JOAN BAEZ MAKING HER LAST ALBUM
SHE PROMISES to retire…again. The ‘barefoot madonna’ recorded her first album for Vanguard, at age 19, in 1960. It went gold. She’s been gold ever since, seen here with Bob Dylan in 1963. She has long been associated with Carmel, Big Sur and the Monterey community. But has set down roots everywhere. Click HERE
SLIM PICKINGS THIS WEEK
BRIAN SPENCER’S SEETHEATRE in Santa Cruz opens a new production of Jennifer Haley’s The Nether, at Center Stage. For most theater, classical music, even popular music venues, this is one of those few times each year when they take a breather. Meanwhile, jazz has it pretty much all to itself. But this brief breath-holder will shortly and suddenly exhale next week. Meanwhile, visit our CALENDAR.
HENRY MILLER LIBRARY SEEKS HELP
BIG SUR LANDMARK is cut off by the closure of Highway 1 at Pfeiffer Canyon and unable to pay its routine overhead. To help, click HERE
ROGER FEDERER, WIZARD OF YELLOW BALLS
THE GREATEST OF FINE ARTISTS are able to transfix by making their best works appear to be spontaneous, executed in the breathless moment. The greatest of lively artists are able to transfix on the fly. Then there is Roger Federer, who does both. He is the greatest dancer among athletes and the finest painter among those who wield a racket. But, after he continually cleans the competitions’ clocks, can he sing? Click HERE
INORI WITH FACIAL PROJECTIONS
BY Nobumichi Asai and Shingo Abe: SCARY and fascinating
MONTEREY SYMPHONY 2017-18 ANNOUNCED
LOTS OF FAMILIAR FEEL-GOOD CLASSICAL is on tap, amid a season titled “Concert Grand,” featuring piano concertos on every program. As they did in the 2012-13 season, music director Max Bragado-Darman (pictured) will host six pianists, two, Orion Weiss and Josu de Solaun returning after previous successes here, plus David Jae-Weon Huh, Juan Pérez Floristán, Phillipe Bianconi, and one more to be selected by guest conductor Conner Gray Covington, who will preside over the March 17-18 program. Weiss, who will open the Carmel Music Society’s 91st season with a solo recital, launches the MS season with Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No 1. Piano concertos by Prokofiev, Saint-Saëns, Mozart, Brahms, de Falla and Liszt are scheduled among such orchestral faves as Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony, Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony, Schumann’s Symphony No 2, and Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony. The Monterey Symphony Chamber Players will perform in early December. The season will end with a bang, literally, in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. For economic reasons, unfortunately, the Symphony will discontinue its run-out concerts at Sherwood Hall in Salinas after the conclusion of the current season.
REMEMBERING DON RICKLES
FROM The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
VIRGIL THOMSON, KNIGHT ERRANT OF MUSIC CRITICS
AND MY FAVORITE MENTOR. Christopher Carroll writes about the American composer/critic in the New York Review of Books and surveys two new collections of Thomson articles edited by Tim Page. Click HERE
WU HAN’S STUNNING NEW CD
LIVE FROM MUSIC@MENLO chamber music festival, she plays two extremely rare masterpieces: piano quintets by Ernö Dohnányi and Sergei Taneyev, each with a quartet of great string players. Dohnányi composed his Op. 1 quintet in 1895, when he was just 18. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was composed by Tchaikovsky, or Brahms, or, actually, both. As a synthesis, it’s irresistible, a full-fledged gem in four movements. Brahms declared, “I couldn’t have written it better myself.” In 1875, Taneyev became the first to graduate from the Moscow Conservatory with a gold medal in both performance and composition. Among his students were Scriabin and Rachmaninoff. Despite a prolific output, this work is considered his masterpiece, albeit rarely performed. It comes in at 41 minutes, with an 18-minute first movement. The third movement, largo, is an unexpected passacaglia. Violist Paul Neubauer and cellist David Finckel perform in both works, with two different pairs of violinists in each work. (See a link to our review of Wu Han’s trio concert in Carmel, below.)
AT LONG LAST on public display and with real music. Click HERE
IMMORTAL ELLA FITZGERALD
HIDDEN VALLEY STRINGS and WU HAN/SETZER/FINCKEL TRIO. Click HERE
INSIDE THE GOLDEN BOUGH PLAYHOUSE. Click HERE
Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca RC Brooks, associate editor