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Saturday, July 23, 2016
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 Recent Reviews
CHAMBER
PERIOD INSTRUMENT SOUND AT VOM FESTIVAL'S OPENING CONCERT AT HANNA CENTER
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Every summer music festival has a unique character, and the Valley of the Moon Music Festival in Sonoma has the singular character of stressing period instruments that sound well for mostly period repertoire. In the Festival’s opening concert July 17 this was best in evidence for two Beethoven wor...
RECITAL
BALANCED VIRTUOSITY IN ATZINGER MMF RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Pianist Christopher Atzinger’s Mendocino Music Festival recital July 16 in the small Preston Hall looked formidable on paper larded with what might be said to be “non festival, non summer” music. There were no light Gershwin or Schubert dance works, and for some the six pieces from Brahms’ Op. 118 ...
OPERA
ONE-NIGHT STAND AT MMF'S ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO
by Terry McNeill
Friday, July 15, 2016
Mozart’s Opera “Abduction from the Seraglio” has a long reputation as being tough for singers, and it was with some trepidation that I entered the Mendocino Music Festival’s massive white tent July 15 to hear and see the new production from the 30th season. Not to Worry. Conducted by Festival Arti...
RECITAL
OF ANGELS, DEMONS AND ENCORES
by Kayleen Asbo
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Each successive event at this summer’s Mendocino Music Festival has brought an unfolding cornucopia of delights. Elements of the exceptional three previous classical programs coalesced July 14 into a magnificent and singular tour de force when pianist Robert Henry traversed the entire topography of...
OTHER
ANGUISH AND TRIUMPH IN MENDOCINO FESTIVAL'S BIG TENT
by Kayleen Asbo
Sunday, July 10, 2016
The Mendocino Music Festival is highlighting Beethoven this summer, and July 10’s program in the tent could have appropriately borrowed the subtitle from Jan Swafford’s 2014 biography of the composer, Anguish and Triumph. The Festival’s second classical concert paired two Beethoven works wit...
CHAMBER
BACHANALIAN BEGINNING AT MENDOCINO MUSIC FESTIVAL
by Kayleen Asbo
Saturday, July 09, 2016
In ancient Greece there were two gods of music, representing two different musical principles. Apollo, God of the Sun, was associated with intellectual clarity, and his was a kind of music that focused on order, balance, refinement and mathematical precision. Dionysus (known to the Romans of a lat...
CHAMBER
CHAMBERFEST ENDS WITH SUMPTUOUS ALL-MOZART CONCERT IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, June 26, 2016
SSU’s ChamberFest concluded its second season June 26 with what was predicted to be a capstone concert, the last in a sterling series of seven devoted to Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn. And the all-Mozart concert in Weill Hall came close to being the most memorable of all, but not quite. Before ...
CHAMBER
SCHUBERT, MOZART AND MIRÓ IN CHAMBERFEST FIVE AT SCHROEDER
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Saturday, June 25, 2016
SSU’s ChamberFest Program Five June 25 was humorously introduced by members of the Miró Quartet as a Schubert sandwich with Mozart French Horn filling.  The audience enjoyed the witty but also profoundly serious attitude. This would be a delicious treat presented by the musicians with zest. Both the...
CHAMBER
PENULTIMATE CHAMBERFEST CONCERT HAS LYRICAL POWER
by Sonia Morse Tubridy and Nicki Bell
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Program six June 25 of the summer ChamberFest at Schroeder was once again a concert memorable on its own but also, for those who attended the whole series, a beautiful finale to a grand and concentrated chamber music experience. Each concert illuminated the others and created musical and emotional c...
CHAMBER
EVEREST AND A MAGIC STEED
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, June 24, 2016
Program three of SSU’s ongoing ChamberFest, directed by Jeffrey Kahane, was an afternoon concert and opened with Mozart's E-Flat Divertimento string trio, K. 563, a piece in its own category and a first of its kind when composed by Mozart in 1776. Many string quartets by that time been composed and ...
Local Concerts  
SYMPHONY REVIEW
Mendocino Music Festival / Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Festival Orchestra, Alan Pollack, conductor. David McCarroll, violin

Violinist David McCarroll

HEROISM AND SUBTLETY IN ALL-BEETHOVEN MMF CONCERT

by Paula Mulligan
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Much of the emphasis of this year’s Mendocino Music Festival has been about Beethoven, and a series of small venue performances with Beethoven lectures by Festival co-director Susan Waterfall preceded the July 20 orchestra performance in the big tent on Mendocino’s main street.

From the opening bars of the composer’s D Major (Op. 61) Violin Concerto it was apparent that the orchestra was well prepared. The exposition was played with clean attacks, precision and wonderfully shaped dynamics.  The strong punctuations of timpanist Tyler Mack and short, incisive string chords contrasted beautifully with the lyrical threads that are so much at the heart of Beethoven, and part of his innovation as a composer.

After a long orchestral introduction the entrance of violinist David McCarroll had an indescribable sweetness, never saccharine, but with exquisite purity of tone.  Mr. McCarroll plays with elegance and great depth, as well as a flawless technique that allows him to express what he feels in the music from 1806.   

Near the end of the first movement it was startling to hear an altogether different cadenza from what one usually hears, and percussion playing was part of the cadenza, joining the violin solo in a way that was utterly new to me.  Research revealed that it had been the cadenza used in the piano version of this piece in which Beethoven himself was the soloist, and is rarely performed.  Mr. Mack’s playing was a crucial component of this work and he played with exquisite precision as Mr. McCarroll demonstrated his virtuosity and musicality. 

The second Larghetto movement, dreamy and lyrical, found the woodwinds providing support and melodic lines of their own, and flowed beautifully. Near the movement’s end another short transitional cadenza lead into the whimsical theme of the last movement, and showed the humor that generated quite audible audience chuckles.  It was a thoroughly delightful performance.    Conductor Alan Pollack drew from the orchestra sensitive support for the soloist and never covered his most tender pianissimos.  Mr. McCarroll, while brilliant with the bow, did not depend on brilliance alone, but on the sweet and understated expression that left many of the 500 in the audience leaning forward in their seats to catch every subtle nuance.

The E-Flat Major Symphony (Eroica), Op. 55, came at a turning point in Beethoven’s tumultuous life, and the two strong chords at the opening of the Allegro con Brio showed the precision and incisiveness that Mr. Pollack extracted from the Festival orchestra. Nothing tentative here, whether it is in the suppressed excitement of a barely audible pianissimo or the buildup to yet another crescendo.  It is an exciting work that requires orchestral virtuosity from every section.  The conductor paid minute attention to details that make the difference between a competent performance and one that is truly musical, with each phrase shaped and moving forward. 

In the second movement, Marcia Funebre, the performance was contained and dignified with beautifully articulated strings, and a fine bass section that lead into each phrase with an unusual flourish in lower registers. Within this movement there are still contrasts, with the woodwinds providing well executed counter melodies.  The Scherzo began softly, and once again passages in pianissimo retained rhythmic vitality that kept the music moving and evolving while retaining a sprightly and humorous feel.

The Finale opened with a spectacular downhill run in the strings that resolved into a pizzicato passage with the woodwinds.   As the theme turned into a fugue, each line remained clear and uncluttered, having a balanced value and weight. The brass playing shone in a mighty climax. Elegant arpeggios from clarinetist Eric Kritz framed a return to a more restful theme, and brass sections leaders Bill Klingelhoffer (horn), Scott Macomber (trumpet) and Donald Benham (trombone) brought another buildup to sonorous peak before the music dropped back to calm.  This movement was a wild but wonderful roller-coaster ride with the opening theme restated before a release of tension in a famous and oft repeated sequence of tonic/dominant /tonic ending that is one of this composer’s trademarks. 

In a pre-concert event Marin County lecturer Kayleen Asbo spoke of musical alchemy, spirituality and the Gospel of Thomas.




 
 
 
  
 
 
 

Events Calendar

SYMPHONY
Mendocino Music Festival
Saturday, July 23, 2016
7:30 PM - Mendocino
Festival Orchestra and Chorus, Alan Pollack, conductor
Bach:Mass in B Minor $12 - $49...
Details

CHAMBER
Valley of the Moon Music Festival
Saturday, July 23, 2016
4:00 PM - Sonoma
Elizabeth Blumenstock, viola; Sadie Glass, horn; Holly Piccoli, violin; Kyle Stegall, tenor; Tanya T
Schubert: "Auf Dem Strom" and other songs TBA; Quartet No. 14 in D Minor (Death and the Maiden); Schubert: Song - "Death and the Maiden", D. 531 Beltane Ranch Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc will be ...
Details

CHAMBER
California Summer Music - Irene Sharp, Director
Saturday, July 23, 2016
3:00 PM - Rohnert Park
CSM faculty performers are listed on the July 5 Calendar
Program TBA Admission is free...
Details

CHAMBER
California Summer Music - Irene Sharp, Director
Saturday, July 23, 2016
8:00 PM - Rohnert Park
CSM faculty performers are listed at the July 5 Calendar entry
Program: TBA Admission is free...
Details

CHAMBER
Valley of the Moon Music Festival
Sunday, July 24, 2016
4:00 PM - Sonoma
Elizabeth Blumenstock, viola; Sadie Glass, horn; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Vivian, piano; Kyle Steg
Beethoven: Horn Sonata in F Major, Op. 17; Schumann: Liederkreis, Op. 39; Haydn: Piano Trio in D Minor...
Details

CHAMBER
California Summer Music - Irene Sharp, Director
Sunday, July 24, 2016
11:00 AM - Rohnert Park
CSM Faculty performers are listed on the Calendar entry for July 5
Program: TBA Admission is free...
Details

CHAMBER
California Summer Music - Irene Sharp, Director
Sunday, July 24, 2016
2:00 PM - Rohnert Park
CSM faculty performers are listed at the July 5 Calendar entry
Program: TBA Admission is free...
Details

CHAMBER
PianoSonoma - Vino and Vibrato Series
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
5:30 PM - Rohnert Park
Julia Glenn, violin; Mika Sasaki, Michael Shinn, Jessica Chow Shinn, Peter Dugan, piano; Emi Ferguso
C. Schumann: Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22; R. Schumann: Quintet and E-Flat Major, Op. 47 (Andante, arr. for four hands by Brahms); C. Schumann: Variations on a Theme of R. Schumann, Op....
Details

CHORAL AND VOCAL
Sonoma Bach
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
7:00 PM - Petaluma
Bob Worth, conductor. Workshop participants
Midsummer Night Sings 2016. Program TBA Tickets: $15 General and $10 Students;$45 General and $30 Students for a 4-session pass **When ordering the 4-session pass, order the July 6 $45/$30 package...
Details

OTHER
PianoSonoma - Masterclass I
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
1:15 PM - Rohnert Park
Ronald and Michael Shinn, instructors. Workshop participants
Program TBA. No admission charge...
Details