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Chamber
STYLISH HAYDN QUARTETS CLOSE GREEN ROOM SERIES
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, May 9, 2021
Completing the Green Music Center’s spring series series of “Green Room” virtual concerts, the St. Lawrence String Quartet played May 9 a lightweight program of two Haydn works. Lightweight perhaps, but in every way satisfying. The G Major Quartet (Op. 76, No.1) began the music that was supplement...
Recital
ECLECTIC PIANISM IN SPRING LAKE VILLAGE VIRTUAL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
During the pandemic The Santa Rosa Symphony’s virtual concerts received their due in performance praise, but another series, Spring Lake Village, more quietly presented monthly virtual concerts to a select local audience. May 5 saw the latest event, produced by impresario Robert Hayden, and feature...
Symphony
SONIC CONTRASTS HIGHLIGHT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY SPRING PROGRAM
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, April 25, 2021
In a curious mixture of compositions, the Santa Rosa Symphony’s penultimate virtual concert of the season April 25 unfolded in ways both highly satisfying and a bit perplexing. Directed by resident Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, the event followed a familiar format – several contemporary wor...
Symphony
ZUILL PLAYS ZWILICH WITH SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, March 28, 2021
The Santa Rosa Symphony took a cautious step toward the return of live music in their March 28 virtual concert by sharing the stage with an actual live soloist rather than an apparition. Star cellist Zuill Bailey was still masked, and his back was toward the equally masked and plexiglassed orchestra...
Chamber
ECLECTIC CELLO PIANO VIRTUAL RECITAL FROM TOMKINS ZIVIAN DUO
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, March 28, 2021
The venerable 41-year Redwood Arts Council Series in Occidental has joined the virtual recital world with low budget but artistically satisfying programs, mostly using videos filmed in the performer’s residences. March 28 saw the Tanya Tomkins-Eric Zivian duo present an eclectic program from their ...
Symphony
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY HITS THE SWEET SPOT
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Small orchestras can inhabit a sweet spot between chamber ensembles and full orchestras, but how well they hit that spot depends on the composer's orchestration and the players' ability to project. That dependence was on full display in the Santa Rosa Symphony's Feb. 28 concert, which featured three...
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 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.