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Thursday, October 30, 2014
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 Recent Reviews
RECITAL
FRANCK ORGAN WORKS SUBLIMELY PLAYED BY MANWELL IN CAS RECITAL
by Jim Harrod
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Organist Philip Manwell played a sublime recital of the major organ works of César Franck October 26 at Santa Rosa’s Resurrection Parish. The concert was a delightful treat both for those not acquainted with Franck’s organ music and for the many organists in the audience who have studied the Belgian...
CHAMBER
A BRUCH SURPRISE IN TRIO'S SCHROEDER CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Part of the Trio Navarro’s sterling reputation rests with the rare repertoire they perform. So it was a bit of a surprise Oct. 26 in Schroeder Hall when they programmed popular works by Beethoven and Rachmaninoff. Somehow Max Bruch pieces managed to sneak into the mix. The Bruch in a way stole th...
SYMPHONY
DARK SPIRITS IN SPOOKY ANDERSON AND ROE WEILL PROGRAM
by Sonia Tubridy
Friday, October 24, 2014
The Anderson and Roe piano duo have been a force in the music world for over a decade. Their arrangements and performances present virtuoso abilities and commitment to engaging audiences in the beauty and drama of classical music, juxtaposed with contemporary artists' music of other genres. The conc...
RECITAL
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 "Dupor...
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...
Local Concerts  
RECITAL REVIEW
Bell Bax Duo / Friday, October 24, 2014
Joshua Bell, violin; Alessio Bax, piano

Violinist Joshua Bell

THREE DISPARATE SONATAS HIGHLIGHT BELL'S SR SYMPHONY BENEFIT IN WELLS

by Nicki Bell
Friday, October 24, 2014

Superstar violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Alessio Bax made the Well Fargo Center their first stop Oct. 24 on their world tour, and it was a scintillating benefit recital for the Santa Rosa Symphony.

Mr. Bellʼs virtuosity and musicianship have elicited universal critical praise including sweetness of tone, sinuous phrasing, unforced ease, expressiveness, sensuality and drama without exaggeration. All were on splendid display in violin and piano sonatas of Schubert, Grieg and Prokofiev. Mr. Bax was a perfect match for Mr. Bell in expressiveness, nuances, and exciting story telling of these sonatas.

Capturing the emotional power and narrative with its punctuation is telling a story in music, and these two handsome black-clad figures spun golden sound with a natural rise and fall of phrases that reminded one of the physicality and finesse of fine dancers. Each work was played from score.

Schubertʼs four-movement Sonata in A Major, “Duo,” D.574 Op. 162, from 1817, opened the program. Strong thematic unity connected the movements. Mr. Bellʼs elegant string tone and delicacy of pianissimo in the long fluid lines were memorable. In the last movement he was a dancer with his instrument. The three-movement Op. 8 Grieg Sonata in F Major that ended the first half provided ample contrast. Composed in the summer of 1865 while the Norwegian master was on holiday, this youthful work depicts the sunny side of life and is full of physicality from both the violin and piano. The opening movement had a graceful performance in the style of Mendelssohn and Schumann, and the finale was fresh and convincing.

After intermission the Prokofiev F Minor Sonata, Op.80, was the other end of the emotional spectrum. Dark and brooding, this is music about death and was composed during WW II. The slithering violin scale passages at the end of the first and fourth movements the composer described as “wind passing through a grave yard,” and the rigid and clipped cadences were played in a manner that created an image of military power.

Mr. Bell spoke to the packed Well’s audience about the sonata and described it as a march to death, with the second movement hell, the third Heaven and the last part very dark and bringing back the graveyard. Perfect for an early view of Halloween. Mr. Bell and Mr. Bax didnʼt just play the music, they were the music.

Two encores lightened the mood, beginning with Sarasateʼs thrilling dance Introduction and Tarantella, and then the soulful Rachmaninoff “Vocalise” brought the rich evening to a close.

Two interesting notes from Mr. Bell’s career are the Washington Post story about his playing Bach incognito to rushing and often oblivious commuters in a DC Metro station, and having his 300-year old Stradavarius violin stolen backstage in New York.

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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RECITAL
The Romeros
Saturday, November 15, 2014
7:30 PM - Rohnert Park
Celedonio, Celin, Pepe and Angel Romero, guitar
Music written for the Romeros and works by Rodrigo, Albéniz and Sor...
Details

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