Weill Hall, The Harvest Moon, Itzhak Perlman and a picnic supper - now that’s the way to spend an evening, particularly if you spend it in the company of good friends.
So, last night a sold out audience, (sold out for inside seats, lawn seating due to the threatening weather was somewhat sparse) reveled in the artistry and wit of Itzhak Perlman and the beauty of Weill Hall is it’s spectacular Sonoma County surrounding.
For me to give a revue of Mr. Perlman’s performance would be pretentious and pompous in the extreme. I will instead revue the evening and the venue. I will however share with you the reaction of my companion for the evening, who, is a professional musician and said he had been listening to Mr. Perlman’s recordings since he was a child and had always dreamed of hearing him in person. He sat motionless for the three hours and when the final notes had been played and the resounding applause and huzzah’s had faded into the evening sky, he simply let out a tremendous sigh, fell back on the lawn and just lay there for a bit.
For those of you who have not yet availed yourselves of this superb venue, oh dear – as the kids say today – “… Your Bad …” Weill Hall, at the Green Music Center on the Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park is one of the finest music venues in the world today and it’s right here in our own back hard.
The building it’s self is a marvel of architectural design. It’s seeping roof is reminiscent of a skate board ramp – a symbol of energy – the grand energy that flows from the hall with each concert. The courtyard entrance is flanked by 100 plus year old, gnarled olive trees, that were painstakingly transplanted from their original plantation near Red Bluff, California. How appropriate that these ancient symbol of peace and continuity, with their gnarled trunks and gentle gray-green foliage act as sentinels. How appropriate that this host to the world’s greatest music be surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful countryside.
Only a year into operation and Weill Hall has already seen, Lang Lang who opened the hall a year ago, Yo Yo Ma, Renée Fleming and the San Francisco Symphony. It is the permanent home of the Santa Rosa Symphony. Classical music not your particular thing? Weill Hall offers a wide spectrum of concerts in many genera. This coming weekend sees, Herbie Hancock which incidentally, will be the last performance of the season where lawn seating will be available.
We Sonoma County residents are often just a tad smug about the beauty of our surroundings and the richness of our quality of life. With the addition of Weill Hall we now just about have it all. Hey! Some of the world’s best food and wine, a diverse and beautiful landscape, the Pacific Ocean, Dungeness Crab, the Golden Gate Bridge, (O.K. so the bridge is in Marin County; close enough for folk music) and now the world’s best music being presented in one of the world’ greatest concert hall’s – well, it just doesn’t get much better than that.
If you haven’t yet availed yourself of this superlative facility, well, I can’t urge you strongly enough to put it on your bucket list and peruse the 2013-14 season.