, Mr. Walhain performed his program from memory with breath taking speed, accuracy, and clean articul...
SYMPHONY
BRANDENBURGS A SPIRITUAL GIFT IN FINAL CHAMBERFEST CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, June 28, 2015
ďWell, you should have been there.Ē A trite saying used too often by concertgoers? Sure. But surely it was the appropriate adage for the final Chamberfest concert June 28 in Sonoma Stateís Weill Hall. Capping a nine-event series mostly in Schroeder Hall, Jeffrey Kahane led ensembles of up to 20 ...
RECITAL
TWO EXEMPLARY ORGAN RECITALS HIGHLIGHT CHAMBERFEST
by James Harrod
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Baroque music aficionados and organists were glued to their seats at Chamberfestís June 27 and 28 when Malcolm Matthews performed two amazingly perfect recitals of Baroque organ music from North Europe of the 16th and 17th centuries. The two prodigious concerts included no less than 17 selections,...
CHAMBER
INTREPID VIRTUOSITY IN PAREMSKI'S BRAHMS VARIATIONS
by Terry McNeill
Friday, June 26, 2015
Sonoma County organist James Harrod contributed the organ work analysis in this review. Pianist Natasha Paremski had the stellar role June 26 in the third Chamberfest program in Schroeder Hall, beginning with Beethovenís A Flat Sonata, Op. 110. Classical Sonoma was unable to review the Sonat...
Local Concerts  
CHAMBER REVIEW
Valley of the Moon Music Festival: MENDELSSOHN PIANO TRIO / Sunday, August 02, 2015
Monica Huggett, violin

Cynthia Freivogel, violin

Tanya Tomkins, cello

Eric Zivian, fortepiano

Pianist Eric Zivian and Cellist Tanya Tomkins

FROTHY CHAMBER WORKS CONCLUDE VALLEY OF THE MOON FESTIVAL AT HANNA CENTER

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, August 02, 2015

A closing concert for a summer music festival, even a new series such as the Valley of the Moon Music Festival (VMMF), should be a capstone for the series. The recent Chamberfest Concerts at the Green Music Center, with all six Bach Brandenburgs as the finale, are an example.

Artists at the Festival finished the seven-event set August 2 with three mostly light-hearted works that underscored the period instrumental Festival sound. An oddity began the concert, Mozartís B-Flat Major Piano Sonata (K. 570), with a violin obbligato part from an unknown composer. Spohr? Brdgetower? VMMF co-director Eric Zivian was at the replica 1795 piano and Cynthia Miller Freivogel played the violinís reinforcing line without providing any counterpoint.

Ms. Freivogel played constant interjections into the lovely fabric of Mozartís opening Allegro and Adagio with ritards only at the end of phrases and more projection in the concluding Allegretto. Though the new Hanna Boys Center hall is not large, the timid pre-1800 piano sound could be improved by moving the instrument in the future (it can be carried by four people) far closer to the audience.

Chopinís Introduction et Polonaise Brillante, Op. 3, was a surprise addition to the program, and received a performance of infectious rhythmic lift that played off a judicious tempo. Much more rubato and instrumental leaning into the delicious Polish dance cadences than the Mozart came from cellist Tanya Tomkins and Mr. Zivian. The subtle slides in the cello were a perfect fit for this frothy piece, and the audience of 150 responded with a standing ovation.

The Festivalís 1841-era piano was used for the Chopin as well as the Mendelssohn C-Minor Trio, Op. 66, that comprised the second half of the program.

The C Minor Trio is not as popular as the composerís famous D Minor Trio, and though it lacks none of Mendelssohnís signature ebullience and smooth panache, but with gut strings in the violin and cello and a fortepiano the music had small dimensions. But thatís okay and some clangor from the piano is effective. Violinist Monica Huggett joined Ms. Tomkins and Mr. Zivian in the opening Allegro energico that had drama but also for Ms. Huggett intonation problems. The dreamy Andante featured subtle string portamento and pensive interludes, and Ms. Tomkins played delicate crescendos and diminuendos and a fetching ending similar to many of the endings of Mendelssohnís Songs Without Words for solo piano.

The Scherzo was appropriately fleet and resembled the finale of the D Minor Trio in virtuosity. The finale of the C Minor had authority even when the bass register of the piano rattled, and tuning in the gut strings wavered. It was a vigorous finale, moving effortlesly in the coda to C Major and a compelling conclusion that elicited loud applause. There was a substantial sprinkling of young musicians in the audience and Mendelssohnís charming music proved seductive.

Contributing to the Festivalís success was professional management with attractive printed materials, a five-student apprentice program, computerized ticketing and an attentive staff. An encore Festival in 2016?

Events Calendar

SYMPHONY
Vallejo Symphony
Sunday, September 20, 2015
3:00 PM - Vallejo
Thomas Hauser, conductor. Inna Faliks, piano
Smatana: Vitava (The Moldau); Dvorak: Symphony No. 2 (From the New World); Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor...
Details

RECITAL
Mastercard Performance Series
Saturday, October 03, 2015
7:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Lang Lang, piano
Bach: Concerto in the Italian Style, BWV 971; Tchaikovsky: The Seasons, Op. 37; Chopin: Four Scherzos: Op. 20, 31, 39 and 54 Gala opening concert - 2015-2016 season...
Details

OTHER
Trio Navarro and Friends
Sunday, October 04, 2015
2:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Victor Romasevich, violin; Jill Rachuy Brindel, cello; Marilyn Thompson, piano
Haydn: Trio in B-Flat Major; Arensky: Trio No. 2 in F Minor; Dvorak: E Minor Trio, Op. 90 ("Dumky")...
Details

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Saturday, October 10, 2015
8:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Bruno Ferrandis, conductor. Christina and Michelle Naughton, piano
Fairouz: Pax Universalis (World Premiere); Mozart: Concerto in E Flat Major for Two Pianos, K. 365; Poulenc: Concerto for Two Pianos; Saint-SaŽns: Symphony No. 3 (Organ)...
Details

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Sunday, October 11, 2015
3:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Bruno Ferrandis, conductor. Christina and Michelle Naughton, piano.
Fairouz: Pax Universalis (World Premiere): Mozart: Concerto in E-Flat Major for Two Pianos, K. 365; Poulenc: Concerto for Two Pianos; Saint-SaŽns: Symphony No. 3 (Organ)...
Details

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Monday, October 12, 2015
8:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Bruno Ferrandis, conductor. Christina and Michelle Naughton, piano
Fairouz: Pax Universdalis (World Premiere); Mozart: Concerto for Two Pianos in E-Flat Major, K. 365; Poulenc: Concerto for Two Pianos; Saint SaŽns: Symphony No. 3 (Organ)...
Details

CHAMBER
Music at Oakmont
Thursday, October 15, 2015
1:30 PM - Santa Rosa
New York Brass Arts Trio
Program TBA Concerts in the Music at Oakmont series are open to Oakmont residents and their invited guests. Single tickets are $15 at the door ...
Details

RECITAL
Mastercard Performance Series
Saturday, October 17, 2015
8:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Joshua Bell, violin; Sam Haywood, piano
Beethoven: Sonata in G Major, Op. 30, No. 3; Strauss: E Flat Sonata, Op. 18; Faure: Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13...
Details

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Sunday, October 18, 2015
3:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Richard Loheyde, conductor. Marcy Smothers, narrator.
Roustabout Theater
Movie music from Star Wars, 2001: Space Odyssey and E.T.: Mozartís Symphony No. 41 ("Jupiter"); Holst "The Planets." Children are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite character, from Princ...
Details

CHAMBER
Creative Arts Series
Sunday, October 18, 2015
3:30 PM - Santa Rosa
Christine Westhoff, soprano; Timothy Allen, organ
Program TBA $15 suggested donation...
Details