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Sunday, April 20, 2014
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 Recent Reviews
RECITAL
RUSSIAN PIANIST, RUSSIAN MUSIC, RUSSIAN DRAMA
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 13, 2014
In the season’s penultimate Sonoma Classical Music Society concert on Sunday afternoon, April 13, Russian pianist Anastasia Dedik played an all-Russian program that was heavy on drama with just a modicum of lyricism. Two Rachmaninoff Etudes Tableaux opened the program, the E-Flat Minor from Op. 33 ...
CHAMBER
THEMATIC OPULENCE FROM THE TRIO NAVARRO
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 06, 2014
Northern California’s Trio Navarro presented just two works in an April 6 Weill Hall concert, an event with consummate playing, inspired drama and ample thematic richness. Schubert’s B-Flat Major Trio, D. 898, was the evening’s highlight and was familiar fare for the estimable Navarro. The wonderfu...
CHAMBER
LUSH ZEMLINSKY AND A PREMIERE IN ARIADNE'S WEILL CONCERT
by Nicki Bell
Friday, April 04, 2014
Trio Ariadne played a riveting concert April 4 in Weill Hall as part of Sonoma State’s Music Department Spring Series. This concert had something juicy for all musical tastes. The program spanned centuries and moods with a Beethoven pot pourri, a world premiere from an Icelandic composer, and a lus...
RECITAL
WARM SPRING MUSIC AND ART IN CAS ORGAN RECITAL
by Jim Harrod
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Spring brought flowers and the virtuoso organist Faythe Freese to play a joyful recital on March 23 at Santa Rosa’s Resurrection Parish. Both the artist and the beautiful spring weather were most welcome, and the event was part of the Creative Arts Series. Ms. Freese, Professor of Organ at The Un...
SYMPHONY
A TOUR DE FORCE OF SONIC SPLENDOR
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 23, 2014
On paper the Santa Rosa Symphony's March 23 concert in Weill Hall looked promising and even provocative, with a world-premiere concerto, a famous solo violist and two flashy Russian orchestral works. But as often is the case, in unexpected ways the whole was not equal to the sum of the parts. Behza...
CHAMBER
GLASS TOWER SHINES IN CATALYST QUARTET CONCERT
by Linda McLaughlin
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
A concert produced by Brave New Music and featuring the Catalyst Quartet March 18 in Healdsburg’s SHED Grange Hall was a delight from almost any standpoint, or sitting point. Unlike the first Brave New Music concert last November, this time there were no visual accompaniments (film) behind the perfo...
SYMPHONY
NEW-WORLD ORCHESTRAL MASTERY
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Orchestral splendor and dynamic contrast were the hallmarks of the American Philharmonic's (APSC) third concert of the 2014 season March 15 before an enthusiastic audience of 400 in the Santa Rosa High School Performing Arts Center. With the concert titled "From the New World," the music needed to d...
SYMPHONY
AMPLE EVIDENCE OF A BRIGHT FUTURE
by Terry McNeill
Friday, March 14, 2014
An inaugural concert for a new area orchestra is a special deal, and the fledgling North Bay Sinfonietta’s March 14 concert in Santa Rosa’s First Presbyterian Church gave ample evidence of a bright future. Organized and conducted by Cynthia Weichel, the Sinfonietta’s 30-plus members filled the cram...
CHAMBER
GHOSTS AND GYPSIES USHER IN THE SPRING
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, March 13, 2014
As a harbinger of spring, the Boston Trio brought sprightly piano trios of Haydn and Beethoven to their Music at Oakmont concert March 13 in Berger Auditorium. Happily the long and weighty Dvorak F Minor Trio, Op. 65, didn't manage to dampen the warm afternoon's ambiance. The Dvorak performance was...
SYMPHONY
BE EMBRACED, YOU MILLIONS
by Steve Osborn
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Mere prose is inadequate to describe how good the Vienna Philharmonic was at Weill Hall on March 11, but perhaps a waltz title will do the job. How about "Seid umschlungen, Millionen" (Be embraced, you millions)? That was the Johann Strauss encore the orchestra played after their superlative guest c...
Local Concerts  
RECITAL REVIEW
MasterCard Performance Series / Sunday, April 13, 2014
Deborah Voigt, soprano. Brian Zeger, piano

Soprano Deborah Voigt

DRAMATIC DIVA SINGS WORKS OF AMERICAN COMPOSERS IN WEILL

by Vaida Falconbridge
Sunday, April 13, 2014

After opening her April 13 Weill Hall recital with the bright “The Year’s at the Spring,” probably Amy Beach’s best-known song, soprano Deborah Voigt paused for a moment to say to the audience, “When we were putting the program together, we had no idea it would be so apropos!” Continuing with the other two songs in the Op. 44 set with lyrics by Robert Browning, listeners got a foretaste of the thick, rich and steely-brilliant tone that we were to enjoy for the next hour and a half, as well as the charm, humor, and wit that exude from this justly-celebrated American diva.

Beach was the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music, although she was best known for her 150 songs. A fine pianist as well, her song accompaniments are calculated to demand exceptional skills from any pianist partnering with a singer, and Brian Zeger proved to be a superb and flawless fellow artist at the piano throughout the afternoon.

The second set on the program featured two songs from Tchaikovsky’s Seven Romances, Op. 47, composed in 1880. Ms. Voigt performed No. 6, wherein the hero declares that no matter what the external world brings, love is all that matters, and No.7, in which a young girl expresses her sorrow at being betrothed to an older man she does not love, comparing herself to a little blade of grass mowed down in the field. The combination of the swirling, challenging piano part and the great swells of passionate vocal phrasing was an especially effective showcase for Ms. Voigt’s warm, rich, focused midrange.

Finishing out the first half was a group of five Richard Strauss songs, a composer for whom she has a special affinity and whose music has been a stellar part of her career. One standout was “Schlechtes Wetter” (“Bad Weather”) which told a cute little story of a mother going out in a dark, cold storm to buy ingredients to bake a cake for her chubby little daughter lying at home in a warm armchair. “Lob des Leidens,” Op. 15, No. 3, was particularly memorable for the unstoppable torrents of gorgeous sound pouring out of Ms. Voigt’s throat. All in all, it was a superlative set showcasing the music’s variety of intensity and color.

The second half opened with an unexpected pleasure, eliciting audible “oohs,” “aahs” and extra applause from the audience: the singer walked onto the stage wearing a stunning cream-colored “diva” gown that was a throwback to old Hollywood glamor, with generous swaths of draping and a large glittering sequined medallion at the waist.

Ben Moore was the next composer, and his compositions have been called brilliant and gorgeously lyrical by critics, with praise for the “easy tunefulness” and “romantic sweep” of his songs. The four sung here ran the gamut of lush to poignant to humorous, with perfectly clear diction and mood projection on Ms. Voigt’s part.

William Bolcom has been quoted as wanting to erase boundaries between popular and art music. Hence, his “Cabaret Songs” have been popular with singers, three of which Ms. Voigt sang to a warm reception. She encouraged the audience from the stage, “Please don’t look at your programs. It’ll be a test of my diction!” We heard “George,” “At the Last Lousy Moments of Love” (its mood of indignation adorned with highly interesting vocal effects including grit and growls) and the humorous “Toothbrush Time.” All the words were clear as a bell.

The final set featured six songs by Leonard Bernstein, again with a wide range of moods and styles, displaying the full panoply of Ms. Voigt’s vocal range, colors and textures. She negotiates her low range so skillfully that you might be forgiven for thinking you were hearing a top-notch mezzo. There was a short and charming “patter song” titled “Piccola serenata,” the bluesy “It’s gotta be bad to be good” from the Broadway musical On the Town, after which the artist wittily interjected, “Not the sort of song you’d expect Brunnhilde to sing!” The set and recital ended with the beautifully introspective yet grand “Somewhere” from West Side Story, evoking an enthusiastic standing ovation.

There were two encores, neither of which was at all conventional. The first was Irving Berlin’s “I Love a Piano” wherein Ms. Voigt sang all the charming words, and then topped it off by sitting down at the keyboard with Mr. Zeger and playing a honkytonk piano duo with him, and then topped THAT off by turning to the audience and winking at everyone while she was still tickling the ivories The second encore was Jerome Kern’s “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” from the musical Showboat. Starting the song out croony, then belty, and ending operatically grand, Ms. Voigt showed herself to be an artist at the peak of her powers, who knows exactly what she wants to say, and the best way to say it.

Events Calendar

CHORAL AND VOCAL
American Bach Soloists
Friday, April 25, 2014
8:00 PM - Belvedere
Jeffrey Thomas, director.
Bach: "Aus der tiefen rufe ich, herr, zudir" (Cantata 131). Motets: Ich lasse dich nicht; Jauchzet demherrn, alle walt, komm, Jesu, komm; Der geist hilft unser Schwach heit auf. Mendelssohn: Motet - ...
Details

CHAMBER
Alfiara String Quartet
Friday, April 25, 2014
7:30 PM - Santa Rosa
Juri Cho and Valerie Li, violin; David Samuel, viola; Adrian Fung, cello
Program: TBA...
Details

RECITAL
Petaluma History Museum
Friday, April 25, 2014
7:30 PM - Petaluma
Betany Coffland, mezzo-soprano; Aaron Larget-Caplan, guitarist.
Britten: Song for the Chinese; music of Dowland, Handel, Falla, Hahn Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door, and includes a selection of local wines. Produced by the Museum and Wilibees ...
Details

CHORAL AND VOCAL
Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus
Friday, April 25, 2014
8:00 PM - Petaluma
Daniel Earl, conductor. California Redwood Chorale, Robert Hazelrigg, conductor
Lauridsen: Lux Aeterna, with orchestra. Sure on this Shining Night. Other works TBA Admission is $15 ...
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SYMPHONY
American Philharmonic Sonoma County
Saturday, April 26, 2014
8:00 PM - Santa Rosa
Norman Gamboa, conductor. Yova Milanova, violin. Chorus and soloists TBA
Rossini: Overture to the opera L'Italiana in Algeri; Mozart: Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219 "Turkish"; Rossini: Stabat Mater...
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CHORAL AND VOCAL
Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus
Saturday, April 26, 2014
8:00 PM - Santa Rosa
Dan Earl, conductor. California Redwood Chorale, Robert Hazelrigg, director
Lauridsen: Lux Aeterna; Sure on This Shining Night; other works TBA Tickets: $15 per person ...
Details

RECITAL
MasterCard Performance Series
Sunday, April 27, 2014
3:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Hilary Hahn, violin; Cory Smythe, piano
Antón García Abril: Three Sighs; Richard Barrett: Shade; Mozart: Sonata for violin and piano TBA; Schoenberg: Phantasy for Violin and Piano,Op. 47; Schubert: Fantasia in C Major for Violin and Piano, ...
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YOUTH
Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra
Sunday, April 27, 2014
3:00 PM - Santa Rosa
Tristan Arnold and Bobby Rogers, conductors. Santa
Rosa Symphony Preparatory and Repertory Orche
Program: TBA...
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SYMPHONY
American Philharmonic Sonoma County
Sunday, April 27, 2014
3:00 PM - Santa Rosa
Norman Gamboa, conductor. Yova Milanova, violin. Chorus and soloists TBA
Rossini: Overture to the opera "L'Italiana in Algeri"; Mozart: Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 291 "Turkish"; Rossini: Stabat Mater...
Details

CHAMBER
Trio Navarro
Sunday, April 27, 2014
4:00 PM - Petaluma
Marilyn Thompson, piano; Jill Rachuey Brindel, cello; Victor Romasevich, violin
Beethoven: Trio, Op. 1, No. 2: Andriasov: Trio: Dvorak: Trio in F Minor, Op. 65 Admission: $10; students under 12 are free...
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