DID I HEAR AN ECHO?
DANIEL STEWART ANNOUNCED the Santa Cruz Symphony’s 2017-18 season, during last weekend’s concerts in Santa Cruz and Watsonville. FIRST program: Holst’s The Planets, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, featuring concertmaster Nigel Armstrong. SECOND: John Adams’ The Chairman Dances, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (just heard that in Carmel) and Beethoven Symphony 7 (heard last year in Carmel). THIRD: Wagner’s Meistersinger Prelude, Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade (just heard that in Carmel). FOURTH: Mozart Marriage of Figaro overture, Lou Harrison’s Marriage at the Eiffel Tower, a doublebass concerto by Giovanni Bottesini featuring the 2016 Klein String Competition winner and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, K364 (heard that in January in Carmel). FIFTH: Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection.” Plus a STUNNING SURPRISE in June which will be announced officially tomorrow.
COMING UP THIS WEEK
47TH NEXT GENERATION JAZZ FESTIVAL starts Friday, 7pm, at the Golden State Theatre, and continues Saturday and Sunday, starting 9am, at various downtown Monterey venues. ESPRESSIVO ORCHESTRA plays Charles Ives’ Unanswered Question, Ned Rorem’s Eleven Studies for Eleven Players and the original chamber orchestra version of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, in Santa Cruz. SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS survey vocal and instrumental works by French composers, music by Enriquez Valderrabano and a world premiere by Chris Pratorius-Gomez, in Aptos. SIX CURRENT STAGE PRODUCTIONS continue on both sides of the bay, plus an opening on Sunday of Paul Rudnik’s I HATE HAMLET. Click our CALENDAR for links these and other events of the week.
MONTHLY JAZZ JAM SUSPENDED
HOST LEE DURLEY has sent around a notice that the popular jazz jam held every last Sunday afternoon at Embassy Suites in Seaside is on hold. He explains that the Cypress Lounge is included in a major renovation that may, or may not, result in its future use as the venue for the jazz jam. Just in case, he is evaluating alternatives.
REPUBLICAN MIKE HUCKABEE
PLEADS TO SAVE NEA FUNDING in a Washington Post op-ed. Click HERE
WHAT THE HECK IS MUSICAL ANHEDONIA?
IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE who don’t get music at all. Click HERE
SHOSTAKOVICH IN FICTION
JULIAN BARNES’ recent novel, The Noise of Time, works up three events that pivot off Solomon Volkov’s “Testimony,” a collection of interviews with the great composer that, from when it first appeared in 1979—long before the collapse of the Soviet Union—inspired great controversy. In Volkov, Shostakovich talks at length about his fear of being ‘disappeared,’ of being set up by Stalin as a stooge, yet is often very petty in his comments about colleagues. (The terrible legacy of Josef Stalin’s ‘reign of terror’ still prevailed; indeed, it seems to still.) The three chapters that make up Barnes’ book are titled “On the Landing,” “On the Plane” and “In the Car.” The first portrays Shostakovich spending his nights next to the elevator in his apartment building, suitcase packed, waiting for the men he expected on any night to take him away. (He didn’t want those men to frighten his children.) The second deals with the composer’s trip to New York as a representative of Soviet ‘values’ in opposition to those of bourgeois America. (He hated it, and himself for the things he said in public.) The third describes the composer’s induction into membership in the Communist Party. (Instead of speaking truth to power, he became so paranoid that he repeatedly violated his own conscience.) Yet Barnes never acknowledges Volkov’s book, notwithstanding so many of the stories, names and situations that he freely paraphrases. (I met Shostakovich’s son, conductor Maxim in 1981 in San Luis Obispo, and all he would admit to me then was that Volkov’s account “was a book about my father.”) But the Volkov continued to add both detractors and believers, among the latter such well-known Russian musical artists as Mstislav Rostropovich, Rudolf Barshai, Kirill Kondrashin, Gidon Kremer, Emil Gilels and Sviatoslav Richter. Maxim Shostakovich, who originally rejected it, has joined them, and his sister Galina, in supporting Volkov’s portrait of their father. What comes from both books is the image of a musical genius who could never manage to square his personality with his fame, at great personal cost.
RARE SHOSTAKOVICH DOCUMENTARY
1966 FILM of composer Dmitri Shostakovich and his son, conductor Maxim Shostakovich, including such performing luminaries as Leonid Kogan, Sviatoslav Richter, Galina Vishnevskaya, Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, Evgeny Mravinsky and more.
DEBORAH BORDA, SYMPHONIC RAINMAKER
MIRACLE WORKER went from the New York Phil to the Los Angeles Phil, a step down, and now back to the NYP, another step down. Alex Ross ponders her magic touch. Click HERE
DANCING WHILE DEAF
ANTOINE HUNTER, dancer, director, founder of the Bay Area Deaf International Dance Festival, feels his own beat.
SMUIN BALLET on March 25. Click HERE
YMM CONCERT at Hidden Valley, and SANTA CRUZ SYMPHONY in Watsonville. Click HERE
Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca RC Brooks, associate editor