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Chamber
NOVEL OBOE-HARPSICHORD RECITAL FROM AIKEN DUO IN UKIAH
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Oboe and harpsichord recitals are a rare North Bay event, even in a pandemic environment where a formal hall setting isn’t available. So it was a delight Feb. 21 to experience on the Ukiah Symphony’s website a recital by Symphony oboist Beth Aiken and harpsichordist husband Tom. The Aiken home vis...
Symphony
A HEALTHY MIX OF TRANSCRIPTIONS AND ORIGINALS FROM THE SR SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Transcriptions and ascending arpeggios were the order of the day on Jan. 24, as the Santa Rosa Symphony performed uplifting works by Bach/Webern, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Marianna Martínes and Mozart. The concert video was made in Weill Hall on Jan. 9. The first transcription was Webern’s 1935 renderi...
Symphony
HEROIC EFFORT FROM THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 13, 2020
December 13 was a rainy day, perfect for huddling indoors and watching a prerecorded “live” performance by the Santa Rosa Symphony. The program was expansive, with music from the 18th through 21st centuries, and the mood was festive, in keeping with the holiday season. There was something in the fea...
Symphony
MASKED SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CARRIES ON BRILLIANTLY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 15, 2020
In some ways the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Nov. 15 concert on YouTube resembled a Conceptual Art performance from the 1970s. On display were about 30 masked orchestral musicians playing six feet apart from each other on stage, some of them separated by plexiglass barriers. In the 1970s, the concept behi...
Chamber
SPLENDID STRINGS IN A SUNLIT GARDEN
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, November 1, 2020
A sun-drenched autumn afternoon, a Marin County garden and six superb string players from the Santa Rosa Symphony were manna from heaven to a pandemic-weary audience starved for live music. The sextet of Santa Rosa Symphony musicians performed to a small group of 20 Nov. 1, the day after Halloween....
Chamber
EXAMPLARY QUARTET PLAYING IN MARIN GARDEN CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Taped video concerts have pretty much dominated the recent fare for classical music fans, but sporadic live music making can still be found in the North Bay with outdoor chamber music. Of course with the obligatory social distancing and often decorative facial masks. Four San Francisco Opera Orc...
Chamber
VIDEO CHAMBER MUSIC FROM LINCOLN CENTER IN GREEN'S BROADCAST
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Along with hosting its resident the Santa Rosa Symphony, Weill Hall has contracted to produce sporadic virtual programs of classical music, and began Oct. 17 with a charming three-part concert from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York. Hosted with comely introductions by CMSLC di...
Symphony
THRILLING SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY PERFORMANCE IN AN EMPTY WEILL HALL
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Viewers of the Santa Rosa Symphony’s inaugural socially distanced YouTube concert on Oct. 11 could be forgiven for thinking they had stumbled upon a performance of Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera” (A Masked Ball), given that the string players in the opening shot all wore black masks. The sole excepti...
Symphony
BROWN VIDEO GALA LAUNCHES SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Similar to many North Coast musical organizations the Santa Rosa Symphony has scheduled a series of virtual concerts on video, spotlighting sections of the orchestra and the exuberant activities of its conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong. However, as an introduction to the season, a Sept. 12 gala vide...
SONGS AND ECHOES OF HOME IN AIZURI QUARTET CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, March 8, 2020
From the first richly layered harmonies of Dvořák’s Cypresses, the Aizuri Quartet held the March 8th audience at Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church in thrall. The church was more than half full, a good crowd considering present anxiety about the spread of the coronavirus. Taking precautions, the M...
CHAMBER REVIEW
ChamberFest One - Sonoma State University / Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Jon Kimura Parker and Jeffrey Kahane, piano; Angelo Xiang Yu, violin; Aloysia Friedman, viola; Desmond Hoebig, cello; Peter Lloyd, double bass

Pianist Jeffrey Kahane

CHARM AND SMILES IN FIRST CHAMBERFEST CONCERT IN SCHROEDER

by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Green Music Center’s summer ChamberFest, seven concerts in five days, opened June 22 to a jammed Schroeder Hall audience, and the initial concert was both delightful and exhilarating.

In its second year, the current Festival features the chamber music of Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn, all masters of melody and beauty of sound. In a spoken introduction, Festival Director Jeffrey Kahane said that if there existed no other chamber music, these three composers have written enough to satisfy generations.

The opening piece, a work of symphonic scope, was Schubert's great Fantasy in F Minor, D. 940, for piano four hands, written in 1828 (the year of his death). This is one of his most profound and beautiful creations, and pianists Jeffrey Kahane and Jon Kimura Parker did it full justice and more. These artists have collaborated for 30 years and it showed in the exquisite balance of parts and shared understanding. They played as one musical voice, melodies flying between their four hands. The piano became an entire orchestra with all its colors and instruments. The performance drew a standing ovation.

The Fantasy was followed by Mozart's B-Flat Major Sonata for Violin and Piano, K. 454. Mr. Kahane was joined by violinist Angelo Xiang Yu, playing a Stradivarius made in 1729. The music and the playing were full of lightness and charm mixed with operatic drama and excitement. Mr. Yu played with sweetness of tone and was matched by Kahane in all the subtle emotions and colors. It was a delight to hear this sonata in the hands of these masters of expressive nuance and color. The playing in the Largo/Allegro was like a conversation with bursts of laughter, and in the Andante it was touching in it's simple loveliness. The performers seemed to be completing each others thoughts as in a great opera duet, The last movement was a riot of fun, smiles abounding.

Schubert's ever popular ”Trout" Quintet, D, 667, is probably the single most played piece of chamber music despite its most unusual instrumentation, as it includes a double bass instead of a second violin. This creates a new and rich sound for the strings and moves the piano into a range of increased use of treble passages. In addition to the the expected four movements there is a theme and variations movement based on Schubert's famous lied, "Die Forelle". This was a captivating performance both visually and aurally. It sparkled. Every movement had breathtaking moments: the duets between violin and piano, the warm tones of the lower strings, the power of the ensemble and the delicate solo lines.

Joining Mr. Kahane and and Mr. Yu in the Quintet were Aloysia Friedman, viola, cellist Desmond Hoebig and double bassist Scott Pingel. The series continues with five more concerts in Schroeder, and a four-concerto finale with the Santa Rosa Symphony Sunday at 3 in Weill Hall.

Nicki Bell contributed to this review.