Weekly Magazine

K-MOZART BITES THE DUST

k-mozartEARLY LAST WEEK fans of the commercial classical station—FM 95.1—tuned in to white noise. (Some were actually getting another station with the same frequency from a city—or galaxy—far, far away.) Mount Wilson Broadcasters, founded by Los Angeles radio pioneer Saul Levine, pulled the plug on the local incarnation of his classical radio service in LA. Obviously, K-MOZART was losing money, not a tolerable entry on Levine’s balance sheet. Mount Wilson’s corporate receptionist could offer me no explanation but she did say that K-MOZART was still available locally at AM-630 and FM-106.7. In my long radio experience, such a change with no further explanation does not bode well for local classical radio fans, so I’m not holding my breath. It now seems that commercial classical radio in the Monterey Bay is no longer a viable option for any broadcaster.

COMING UP THIS WEEK

JEWEL THEATRE opens a new production of Strindberg’s The Dance of Death at the Colligan in Santa Cruz. PACREP’S School of Dramatic Arts opens Disney’s Jungle Books Kids in Carmel at the Golden Bough. THE MONTEREY SYMPHONY and guest conductor Bruno Aprea perform Romeo and Juliet music by Tchaikovsky, Berlioz & Bernstein in Salinas and Carmel. PIANIST DANNY DRIVER plays Ligeti and Debussy on Sunday afternoon in Santa Cruz. Click our CALENDAR for other listings and links.

SCHOLARSHIPS ON OFFER

FOR MUSIC STUDENTS in Santa Cruz County, under age 18, from the Mueller Scholarship Fund of the Santa Cruz Symphony. Click HERE  then (Jump To) Mueller Scholarships. DEADLINE IS APRIL 1.

HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS in Monterey County have until April 30 to apply for performing arts scholarships offered by the S.T.A.R. Foundation. Fairly high standards must be met, including recommendations and a written submission, but awards are available, up to $1,000 per year in a four-year college performance curriculum, which can also include performing arts management. Click HERE

WHY WORDS DIE

DESPAIRING OVER MULLIGRUBS? When do you expect to respair? Well then, time to pungle up! Click HERE

THE LETTUCE CURTAIN

THE WESTERN STAGE at Hartnell College in Salinas seems to be mounting various productions according to some of their actors I know. But they no longer notify the media and their website hasn’t been updated since 2015. Likewise the performing arts Millennium Charter High School, also in Salinas, which operates under the aegis of the Monterey County Office of Education. So, why do Nancy Kotowski, elected Monterey County Superintendent of Education; Michael Murphy, Principal of Millennium Charter High; Hamish Tyler of the MCAET media center, the MCOE itself and Jon Selover of The Western Stage use artists, actors and students to do their bidding while systematically declining to promote their efforts to the common media? Tyler, who commutes from the Monterey Peninsula, admits that Salinas continues to nurse a longtime grudge against an imagined snobbery from Peninsula arts-culture on the other side of a “lettuce curtain.”

TRADITIONAL JAPANESE THEATER THRIVES

STILL GOING STRONG a millennium on. Composer Toshio Hosokawa says of the ancient Noh theater, “My music is calligraphy painted on a canvas of space and time.” Click HERE

ROCK THE GAYAGEUM

COVERING CLASSICS with an ancient instrument

 

 

 

 

 

 

debussy-3000x3000DEBUSSY IN SPAIN

MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS conducts Debussy’s Images pour orchestra. It’s a large, 35-minute masterwork that deserves at least as much exposure as his La Mer and Nocturnes get. And this recording makes good. But, for all the fabulous playing by the San Francisco Symphony, not that good. The opening Gigues and closing Rondes de printemps bracket the three-movement Iberia, here slickly played but with its essential French/Spanish character held at nose-distance, like some Roma are treated there. The hotshot Brooklynite, MTT plays to his base, but not with a dug-in gritty account of a raucous paprika-intoxicated band. However, slick is exactly what you do want for Jeux, the composer’s late-on, surreal, atonal representation of a nocturnal tennis match. All you need to do in this case is close your eyes and enjoy the fireflies.

CHICAGO FOOTWORK

MUSIC & DANCE at a whole new speed

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRESH REVIEWS

GODSPELL at Paper Wing in Monterey. Click HERE

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS and ENSEMBLE MONTEREY. Click HERE

Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca RC Brooks, associate editor

Weekly Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMING UP THIS WEEK

ENSEMBLE MONTEREY plays the “Happy Workshop” in Carmel & Santa Cruz. SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS serve up “The Greatest Music You’ve Never Heard” in Aptos. MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY THEATER opens THE LION IN WINTER this weekend in Ben Lomond. Click on our advertisers, left, and visit our packed CALENDAR for other links and information.

LIVE FROM THE MET

VERDI’S LA TRAVIATA will be seen this Saturday morning at Del Monte Center by more than 150 middle and high school students from Soledad, Gonzales and Castroville courtesy the Occhiata Foundation. This is Occhiata’s eighth annual “Day at the Opera,” founded by members of the Gargiulo Family of Monterey to extend their own love of opera to young people of Monterey County. These students are well-prepared for the experience ahead of time—with multimedia in English and Spanish—and will arrive by bus at the mall’s Century Theatre at 9am for the 9:55 live stream from New York. Join them. Find out more HERE

CREATIVITY AND THE BRAIN?

TOM JACOBS in Pacific Standard debunks myths about it. Click HERE

OLDEST SURVIVING KEYBOARD MUSIC

YOUNG PIANIST Alberto Chines plays an estampie (dance) from the Robertsbridge Codex, c. 1360, soon after the essential completion of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IPSA DIXIT*

A TOUR DE FORCE ‘PHILOSOPHY’ OPERA by Kate Soper. The New Yorker’s Alex Ross is bowled over. It starts with Aristotle; *‘she herself said’ it. Warning: It’s heady stuff. Click HERE

FIRST NATIONS ‘POW WOW’ MUSIC IN CANADA

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ALT-RACHMANINOFF

COMPOSER ALEXANDER SCRIABIN is a closer descendant of Chopin than his avant-gardist contemporary, Debussy, but only by his Russianness. Who, you may ask, is Scriabin? Thanks to Garrick Ohlsson, an American artist of prodigious talent, imagination and versatility, you can now inhabit the world of an early 20th century Russian visionary too scriabin-ohlssonoften overlooked as an eccentric in a generation of traditionalists like Rachmaninoff. Ohlsson has assembled the complete piano sonatas of Scriabin on two instantly memorable CDs for Bridge Records, the most recent gathering among several currently in print. It includes all ten of Scriabin’s sonatas plus the early Fantasy in B Minor. Fantasy is a reliable guide to Scriabin. In musical terms the word suggests a departure from conventional form in favor of improvisational impulse. Scriabin (1872-1915, dying from an insect-sting sepsis) was a contemporary of Rachmaninoff. Yet, his Sonata No 1 in F Minor, Op 6, of 1892, concludes with a Chopinesque funeral march. His Third Sonata sounds uncannily like Rachmaninoff, who in fact knew Scriabin and played his music. But with the Fourth Sonata, Scriabin chooses to follow his own road. And it is unique, an amalgam of Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninoff, with flavors of Debussy and the slightly younger Polish genius Karol Szymanowski. Even at his most fantastic—his symphonic works and an unfinished project called Mysterium—and his preoccupation with music and colors, Scriabin was never less than a thoroughgoing master of form and structure. His piano music can be found in the repertoire of most major-name artists of the past and present. Piano lovers, like most fans of classical music, tend to return time and again to their favorites. But some of us weary of hearing the same favorites over and over, and seek to discover overlooked good stuff out there. Ergo: recommended.

RACHMANINOFF HOME MOVIES

INCLUDING HIS VOICE

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRESH REVIEW

CAMERATA SINGERS turn Lent into a celebration of composer John Rutter. Click HERE

Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca RC Brooks, associate editor