Home  Reviews  Articles  Calendar  Presenters  Add Event     
Choral and Vocal
TRAVELING CHORISTERS SO CO DEBUT IN TWO BIG CANTATAS
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Saturday, June 25, 2022
Opera
VERDI'S THEATRICAL LA TRAVIATA TRIUMPHS AT CINNABAR
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, June 19, 2022
Symphony
CLOUDS AND PASSION: MARIN SYMPHONY'S STELLAR CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Sunday, June 19, 2022
Symphony
MARIACHI MEETS ORCHESTRA AT THE SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, June 12, 2022
Choral and Vocal
RARE MOZART COUPLING COMPLETES SONOMA BACH'S SEASON IN SCHROEDER
by Pamela Hicks Gailey
Saturday, May 28, 2022
EXOTIC RUSSIAN MUSIC FEATURED IN MV PHIL CONCERT
by Abby Wasserman
Thursday, May 19, 2022
Symphony
SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY PREMIERES DAUGHERTY SKETCHES OF SONOMA COUNTY
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, May 8, 2022
Chamber
BRAHMS-ERA TRIOS HIGHLIGHT OAKMONT CHAMBER CONCERT
by Nicholas Xelenis
Thursday, May 5, 2022
Chamber
CHAMBER GEMS OF BRAHMS IN TRIO NAVARRO'S SCHROEDER CONCERT
by Judy Walker
Sunday, May 1, 2022
Recital
UNIQUE ELEGANCE IN GALBRAITH GUITAR RECITAL
by Gary Digman
Friday, April 29, 2022
SYMPHONY REVIEW
Ukiah Symphony / Sunday, May 19, 2013
Les Pfutzenreuter, conductor. Lawrence Holmefjord-Sarabi, piano. Mendocino College Masterworks Chorale. Vocal soloists TBA

Conductor Les Pfutzenreuter at Mendocino College

UKIAH SYMPHONY CLOSES SEASON WITH TWO BIG WORKS

by Ed Reinhart
Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Ukiah Symphony closed its 2012-13 season May 19th with a bold matinee presentation at the Mendocino College Theater. Featured were the Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat minor, Opus 23, and the third and fourth Movements of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Opus 125.

Pianist Lawrence Holmfjord-Sarabi was the soloist in the Tchaikovsky and his performance was powerful and moving. There was a visible split-second of doubt in the right hand during the Andantino Semplice, but this would have been evident only to an attentive observer and listener, and it was acoustically insignificant and did not detract from the quality of the performance. Mr. Holmefjord-Sarabi demonstrated a clear and precise touch, and managed to retain these qualities during more delicate and expressive passages without slipping into a mechanical mode of playing. This performance of this most popular of concertos, written in 1875, received a standing ovation.

The Symphony supported the soloist well but in several places, particularly in the French horn attacks during the finale and deteriorating tuning of the woodwinds, the music suffered. The strings were strong and crisp on attacks and the percussion section was precise. The horns and woodwinds were expressive throughout and conductor Les Pfutzenreuter kept careful control of dynamics.

Following intermission the Mendocino College Masterworks Chorale joined the Symphony for the final two movements of Beethoven's last big orchestral work. The beginning of the third Movement did not offer an auspicious start to this powerful work. The Adagio Molto e Cantabile is written to offer strong lyrical expression to violins and cellos, but here the playing was actually too lyrical, tending towards sloppiness. Fortunately this part gave way to a magnificent rendition of the formidible final movement .

Solo vocalists in the "Ode to Joy" included Marilyn Simpson, alto; Kathy Allen, soprano; tenor Rick Allen; and Richard Goodman, bass. Mr. Goodman began with an impressive performance of the initial bass solo - moving, heartfelt and precise. The entire quartet performed well, though in this afternoon Mr. Allen's voice seemed underpowered for the demands of the score. The soprano singing was excellent but Ms. Allen could have used less volume in the four-part harmonies where she tended to dominate rather than blend. Ms. Simpson's was a flawless alto.

Also shining brightly was the Ukiah Masterworks chorale. They sang with passion and accuracy, the music swelling in intensity, and Mr. Pfutzenreuter had an inspired view of the score and how to balance the many sonic threads of the large ensemble. A standing ovation from the large audience ensued.