Weekly Magazine

NEW THIS WEEK

LIVE BROADWAY LOVE SONGS outdoors at Monterey Fairground. WOMEN ON FIRE opens at Jewel Theatre Company (photo above by Steve DiBartolomeo). BALCONY SESSION with Monterey Symphony violinist Thomas Yee. FOR DETAILS AND LINKS, CLICK HERE

WOMEN ON FIRE

 

THE ELECTRONIC LOVER

THE PAUL DRESHER ENSEMBLE teams up with composer Lisa Mezzacappa & librettist Beth Lisick for a free ‘listening party’ on Saturday at 7pm. Click HERE

SF OPERA TO GO LIVE BY DRIVE-IN

ROSSINI’S BARBER will open at Marin Center. Click HERE

POOR VIVALDI

AND MOZART and Kurt Weill and…

 

MAURICE RAVEL’S BRAIN

BELOVED FRENCH COMPOSER suffered an irreversible decline after completing his two piano concertos. Pursuant to a brain health symposium online this Thursday, Tom Jacobs explores Ravel’s deterioration. Click HERE

KHATIA BUNIATISHVILI PLAYS LA JAVANAISE

 

THE PIANO MUSICIANS GETTING RICH TODAY

Click HERE

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

LISTEN UP VIOLISTS! You know how little music has been composed for your instrument. Good news: here are some 70 minutes of viola music from Chile. In her recording debut for New Focus label, Chilean viola virtuoso Georgina Isabel Rossi explains that when she and her piano partner, Silvie Cheng, entered the recording studio it was with a heavy heart; cherished composer Juan Orrego-Salas (1919-2019) had just died. Rossi’s album title, Mobili, was named after Orrego-Salas’ suite in four classical-style movements for viola and piano of 1967. In contrasting moods, the four (in English) are Flexible, Discontinuous, Recurring and Perpetual. But the first thing that hits the ear is ¿Habrá alguien que en sus manos sostenga esta caer?, (Will there be someone whose hands can sustain this falling?) a highly virtuosic solo of 11 minutes duration for amplified viola from 2009 by Rafael Díaz (b. 1962). This fiercely aggressive piece was inspired by prayer-songs of indigenous peoples of the Andes which the composer collected during fieldwork. Díaz’ Al fondo de mi lejanía se asoma tu casa (In the depths of my distance your house emerges) for viola and piano (2013) could scarcely be more different in style and expression, a lyrical reminiscence of the composer as a child walking to school in Patagonia. Other composers represented on the new CD are Carlos Botto (1923-2004), Federico Heinlein (1912-1999), David Cortes (b. 1985)—his Tololo for viola and strings of 2011 named for the Inter-American Observatory of the high Andes and arranged here for viola and piano, and the “Schubert of the Pampas” Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000) whose El Sampedrino is an art song by the native Argentine composer, here arranged for viola and piano by Kim Kashkashian and Robert Levin. SM

WHAT A GORGEOUS new release from Bridge, ‘Long Live Love’ (from the Catalan title) focusing the fabulous lyric tenor of Isaí Jess Muñoz and his Russian-born Israeli pianist wife, Oksana Glouchko in songs by six Catalan composers. Place a bet that none of these pieces, and most of these composers, have been heard outside of Catalunya until now. But Muñoz, who enjoys an international reputation, has long advocated on behalf of contemporary and underrepresented vocal music. His growing discography makes that clear. The songs on this CD appear as cycles numbering from three to six: La rosa als llavis by Eduard Toldrà (1895-1962), Cants Homèries by Ricard Lamote de Grignon (1899-1962), Haidé by Narcís Bonet (b. 1933), Combat del Somni by Frederic Mompou Dencausse (1893-1987), Imitació del foe by Elisenda Fábregas (b. 1955) and Les Paraules Sagrades by Joan Comellas (1913-2000). The last five songs are set to sacred texts. Otherwise the subject matter ranges from ancient Greek verses to yearning for lost love, from new commissions (Fábregas) to love songs. Muñoz not only presents a compelling sound but a natural instinct for the theatrical and ecstatic. Highly recommended. SM

TRIBUTE TO WILLIAM GRANT STILL

 

NIGHT OF LIVING COMPOSERS

ONE YEAR ON from New Music Works Listening Station   Click HERE

CUCURRUCUCÚ PALOMA 

 

FRESH REVIEW

HOWARD BURNHAM’S homage to John Keats. Click HERE

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor