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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...
COLORFUL BORN BACH AT AGAVE BAROQUE'S SCHROEDER HALL CONCERT
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Friday, February 28, 2020
Bach’s obituary records that “Johann Sebastian Bach belongs to a family that seems to have received a love and aptitude for music as a gift of Nature to all its members in common.” Agave Baroque presented their Feb. 28 concert, Born Bach, as a partial musical story of several generations in this rem...
ECLECTIC VIOLIN AND PIANO WORKS IN VIRTUOSIC MILL VALLEY RECITAL
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Blending virtuosity with sublime artistry, violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky and pianist Wu Qian gave the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society audience many thrills February 23, performing four muscular and soulful works by four composers from four countries: de Falla, Schumann, Stravinsky, and Grieg. T...
PREMIER OF KAIZEN AND DRAMATIC MOZART HIGHLIGHT ECHO CHAMBER CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, February 16, 2020
As concertgoers took their seats in San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church for ECHO Chamber Orchestra’s February 16 program, they were surprised to see at center stage two bass drums, a tom-tom, bongos, high hat and cymbals. It was the occasion of the world premiere of "Kaizen," composed and perf...
BEETHOVEN'S VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT IN RAC SEBASTOPOL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, February 14, 2020
Continuing a season of Redwood Arts Council successes, the Kouzov Duo performed an eclectic Valentine’s Day concert in Sebastopol’s Community Church before an audience of 125. Beethoven’s charming Op. 66 Variations on Mozart’s “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen” from the opera the Magic Flute was a bouncy ...
LUSH BACH PERFORMANCE IN DENK'S WEILL HALL RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Memorable artistic interpretations of musical masterpieces are often at extremes, and with the Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (WTC - Book I) that Jeremy Denk played in Weill Hall Feb. 13, the pianist was only sporadically at unique or ebullient musical ends. But his playing wasn’t exactly at opposite...
BROWNE, PAREMSKI HEAD STELLAR CAST AT SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CONCERT
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, February 9, 2020
The Feb. 9 performance by the Santa Rosa Symphony offered a healthy dose of 21st century music firmly bound to the 19th. Matt Browne’s first symphony, “The Course of Empire”—based on a series of five paintings by Thomas Cole, who founded the Hudson River School of American painting in the 1820s—emp...
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.