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Saturday, October 25, 2014
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 Recent Reviews
SYMPHONY
BOUNDLESS BAROQUE ARTISTRY IN LIVE OAK SCHROEDER HALL CONCERT
by Joanna Bramel Young
Sunday, October 19, 2014
On October 19 the Live Oak Baroque Orchestra, directed by baroque violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock, appeared in the first of several concerts it is to present at Schroeder Hall in Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. The new 250-seat recital space is the perfect venue for chamber music, whi...
CHAMBER
AUTUMNAL BRAHMS IN WEILL CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT
by Nicki Bell and Sonia Tubridy
Saturday, October 18, 2014
If you were in Weill Oct. 18 you might have experienced heaven, a Brahms heaven, when New York’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center played an all-Brahms concert in the Hall’s MasterCard Performance series. It was late Brahms which means rich emotional expression and deep and fluid themes. The...
RECITAL
PIANISM OF SUBSTANCE AND CONTROL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Israeli pianist Einav Yarden has had several past Sonoma County appearances, but her Oct. 16 Music at Oakmont recital exhibited a new and attractive level of resolute programming, instrumental mastery and impressive musicianship. She played three substantial works, including the opening Second Engl...
SYMPHONY
BEYOND THE GOLDEN GATE
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Three works composed within three years of each other were programmed in the San Francisco Symphony’s concert in Weill Hall on Oct. 16, but each was sharply different. Before a nearly full house, conductor Stéphane Denève opened with Barber’s iconic Adagio for Strings, Op. 11, in a compelling but ...
SYMPHONY
LATE-INNING HEROICS
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Much like a home baseball team that scores the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, the Santa Rosa Symphony saved the best for last in its Sunday afternoon concert on Oct. 12. They led off with a tentative but ultimately captivating reading of Richard Strauss's "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks,...
RECITAL
MAGICAL GUITAR MASTERY IN KANENGISER'S SCHROEDER RECITAL
by Chloe Tucker
Friday, October 10, 2014
William Kanengiser is known to many in the classical guitar world as one of today’s most virtuosic players, and his recital October 10 in Sonoma State’s new Schroeder Hall was a fine testimony to his stellar reputation. Mr. Kanengiser took the stage with all the charming felicity of a player who si...
SYMPHONY
PROPULSIVE BERLIOZ AND CONSUMMATE CONDUCTOR STAR AT MARIN SYMPHONY
by Terry McNeill
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
It’s not an easy task to upstage the virtuoso cellist Zuill Bailey, but Marin Symphony conductor Alasdair Neale did it convincingly in a Sept. 30 concert at the Marin Center Auditorium. Mr. Bailey didn’t easily relinquish the starring role and played an eloquent and urbane performance in St. Saëns’...
SYMPHONY
INTOXICATING ORCHESTRAL SONORITIES
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 28, 2014
For the first Sunday afternoon concert of their 16th season, on Sept. 28, the Sonoma County Philharmonic presented an all-Russian program that spotlighted intoxicating orchestral sonorities and heroic conducting from Norman Gamboa. He opened with a stunning performance of Kabalevsky's snappy overtur...
RECITAL
THE BALLADE OF JUHO POHJONEN
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Planning a piano program around a single theme or name can be tricky because cutesy connections can easily displace artistic merit. Fortunately, Juho Pohjonen's Sept. 14 recital in the inaugural "Sundays at Schroeder" concert was a textbook example of a successful theme--ballades--supported by wonde...
CHAMBER
POTENT STUDENT WORKS IN ARIADNE TRIO CONCERT
by Nicki Bell
Sunday, August 24, 2014
On a lovely August 24 afternoon the Trio Ariadne played the seventh of ten concerts inaugurating the opening of SSU’s Schroeder Hall in the Green Music Center. It was part of a celebratory splash to introduce the music community to this little jewel of a hall, the 250-seat capacity and acoustics pe...
Local Concerts  
RECITAL REVIEW
Santa Rosa Junior College Chamber Concerts / Sunday, October 19, 2014
Anton Nel, piano

Pianist Anton Nel

IMPECCABLE ARTISTIC TASTE IN ANTON NEL SRJC RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reporting on a recital by the Austin-based pianist Anton Nel is a predictably satisfying task. His playing Oct. 19 in SRJC’s Newman Auditorium mirrored a recital on the same stage nearly two years ago and showcased a high level of professionalism and artistry.

Beginning with Mozart’s D Major "Duport Variations," K. 573, Mr. Nel continued just where he left off in 2012, offering an urbane and witty performance. A cornucopia of small details--just a touch of pedal at phrase endings, pearly scales and a smooth cross-hand technique--provided shape to the various touches the pianist used. In this late set of variations, written two years before his untimely death, Mozart radically changes Duport’s theme instead of merely embroidering it. Mr. Nel’s performance was flawless.

Five Debussy Preludes from the 12 of Book II came next, beginning with the sharp rhythms of General Levine – Eccentric. The pianist emphasized the dynamic extremes, very different from the lyricism of Bruyères and the scherzo-like mood changes of the insouciant water sprite Ondine.

The imaginative La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune demonstrated Mr. Nel’s sovereign control over chordal weighting and subtle thematic underlinings. The concluding Feux d’artifice had glittering arpeggios and trills and explosive chords, frenetic when needed to convey a sound of Parisian fireworks. It was the most difficult of the set but seemed to be child’s play under Mr. Nel’s commanding pianistic control.

Can this artist play at any level below magisterial? Not at this recital. The first half’s concluding A Flat Chopin Ballade was a case study in Romantic pianism of repose and space. Using careful pedaling, he drew a burnished sound from the instrument. Nothing was out of place in this most lyrical of the four great Ballades. Mr. Nel eschewed pianistic heroics and extended ritards. His was a performance of impeccable conception and taste.

This reviewer was unable to hear the sole second half work, Schubert’s mighty B Flat Sonata, D. 960, but others reported that it was a transcendent performance.

Events Calendar

CHAMBER
Napa Valley Music Associates
Saturday, November 08, 2014
3:00 PM - Napa
Virtuosi Quintet: Elizabeth Condon, oboe; Larry Tietz, clarinet; James Jeter, bassoon; Douglas Lyons
Music of Bach, Hindemith, Grieg and Ligetti Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door...
Details

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Sunday, November 09, 2014
3:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Bruno Ferrandis, conductor; Christian Poltéra, cello
Dutilleux: Tout un Monde Lointain (A Whole Distant World); Beethoven: Symphony No. 7; Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun...
Details

RECITAL
Dominican University of California Guest Concert Series
Sunday, November 09, 2014
3:00 PM - San Rafael
Kevin Kenner, piano
Schubert: Fantasy in C Major, Op. 15 (Wanderer); Liszt: Ballade No. 2; Chopin: Twenty-Four Preludes, Op. 28 $18 general, seniors over 60 $15. Students under 18, free...
Details

CHAMBER
Vallejo Symphony
Sunday, November 09, 2014
3:00 PM - Vallejo
Diane Maltester, clarinet; LaDene Otsuki, piano; Dawn Foster-Dodson, cello
Bernstein: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano; Beethoven: Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in B Flat, Op. 11/38...
Details

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Monday, November 10, 2014
8:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Bruno Ferrandis, conductor. Christian Poltéra, cello
Debussy: Prelude to an Afternoon of a Faun; Beethoven: Symphony No. 7; Dutilleux: Tout un Monde Lointain (A Whole Distant World)...
Details

CHAMBER
Music at Oakmont
Thursday, November 13, 2014
1:30 PM - Santa Rosa
Musica Pacifica. Judith Lissenberg, recorder; Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; Charles Sherman, harps
Program: TBA Program open to Oakmont residents and their guests...
Details

CHAMBER
Santa Rosa Junior College Chamber Concerts
Friday, November 14, 2014
7:30 PM - Santa Rosa
New Esterházy Quartet
Quartets for Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia. Pleyel: Quartet in D Minor, Op.8, No. 3; Haydn: Quartet in D, Op.50, No. 6; Mozart: B Flat Quartet, K. 599...
Details

CHORAL AND VOCAL
Agamemnon
Friday, November 14, 2014
7:30 PM - Rohnert Park
Sonoma Musica Viva
Concert version of Agamemnon...
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SYMPHONY
Sonoma County Philharmonic
Saturday, November 15, 2014
8:00 PM - Santa Rosa
Norman Gamboa, conductor. Manuel Matarrita, piano. California Redwood Chorale
Dvorak: Serenade for wind instruments in D Minor, Op. 44; Mozart: Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488; Beethoven: Choral Fantasy in C Minor, Op. 80...
Details

CHAMBER
Redwood Arts Council
Saturday, November 15, 2014
7:30 PM - Occidental
Escher Quartet
Haydn: Quartet in D Major, Op. 50, No. 6 (Frog); Shostakovich: Quartet in E-flat minor, Op. 144; Dvorak Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 51...
Details