Weekly Magazine

goodwin

CARMEL BACH FESTIVAL AT 80, PART 2

“A BACH FESTIVAL WITHOUT BACH?” I’ve been hearing that question on the lips of many Bach lovers, and others, since CBF Artistic Director Paul Goodwin detailed his 2017 season while simultaneously justifying his decision to suppress the most famous Bach works in favor of other composers.  

 

Indeed, the festival’s hugely expensive marketing blitz this year, Joy!, points to the inclusion of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on the Friday Main program. But let’s look closer at the role of JS Bach at his Carmel festival in 2017.

The flagship ‘Main’ concerts include Bach’s Cantata “Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen” (the so-called Ascension oratorio), his cantata “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis”—both major works—and the short prelude from his first cello suite in the first of two Thursday ‘pops’ concerts. That totals less than two and half hours out of approximately 28 hours of music over two weeks. The rest of the Main concerts are distributed among Philip Glass, Henry Purcell, GF Handel, John Taverner, G Mahler, WA Mozart (Mass in C Minor), Johann Strauss, Fritz Kreisler, Franz Lehar, S Barber, A Copland, L Bernstein, C Monteverdi (Vespers of 1610), folk music arrangements, Giuseppe Torelli, A Vivaldi, songsMegill by Beethoven, Schubert and Vaughan Williams, “The Golden Age of Broadway”, Beethoven (Ninth Symphony) and Brahms. (Associate conductor Andrew Megill, right, conducts the “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis” and Monteverdi Vespers concerts. Photo by r.r.jones.)

In the Chamber Concerts series, there are Monday morning Bach organ recitals and Monday afternoon performances of Bach’s cantata “Mein Herze schwimmt in Blut” and Tuesday afternoon Sunset Center lobby recitals of solo violin and cello music. Also, search for and find Bach chamber concertos Thursday afternoons in Monterey and trio sonatas (July 23 only) in Carmel. Most of this remains arcane except for the most dedicated and perspicacious Bach enthusiasts.

In summary, Bach does stake a claim though, for whatever reasons, he has been losing his primary grip on the CBF for decades. What makes that problematic going forward is that the reason he was invoked by Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous 80 years ago has itself weilfaded from view; most of the other names above stand on the shoulders of Bach, the man who above all others built the foundation for Western music as we know it and loaded it with transcendent masterpieces of both heart and mind, and the most profound understanding of harmony and counterpoint over the last 400 years. Goodwin’s most memorable impact at the Carmel Bach salgoFestival remains his dramatic debut, a semi-staged production of Bach’s John Passion. Before Goodwin and Bruno Weil (above) were at the helm, late music director Sandor Salgo (right) demonstrated a love for Bach that continually reincarnated to living spirit the festival’s namesake. In Weil and Goodwin, one has rarely felt the love. (For more CBF information, click HERE)

THIS WEEK ON THE MONTEREY BAY

TWO NEW STAGE PRODUCTIONS:  ALICE IN WONDERLAND at Paper Wing in Monterey and BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON on the Western Stage in Salinas. SEASIDE SUNDAY BLUES afternoon series returns to Laguna Grande. CABRILLO STAGE’S The Addams Family, and BIG, THE MUSICAL at Forest Theater in Carmel close this weekend. For more info and links click our CALENDAR

DOG STEALS SHOW

VIENNA CHAMBER ORCHESTRA tries to play Mendelssohn in Ephesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARK MORRIS CELEBRATES LOU HARRISION’S 100TH       

BELOVED APTOS COMPOSER’S centenary continues with famed dance company. Deborah Jowitt blogs HERE

PRETTY, BIG AND DANCING

AKIRA ARMSTRONG’S just gotta dance. She’s not alone now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY DOES MUSIC AFFECT US SO INTENSELY?

ADAM OCKELFORD TAKES ON an ancient question afresh. Click HERE

WHO TALKS MORE? MEN THINK WOMEN

WOMEN THINK MEN, and other women. That’s the theory anyway. Click HERE

GRATEFUL DEAD’S TOUCH OF GREY

LIGHTS UP the Empire State Building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca RC Brooks, associate editor (Rebecca Brooks is taking the month off to relocate from Virginia to Alaska. JJ Raasch is filling in.)

 

Weekly Magazine

LuisandClarkCELLO.07.254

AT THE SANTA CRUZ SYMPHONY

ON SUNDAY in Watsonville, I espied a dark gray carbon fiber cello in that section of strings. During the interval I was able to coax its player, Eileen Sordyl, to the edge of the stage. She told me she acquired the instrument from its maker, Luis and Clark, in Milton MA, a Boston suburb. She also spoke glowingly about it, proclaiming its powerful voice—“loud” she said, a desirable quality in an orchestral cello—but that playing it softly was a particular challenge. The company’s founder, Luis Leguia, had had a long career as a cellist at the top of his game, a frequent soloist and orchestral musician (including in the Boston Symphony from 1963.) In retirement, “Louie” loved sailing—still does—and after trying his hand at making instruments out of fiberglass he hooked up with Steve Clark, a veteran carbon fiber boat-builder. Clark’s name with the string instrument company is merely a ceremonial honorarium. Louie makes all sizes of string instruments, formed in two pieces: the back, sides and neck is one, the top another. Price is determined by size. Cellos are available for about $7K. By the way, like all cellos made the old-fashioned way, Louie’s carbon fiber cellos come with a wolf, that pesky spot where E howls on the G string.

THIS WEEK ON THE MONTEREY BAY

THEATER PRODUCTIONS continue: THE ADDAMS FAMILY at Cabrillo Stage, PETER & THE STARCATCHER at Pacific Rep, MUSICAL COMEDY with Layne Littlepage at the Cherry Center, BORN YESTERDAY on The Western Stage, and BIG, THE MUSICAL at Forest Theater. Racy HIJAS DE SU MADRE plays the Fox in Salinas. MONTEREY POPS! orchestra celebrates Independence Day at the Golden State in Monterey. For more useful info and links, visit our CALENDAR

THE THOUSAND YEAR SYMPHONY

COMPOSER JEM FINER‘S LONGPLAYER will come back into phase for a split second on December, 31, 2099, and then begin again. Mark your calendar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE ARTS

AN IMPORTANT NATIONAL UPDATE by Richard Florida. Click HERE

TURNING SIMON RATTLE INTO A ‘SPAGHETTI’ LIGHT SHOW

FAMED CONDUCTOR, as Transformer Rattle, leads the London Symphony in real-time Elgar. AKA, how to promote your new symphony season.

 

 

 

 

 

“PERFORMANCE ART” LIVES AGAIN

WAS THE ECONOMIST the first to notice? Click HERE

ANOTHER SLUMDOG ‘MILLIONAIRE’

TEENAGE BOY FROM Mumbai now dancing with the NYC Ballet. Click HERE

BRITNEY SPEARS & THE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS

TOXIC, live cover videoed in Bangkok (where the original version would probably be banned.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRESH REVIEWS

THE ADDAMS FAMILY at Cabrillo Stage. Click HERE

YUJA WANG & SC SYMPHONY in Watsonville; JUDITH LeCLAIR & ROBERT WALTERS at Hidden Valley. Click HERE

Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca RC Brooks, associate editor