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Tuesday, April 21, 2015
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 Recent Reviews
SYMPHONY
WARM RAMADANOFF FAREWELL IN VSO'S MARE ISLAND CONCERT
by Elizabeth Warnimont
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Vallejo bid a fond farewell April 12 to a pillar of the arts community in a concert on Vallejo's Mare Island, as David Ramadanoff directed the Vallejo Symphony in his last concert as conductor. A polite but somber mood hung over Lander hall Sunday and was as pronounced as the notes produced by the ...
SYMPHONY
CONCERTO KÖLN DELIGHTS WITH RARELY-HEARD BAROQUE WORKS
by Joanna Bramel Young
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Weill Hall resonated April 11 with an agreeable group of Baroque works not often heard, though the composers are in fact well known. This assured, skilled plumbing of quiet corners of the repertoire is the specialty of Concerto Köln, based in Cologne, Germany, but received with pleasure throughout t...
CHAMBER
ANGLO BRITISH MUSIC AT OAKMONT VIOLIN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, April 09, 2015
In a balanced Music at Oakmont recital April 9 violinist Elena Urioste played an animated program featuring British and American composers, but with some compositional surprises. The first came with Paul Schoenfield’s Four Souvenirs, a suite of four pieces that combined several dance forms that wer...
CHAMBER
AUTUMNAL MAHLER SONGS BY VON STADE IN WEILL HALL CONCERT
by Mary Beard
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Sonoma State’s Music Department sponsored a farewell concert in Weill Hall March 29 for the Trio Adriadne, artists-in-residence for the last two years. Combining with the Trio (Carol McGonnell, clarinet; cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdótter; pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe) was the Argento Chamber Ensemble, di...
SYMPHONY
HARMONIC CONVERGENCE IN PHILHARMONIC CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Concluding a stellar season March 28 in the Santa Rosa High School Auditorium the Sonoma County Philharmonic played a concert rich in orchestral symmetry, mixed with a piquant flute concerto. The symmetry began with the afternoon’s initial work, Carlos Escalante Macaya’s five-part “Ineluctble…El Ti...
SYMPHONY
FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET
by Steve Osborn
Friday, March 27, 2015
Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Gil Shaham-man, the superhuman violinist! He's faster than a speeding bullet! If you long to zoom around a speedway at 200-plus miles per hour but can't afford a race car, Gil Shaham can replicate the experience for you on his violin. In his Marc...
CHAMBER
"DR. DOROTHY" CHARMS CAS ORGAN RECITAL AUDIENCE
by James Harrod
Sunday, March 22, 2015
The silver clad dancing feet of organist Dorothy Young Riess brought excitement and inspiration to organ enthusiasts March 22 at Resurrection Santa Rosa’s Resurrection Church. Standing tall and straight, poised and beautiful, in sparkling silver and black attire, this 84-year old virtuoso musician, ...
SYMPHONY
RAVISHING RUSSIAN MUSIC AND SOLOIST BURNISH SRS CONCERT IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, March 21, 2015
It’s rare in a symphony concert, even one with many surprises, that a soloist takes on two disparate concertos with mostly identical results. But it was exactly the outcome of pianist Olga Kern’s appearance March 21 with the Santa Rosa Symphony in Weill Hall. Surprises? The first came with her po...
SYMPHONY
A TROIKA TO REMEMBER
by Steve Osborn
Saturday, March 21, 2015
At the beginning of the 20th century, Russia was home to three extraordinary composers--Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Stravinsky--whose stars continue to shine. Rachmaninoff carried on the Romantic tradition, Stravinsky tried to annihilate it, and Prokofiev landed somewhere in the middle, clinging to tra...
CHAMBER
TCHAIKOVSKY'S BIG TRIO WAS FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
by Nicki Bell
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Grief and love are the catalytic converters of great art. On March 14 an almost full house in the Occidental Performing Arts Center was treated to a passionate evening of grief and love in musical outpouring from a terrific (yes, hot) award-winning ensemble. The Lysander Trio’s (named for a charac...
Local Concerts  
SYMPHONY REVIEW
San Francisco Symphony / Thursday, April 16, 2015
Pablo Heras-Casado, conductor. Igor Levitt, piano

Conductor Pablo Heras-Casado

LUMINOUS SOUND IN SF SYMPHONY WEILL HALL CONCERT

by Terry McNeill
Thursday, April 16, 2015

Though the Santa Rosa Symphony is the Green Music Center’s resident orchestra, when the San Francisco Symphony plays Weill Hall they take total artistic ownership. In the last of the four annual Bay Area run outs the SFS played a compelling program April 16 of four masterworks with flawless cohesion and virtuosity.

Using a reduced-size orchestra of no percussion and just three cellos and two basses conductor Pablo Heras-Casado directed a taut and balanced Haydn Symphony No. 44 in E Minor. In a style opposite of conductors Michael Tilson Thomas and Bruno Ferrandis Ms. Heras-Casado gets results with no baton and little body movement. The Symphony flowed elegantly from hornist Robert Wards first bucolic notes to a Presto finale that had just a touch of menace. The conductor’s deft control and precise string playing made the 1771 Haydn a refined experience, and not at all the “mourning” of the sobriquet.

Mozart’s sparkling E-Flat Major Concerto, K. 271, closed the first half with Russian pianist Igor Levit the soloist. As with the Haydn all was in place, Mr. Levit choosing a crisp and direct approach with rapid right-hand scales and a tempo to match. There were piquant solos by oboist Mingjia Liu and before the cadenza (by Mozart) a lovely piano-horn duo. This was chaste playing with not a hint of bravado or shaky rhythms.

In the plaintive Andantino Mr. Levit continuously used the shift pedal to echo the orchestra’s introspective phrases and his expressive and even trills were nonpareil. The playing in the finale was at times dramatic but never loud with concertmaster Alexander Barantschik’s violin line in a lovely “question and answer” correspondence with the pianist. Mr. Levit’s detaché touch in scales was masterly, as was his cross-hand technique and subtle accents in ascending passagework. The short ersatz solo cadenza and the urbane conducting combined to produce an assured and luminous performance.

Beautiful playing continued after intermission with Debussy’s Prélude à après d’un Faune, and flutist Tim Day’s playing of the languorous opening solo was ravishing. Mr. Heras-Casado was in ho hurry with this enchanting music, letting long phrases unfold from the clarinet, harp and horn players. This work was recently played on the same stage by the Santa Rosa Symphony in a performance of equal weight and intensity, if not quite the precision of the San Francisco players.

A full orchestra compliment was marshaled for the evenings’ last work, Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements. It was a savvy program choice as the 1945 work is a feast of orchestra color and tricky rhythms. Stravinsky’s music of this period, leading into the contemporary “Symphony of Psalms,” is instantly recognizable from the raucous but eminently controlled syncopation and instrumental execution. Section control is critical here and Mr. Heras-Casado kept distinct sectional sound, the sonorous harp, bassoon, clarinet and piano parts always clear. Even in the laconic Andante, a polar opposite to the histrionic first and third movements, the conductor never let the pace become flaccid.

The Con Moto finale grows without an initial pause into a high-stepping march with a persuasive fugue starting from Robin Sutherland’s piano part and moving to several potent climaxes. The ensemble was immaculate with a boisterous champagne orgy of sound, drawing the audience of 900 to a standing ovation.

Though not technically in residence the San Francisco Symphony has become one of Weill Hall’s musical treasures, easily equal in artistry to the recent Vienna Philharmonic, Russian National and Suisse Romande orchestra performances.






Events Calendar

CHORAL AND VOCAL
California Redwood Chorale
Friday, April 24, 2015
8:00 PM - Santa Rosa
Robert Hazelrigg. conductor. John Hazelrigg, piano; Kathryn Vast, cello; Daniel Celedore, oboe
Rutter: Requiem. "Cindy" for double choir and piano four-hands; "Gabriel's Oboe" (from the film score "The Mission"); "joshua Fit The Battle"; "Homeward Bound" (arr. Andrew Del Monte)...
Details

CHORAL AND VOCAL
California Redwood Chorale
Saturday, April 25, 2015
8:00 PM - Santa Rosa
Robert Hazelrigg, conductor. John Hazelrigg, piano; Kathryn Vast, cello; Daniel Celedore, oboe
Rutter: Requiem. "Cindy" for double choir and piano four hands; "Gabriel's Oboe" (from the film score "The Mission"); "Joshua Fit The Battle"; "Homeward Bound" (arr. Andrew Del Monte)...
Details

CHAMBER
Sonoma Classical Music Society
Sunday, April 26, 2015
3:00 PM - Sonoma
Italian Saxophone Quartet
Program TBA...
Details

RECITAL
Mastercard Performance Series
Sunday, April 26, 2015
3:00 PM - Rohnert Park
Alisa Weilerstein, cello; Inon Barnatan, piano
Beethoven: Sonata, Op. 102, No. 2; Schubert: Fantasie in C Major, D. 934 (arr. Weilerstein/Barantan); Joseph Hallman: Dream Log; Rachmaninoff: Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op.19...
Details

RECITAL
Kenn Gartner Presents
Sunday, April 26, 2015
3:00 PM - San Rafael
Kenn Gartner, piano
Beethoven: Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13 (Patétique); Cowell: Tiger; Weber; Respighi: Notturno; Chopin: Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 2; Liszt: Liebestraume No. 3 (Nocturne) ; Scriabin: Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 2; Web...
Details

CHAMBER
Dominican University of California Guest Concert Series
Sunday, April 26, 2015
3:00 PM - San Rafael
Farallon Wind Quintet. Natalie Parker, clarinet; Dan Flanagan and Matthew Prior, violin; Elizabeth
Weber: Clarinet Quintet in B-Flat Major, Op. 34; S. Mahoney: Clarinet Quintet; Francaix: Quintette pour clarinette et quatuor à cordes $18 general admission: $15 seniors over 60; students under 18 fr...
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CHORAL AND VOCAL
California Redwood Chorale
Sunday, April 26, 2015
3:00 PM - Sonoma
Robert Hazelrigg, conductor. John Hazelrigg, piano; Kathryn Vast, cello; Daniel Celidore, oboe

Rutter: Requiem. "Cindy" for double choir piano four hands; "Gabriel's Oboe" (from the film score "The Mission"); "Joshua Fit the Battle"; "Homeward Bound" (arr. Andrew Del Monte), Pizza and wine ...
Details

SYMPHONY
Mastercard Performance Series
Friday, May 01, 2015
7:30 PM - Rohnert Park
Nobuyuki Tsujii, piano
Chopin: Nocturnes, Op. 9, Nos. 1 and2; Barcarolle in F-Sharp Major, Op.60; Liszt: Consolation No. 3 in D Flat and Mephisto Waltz No. 1 in C Minor; Beethoven: Sonatas No, 8 (Pathétique) and 21 (Appass...
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SYMPHONY
North Bay Sinfonietta
Friday, May 01, 2015
8:00 PM - Santa Rosa
Cynthia Weichel, conductor
Brüll: Serenade No. 2; Paul Wranitsky: Symphony, Op. 33, No. 3; Hummel: Overture No. 1, Op. 101; Donizetti: Sinfonia for Winds Tickets at the Door are $5...
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CHORAL AND VOCAL
American Bach Soloists
Friday, May 01, 2015
8:00 PM - Belvedere
Jerffrey Thomas, conductor. Gretchen Classen, cello. Elizabeth Blumenstock and Cynthia Black, viol
Bach: Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor; Orchestra Suite No. 4 in D Major; Cantata No. 169 (Gott Soli Allein, Mein Herz Haben); Vivaldi: Nisi Dominus; Leo: Cello Concerto in A Major...
Details