Weekly Magazine

 

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THIS WEEK

MUSIC: ENSEMBLE MONTEREY and CANTIAMO! CABRILLO perform “Song of Praise,” in Carmel and Santa Cruz. PIANIST JEREMY DENK brings his art to Sunset Center. SANTA CRUZ CHORALE (pictured above) sings “Handel, Bach & Purcell” at Holy Cross. TERENCE BLANCHARD returns to Kuumbwa. THEATER: MPC THEATRE opens The Adventures of Robin Hood. JEWEL THEATRE opens The Odd Couple on May 2. CHERRY CENTER opens Jane Press’ My Mother’s Keeper. THE WESTERN STAGE launches Emma! A Pop Musical. For links to these live events, click our CALENDAR or the ads, left.

CAN MUSIC SET YOU FREE?

“SONGS IN THE KEY OF FREE” is a new project designed for prison inmates. Click HERE

A GOOD REASON TO BE IN PHILLY THIS SATURDAY

THE REVIVAL of Frank Zappa’s Yellow Shark. Click HERE

WHY MUSICIANS NEED PHILOSOPHY

FUTURE SYMPHONY INSTITUTE’s Roger Scruton makes the argument. Click HERE

ELGAR, THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK

Elgar 81wCSQaVb8L._SL1500_AT LONG LAST John Bridcut’s superb documentary of the most talented and enigmatic English composer of the early 20th Century, Edward Elgar, is now available on DVD. BBC aired it in 2010; two of its most authoritative interviewees, biographer Michael Kennedy and conductor Colin Davis, have since died. The Venezuelan conductor Natalia Luis-Bassa persuaded the Simon Bolivar Orchestra to perform Elgar’s Second Symphony, a work they had never heard but fell in love with. Bridcut exposes a musical genius, tormented with being born low class yet craving a peerage, vainglorious and manipulative, and drawn to younger female muses to the bitter humiliation of his wife. In the years before his death in 1934, Elgar could already see that he would be swept aside by a wave of Stravinsky and Schoenberg modernism. But he is now gaining long-deserved recognition as the “English Mahler.” The composer of “Enigma” Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, The Dream of Gerontius, The Apostles with its sympathetic portrait of Judas Iscariot, Sospiri, his deeply personal reflections on World War I, and the similarly inspired last completed major orchestral work, the Cello Concerto of 1919.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“WE NEED A NEW ROMANTICISM”

SO SAYS science writer and biologist Jim Kozubek. Click HERE

TRIO VITRUVI

VitruviSCHUBERT’s Piano Trio in E-flat, is one of two great piano trios composed over a span of in two weeks in 1827 that are two of the most bewitching masterpieces of the early 19th century. This one, the more dramatic, gets an outstanding reading in this new Bridge Records release. Schubert was a master of suspense and the four-movement work is loaded with it, gushing with a flood of spontaneous ideas, mottoes and themes. Schubert also recycles the material using guile and disguise. Music from the second movement, Andante, shows up in the long (19 minutes) final movement which, here, uses the original version now gaining favor over the shortened one Schubert was persuaded to write for publication. With that, and the generously phrased opening Allegro, the performance overall comes in at 50 minutes. (I listened to the CD three times before I finally timed its “heavenly length,” as Robert Schumann described Schubert’s “Great” C Major Symphony.) But what makes it seem shorter is personality, the exuberant pleasure expressed by all three executants, violinist Niklas Walentin, cellist Jacob la Cour and pianist Alexander McKenzie. Except for occasional cameos, string quartets rarely encourage individuality among their players. Not so for piano trios, especially this one. There is revelry at every turn. I 300px-Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatouremailed violinist Niklas Walentin asking him to explain the name Vitruvi. He graciously responded, that it “was inspired by the writings of the Roman architect and philosopher Vitruvius, whose ideas about proportions, beauty, structure and the relationship between the natural and human worlds we found particularly relevant to the musical universe.” He added, “We also like the sound and rhythm of the name.” (See Leonardo’s famous Vitruvian Man, left.) Rounding out the disc is the surviving movement from an unfinished piano trio from the same time period, now known as “Notturno,” an utterance both haunting and intimate. SM

THE APOLLO EXECUTIONER

BEEN BOOED off the stage? You can always come back and try again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRESH REVIEW

MONTEREY SYMPHONY with Juan Pérez Floristán. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

SANTA CRUZ SYMPHONY performs Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony with guest soloists & Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus. JEWEL THEATRE opens Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple at the Colligan.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @PerfArtsMtyBay

Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor

 

Weekly Magazine

UC Indian

THIS WEEK

THE MONTEREY SYMPHONY performs Brahms’ grand Second Piano Concerto with soloist Juan Pérez Floristán. SANTA CATALINA SCHOOL students in Monterey stage another award-winning musical comedy so far ignored by area ‘professional’ theater companies; in 2016 it was Drood; now it’s the Tony-winning The Drowsy Chaperone. MONTEREY COUNTY COMPOSERS David Canright, Steve Ettinger, Paula Kaiser, Carleton Macy, Ed Moncrief, George Petersen, David Price, Julie Roseman, Dale Victorine, and Rick Yramategui serve up new music at Hidden Valley. SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS conclude their current season in Aptos. OUR TOWN continues at Center Stage in Santa Cruz. DANCE: NOCHE BOHEMIA in Salinas & “JOURNEY THROUGH INDIA” (above) at UCSC. For links to these and other live events, click our CALENDAR and on the ads, left.

VIENNA’S VEGGIE ORCHESTRA

PLAYING WITH FOOD has been going on there for 18 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MUSICAL PREFERENCE REFLECTS YOUR PERSONALITY

A NEW STUDY tells you who you are. Click HERE

COMPOSER MURDERED BY NAZIS RESTORED TO LIFE

CONDUCTOR JOANN FALLETTA and the Buffalo Philharmonic resurrect Marcel Tyberg, a Croatian Catholic, more than a half century after his death at Auschwitz. Including their recording of his Third Symphony, click HERE

LAMENTATE

71VVI-nrGZL._SL1011_A SENSATIONAL NEW RECORDING of Arvo Pärt’s ambitious 2002 ten-movement homage to Anish Kapoor’s stupendous ‘sculpture’ Marsyas. Just released on the Orange Mountain label, the 40-minute work for piano and orchestra gets a high-definition performance by soloist Maki Namekawa and her conductor husband Dennis Russell Davies (pictured below) with the Bruckner Orchester Linz. The work is a dramatic enlargement on the 82-year-old composer’s earlier and more intimate “tintinnabulation” style, replete with grand fanfares on brass and lushly Daviessweeping strings. The only connection to Kapoor’s Marsyas is hinted at by the titles of the ten movements, suggesting the satyr’s flaying by Apollo after losing a music contest with the god. Completing the disc is Pärt’s These Words… of 2008 for string orchestra and percussion, the latter mostly is delicate shades. Curiously, the CD, which was recorded in December, 2016, comes with no program notes.

NEW HAVEN SYMPHONY CONDUCTOR SEARCH

SANTA CRUZ NATIVE REBECCA MILLER is a finalist to take over the 125-year-old orchestra. William Boughton is stepping down after 11 years as music director of the NHS. Three candidates lined up to succeed him are: Delaware Symphony’s MD David Amado; Marin Symphony and Sun Valley Symphony’s MD Alasdair Neale; and London-based Miller. The orchestra was co-founded by Horatio Parker, then head of music at Yale University. Click HERE

PERFORMING ARTS PEOPLE

Darian and Lukas

MICHAEL SCHRAUD, maker of West African musical instruments, gets help from his two sons, Darian and Lukas, students at Carmel High School. To read Malia Durbano’s excellent story about them, click HERE

GODFATHER OF SOUL

URAL THOMAS, R&B alive and well in Portland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRESH REVIEWS

THORNTON WILDER’S The Skin of Our Teeth. Click HERE

ESPRESSIVO chamber orchestra in Santa Cruz. MPC STRINGS at Carmel Mission. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

ENSEMBLE MONTEREY and Cabrillo Cantiamo! team up for Song of Praise, featuring Rihards Dubra’s Te Deum. PIANIST JEREMY DENK welcomed by Carmel Music Society. MPC THEATRE opens The Adventures of Robin Hood. THE WESTERN STAGE opens Emma!

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @PerfArtsMtyBay

Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor