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Chamber
HEROIC TRUMPET AND ORGAN MUSIC AT INCARNATION
by Jerry Dibble
Friday, October 12, 2018
The strong connections between Santa Rosa’s musical community and California State University Chico were on display Oct. 12 as David Rothe, Professor Emeritus in the Chico Music Department, and Ayako Nakamura, trumpet with the North State Symphony, presented a concert titled “Heroic Music for Trumpe...
Symphony
LECCE-CHONG PROVES HIS METTLE WITH SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, October 07, 2018
Francesco Lecce-Chong was handed two warhorses for his debut as conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony, and he rode them both to thrilling victory. For the first win, Brahms’ violin concerto, he owed much to soloist Arnaud Sussman, but for the other triumph, Beethoven’s fifth symphony, he and his musi...
Chamber
THORNY BARTOK AND ELEGANT MENDELSSOHN FOR THE BRENTANO
by Sonia Morse Tubridy
Sunday, September 30, 2018
In a minor masterpiece of programming choices the Brentano String Quartet played a Sept. 30 Weill Hall program with an emphasis on refinement, even with a challenging Bartok work in the mix. Dvorák’s Miniatures for Two Violins and Viola (Op. 75a) opened the concert with charm and gentle loveliness,...
Chamber
ECHO'S RICH MUSICAL TAPESTRY IN MARIN
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Marin’s Echo Chamber Orchestra unfurled a glorious tapestry of Mozart, Weber and Respighi music Sept. 30 in San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church. The church, located on the grounds of San Francisco Theological Seminary, boasts a ceiling high enough for angels to fly, and its quiet setting and aco...
Recital
IDIOMATIC SCHUMANN AND BEETHOVEN HIGHTLIGHT WALKER'S CONCERTS GRAND RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Mostly known as a concert producer and indefatigable promoter of Sonoma County music, pianist Judy Walker stepped into the soloist’s role Sept. 23 in a sold out recital for the Concerts Grand House recitals series. Two Scarlatti Sonatas, in D Minor (K. 213) and D Major (K. 29), began the hour-long ...
Symphony
SAKAKEENY'S LION AND ROSE HIGHLIGHTS SO CO PHIL'S 20TH SEASON OPENER
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Fresh from a triumphant tour in Latin America the Sonoma County Philharmonic opened its 20th season Sept. 22 in a celebratory concert in the Santa Rosa High School Auditorium. Keeping to the evening’s orchestra history and past performance, conductor emeritus Gabriel Sakakeeny, who led the So Co Ph...
Recital
DEDIK'S POTENT BEETHOVEN AND CHOPIN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Monday, September 17, 2018
Anastasia Dedik returned Sept. 17 to the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series in a recital that featured three familiar virtuoso works in potent interpretations. Chopin’s G Minor Ballade hasn’t been heard in Sonoma County public concerts since a long-ago Earl Wild performance, and Beethoven’s...
Recital
DUO WEST OPENS OCCIDENTAL CONCERT SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, September 09, 2018
Before a full house at the Occidental Performing Arts Center Sept. 9 the cello-piano Duo West, playing from score throughout, presented a recital that on paper looked stimulating and thoughtful. Beginning with MacDowell’s To A Wild Rose (from Woodland Sketches, Op. 51), the transcription by an unan...
Chamber
CELLO-PIANO DUO IN HUSKY SPRING LAKE VILLAGE PROGRAM
by Terry McNeill
Wednesday, September 05, 2018
Two thirds of the way through a stimulating 22-concert season the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series Sept. 5 presented two splendid cello sonatas before 110 people in the Village’s Montgomery auditorium. A duo for more than a decade, East Bay musicians cellist Monica Scott and pianist Hadle...
Chamber
EXTRAVAGANT FUSION OF STYLES AT CHRIS BOTTI BAND WEILL HALL CONCERT
by Jerry Dibble
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Trumpeter Chris Botti still performs in jazz venues including SF Jazz and The Blue Note, but now appears mostly in cavernous halls or on outdoor stages like the Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. He brought his unique road show to the packed Weill Hall August 12 in a concert of effusive e...
CHAMBER REVIEW
Valley of the Moon Music Festival / Saturday, July 21, 2018
Kyle Stegall, tenor; Nikki Einfield, soprano; Augusta McKay Lodge, Sarah Bleile and Anna Presler, violin; Phyllis Kamrin, viola; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Eric Zivian, piano. Apprentices TBA

E. Zivian, N. Einfield, K. Stegall June 21 at VOM Festival (J. Hill Photo)

VIENNA INSPIRATION FOR VOM FESTIVAL PROGRAM AT HANNA CENTER

by Nicki Bell
Saturday, July 21, 2018

A music-loving audience filled Sonoma’s Hanna Center Auditorium July 21 to begin a record weekend of three concerts, produced by the Valley of the Moon Music Festival. The Festival’s theme this summer is “Venice in Transition – From the Enlightenment to the Dawn of Modernism”

Prior to Saturday’s music UC Berkeley Professor Thomas Laquer lectured on composer Arnold Schoenberg’s Vienna, and the arts in the City’s first decade after 1900. Mentioned during the talk, in addition to Schoenberg, were Klimt, Mahler, Schiele, Kokoshka, Freud, Anna Mahler and Kandinsky.

Mozart’s F Major (K. 377) Violin Sonata opened the program in a deft performance by violinist Augusta McKay Lodge and pianist Eric Zivian. Mr. Zivian played his Mozart-era instrument copied from a piano of 1791, and produced a crisp bell-like sound throughout. The opening allegro with its repeated descending figures was light and fast, and Ms. Lodge’s phrasing was exemplary in the second movement’s Tema con Variazioni, and a lovely play of textures and moods.

Next was music with voice, and past Festival standouts soprano Nikki Einfield and tenor Kyle Stegall sang, beginning with two Schubert Duets, with Mr. Zivian switching to a Mendelssohn-era piano. The two Schubert works – Mignon unt der Harfner (D. 877) and Lichte unt Liebe (D. 352) - were sung with clear diction and elegant phrasing to audience acclaim.

Mr. Stegall continued solo with three Wolf Lieder and five songs of Brahms. His voice had ardor and lyricism and the poetry he conveyed, full of love and longing, was deeply affecting.

After intermission Wagner’s Im Treibhaus (from the Wesendonck Lieder) for soprano and string quartet was presented, in an arrangement by Mr. Zivian. Joining Ms. Einfield was Anna Presler and Sarah Bleile (violin), violist Phyllis Kamrin and cellist Tanya Tomkins. It was a reading of sustained and ethereal beauty, darkly anguished in places that finally rose to a philosophical end. It was a gorgeous performance.

Schoenberg’s Second String Quartet (F-Sharp Minor, Op.10) from 1908 closed the program, and seemed to come out of Wagner’s milieu with its passionate beauty. The warmth of the gut string sound, called for in the score but rarely heard today in performance, was striking. The performance generated a complex and romantic journey, seemingly always searching in throbs and surges. Ms. Einfield sang in the last two movements, “Litanei” and “Rapture.”

Each work on the program was greeted enthusiastically by the audience, with a final standing ovation that led to gratis finger foods and wine with the musicians on the auditorium’s patio. One more weekend (of three) remains for this fourth VOM Festival, with concerts listed in the Calendar Section of Classical Sonoma.