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Thursday, January 29, 2015
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 Recent Reviews
SYMPHONY
ZOOLOGICAL THEME RESOUNDS IN SPLENDID VSO HOGAN CONCERT
by Elizabeth Warnimont
Sunday, January 25, 2015
A pair of virtuosic young pianists wowed the crowd Jan. 25 at the Vallejo Symphony Orchestra concert in Vallejo’s Hogan Auditorium, and part of the proceeds from the mostly animal-themed music benefited the Humane Society of the North Bay. Symphony conductor David Ramadanoff warmed up the afternoon...
CHORAL AND VOCAL
A BRIGHT AXIS FOR ABS HANDEL AND BACH IN MARIN
by Joanna Bramel Young
Friday, January 23, 2015
American Bach Soloists’ opening concert of their 26th season, with performances of Bach’s beloved Fourth Brandenburg Concerto and Handel’s touchingly pastoral Acis and Galatea. The Fourth Brandenburg is one of six that Bach sent as a gift to the Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg in 17...
RECITAL
BRINGING NOTES TO SHIMMERING LIFE
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 18, 2015
David McCarroll and Roy Bogas opened the 2015 “Sundays at Schroeder” series at the Green Music Center Jan. 18 in a recital that featured admirable virtuosity and a provocative repertoire. They began with Mozart’s two-movement E Minor Sonata, K. 304. The work is at turns is sinister and tranquil, a...
SYMPHONY
AMERICANA WITH A FLASHING BOW
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Mark O'Connor is an extraordinary fiddler, as he amply demonstrated via his bravura performance with the Santa Rosa Symphony on Sunday afternoon. Whether he is an extraordinary composer is open to debate. The audience had ample time to judge O'Connor's compositional skills during the program, half ...
CHAMBER
MOZART IN THE MIX
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Napa Valley Music Associates 20th annual Mozart concert Jan. 11 was a mostly Mozart event at the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, but five mostly romantic composers happily joined the musical mix. Jassen Todorov was the featured violinist in two Sonatas, the F Major (K. 377) and the B Flat (K. 378), partn...
CHAMBER
WINDS WARM LAKEPORT CHAMBER CONCERT
by Cathy Kaiser
Sunday, January 11, 2015
The cold winter weather, so common to Lake County in January, gave way to warm winds Jan.11 as the La Voce Del Vento Chamber Players presented their first concert of 2015 with guest pianist Aaron Ames. Formed in 1982 by bassoonist Ann Hubbard, La Voce Del Vento (The Voice of the Wind) introduced Lak...
RICH PALETTE OF CELLO COLORS IN ARRON-PARK OAKMONT RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, January 08, 2015
Rachmaninoff’s haunting cello sonata highlighted Music at Oakmont’s first 2015 concert Jan. 8 in the retirement community’s spacious Berger Auditorium. In a reading that was both muscular and lush cellist Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park explored the ripe romanticism of the Russian’s 1901 G Min...
CHORAL AND VOCAL
ABS PERFORMS HANDEL'S MESSIAH IN TRIUMPHAL WEILL HALL DEBUT
by Joanna Bramel Young
Sunday, December 21, 2014
The American Bach Soloists (ABS) made their Sonoma County debut at Weill Hall December 19, performing the three-hour-long oratorio “Messiah” to a full house. In the 25 years since its founding in Marin the ABS has achieved world renown, and has long performed regularly in Belvedere, San Francisco, ...
CHAMBER
NEW CENTURY AND SF CHORUS CHARMS WEILL AUDIENCE IN CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
by Sonia Tubridy
Friday, December 12, 2014
On December 12 a good-sized audience came out of the cold evening into the warmth and light of Weill Hall, and soon the regal warmth and light of beautiful music filled the auditorium and hearts of those present. Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with New Century Chamber Orchestra launched into a s...
SYMPHONY
SYMPHONY'S STRAVINSKY A WIND AND RHYTHMIC FEAST
by Terry McNeill
Monday, December 08, 2014
Santa Rosa Symphony conductor Bruno Ferrandis put together a curious program mix Dec. 8 in Weill Hall that on paper promised a culture clash, but actually delivered a memorable musical experience. Composers often fashion suites from orchestral works, and just as often the shorter suite can be more ...
Local Concerts  
RECITAL REVIEW
Mastercard Performance Series / Saturday, January 24, 2015
Yo Yo Ma, cello

Cellist Yo Yo Ma

MESMERIZING BACH AND CASALS IN MA'S WEILL HALL RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cellist Yo Yo Ma’s warm friendship with North Coast audiences entered a new chapter Jan. 24 in a standing-room only and stage seats Weill Hall recital. Playing three Bach Suites for solo cello, Mr. Ma could have echoed the young Liszt’s famous comment, “the concert is me.”

But the concert was really about Bach, and Mr. Ma’s dedication and mastery for these ever-fresh works composed in the early 1720s in Cöthen, Germany. Wearing a simple dark suit he walked quickly on stage to first of four ovations, and with his trademark grin got down to business with the G Major (No. 1), BWV 1007.

The lack of winter audience coughs was a surprising bonus, and the cellist made the most of the hall’s silence to fashion an evening’s Bach that spotlighted rhythmic virtuosity rather than a constantly speedy bow and work on the fingerboard. It seemed there was never an extended presto the entire night, and Mr. Ma was in no hurry to get anywhere in this Suite and the No. 5 in C Minor (BWV 1011) that closed the first half.

All through both works the pianissimo playing was superb with varied attacks and textures in the repeats and a fluid legato with minimal vibrato. Often there was no vibrato at all in long-held notes at the end of silken phrases. These were carefully balanced interpretations, often restrained and emphasizing the subtlest changes in tempo and inflection. The crescendos were long and beautifully paced.

Mr. Ma drew a warm geniality in the concluding C Major Suite (No. 3, BWV 1009) and the sonority was underscored in his cello by the use of low open C string in chords. His control of multiple stops was sovereign in this seven-movement suite. The plaintive and magisterial Sarabande was at the center of his reading, and the Gigue came forth as a rustic dance with pedal point.

Responding to a spirited standing ovation Mr. Ma eschewed in an encore something popular and fast (the Gigue from the E Flat Suite) or popular and slow (St. Saëns’ “Swan”) and paid homage in audience remarks to Pablo Casals, who in modern times first played the six Suites together and first recorded them in 1936. He played a mesmerizing “The Song of the Birds” that the Catalan cellist wrote in the 1930s. The shimmering long phrases and luminous trills sounded out in a Weill Hall where nearly 1,500 people breathed as one with the extraordinary musician.


Events Calendar

CHAMBER
Roe-Thorsteindøttir Duo
Sunday, February 01, 2015
2:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Elizabeth Joy Roe, piano; Sæunn Thorsteinsdøttir, cello
Britten: Cello Sonata in C; Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonata in G, Op. 19: Beethoven: Variations on "Bei Männer" from the opera "The Magic Flute" (Mozart)...
Details

CHAMBER
Brave New Music
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
8:00 PM - Healdsburg
Szymanowski Quartet. Agata Szymczewska and Grzegorz Koloq, violin; Vladimir Mykytka, viola; Marcin S
Szymanowski: Nocturne and Tarantella; Mussorgski: Pictures at an Exhibition (unknown arranger); Bacewicz: String Quartet No.4 Admission is $25...
Details

CHAMBER
Mastercard Performance Series
Friday, February 06, 2015
7:30 PM - Rohnert Park
Emerson String Quartet. Eugene Drucker and Philip Setser, violin; Lawrence Dutton, viola; Paul Watki
Mozart: Quartet in G Major, K. 387; Ravel: Quartet in F Major; Beethoven: Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 127...
Details

CHORAL AND VOCAL
Cantiamo Sonoma
Friday, February 06, 2015
6:00 PM - Santa Rosa
Choral Evensong: Cantiamo Sonoma, directed by Carol Menke. Joey Prather, organ
Evensong service in the Anglican tradition with music by Richard Ayleward, Jan Sweelinck, Richard Shephard, and Healey Willan....
Details

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Saturday, February 07, 2015
8:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Bruno Ferrandis, conductor. J. P.Jofre, bandoneón
Márquez: Danzón No. 2; Pablo Ortiz: Concerto for Bandoneón (world premiere); Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73...
Details

SYMPHONY
Ukiah Symphony
Saturday, February 07, 2015
8:00 PM - Ukiah
Les Pfutzenreuter, conductor. Joel Cohen, cello
Bizet: Symphony in C; Beethoven: Overture to the Play Egmont: Tchaikovsky: Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo There...
Details

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Sunday, February 08, 2015
3:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Bruno Ferrandis, conductor. JP Jofre, bandoneón
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73; Marquez: Danzón No. 2; Pablo Ortiz: Concerto for Bandoneón (world premiere)...
Details

SYMPHONY
Ukiah Symphony
Sunday, February 08, 2015
3:00 PM - Ukiah
Les Pfutzenreuter, conductor. Joel Cohen, cello
Beethoven: Overture of "Egmont": Bizet: Symphony in C; Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme...
Details

CHAMBER
Redwood Empire American Guild of Organists
Sunday, February 08, 2015
2:00 PM - Cloverdale
Lois Fyfe Music
Sacred music workshop for organists and choral directors, 2 to 4 p.m. $15 donation. RSVP to 707 935-3610 or (cell) 707 695-6838....
Details

SYMPHONY
Santa Rosa Symphony
Monday, February 09, 2015
8:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Bruno Ferrandis, conductor. J.P. Jofre, bandoneón
Pablo Ortiz: Concerto for Bandoneón (world premiere); Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73; Marquez: Danzón No. 2...
Details