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.
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
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 often 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
CAMERATA SINGERS turn Lent into a celebration of composer John Rutter. Click HERE
Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca RC Brooks, associate editor