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

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @PerfArtsMtyBay

Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor

Weekly Magazine

NEW THIS WEEK

PIANIST ANNA FEDOROVA performs for the Steinway Society’s Home Concert Hall, Friday-Monday. HOWARD BURNHAM’S Writ on Water celebrates the life of John Keats in a Saturday webinar. EDDIE MENDENHALL TRIO (pictured above) in an online encore performance at Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz. FOR DETAILS AND LINKS, CLICK HERE

MARTHA ARGERICH IN HAMBURG THIS FRIDAY

ONE OF THE GREATEST pianists of the late 20th century performs free online, 10am PST. For a preview click HERE  To attend the concert on Friday click HERE

CABRILLO FEST DEADLINE IS MARCH 1

ASPIRING CONDUCTORS are invited to apply for the Cabrillo Festival 2021 Conductor/Composers Workshop, a virtual event. Click HERE

POPS! PROS TEACH

MONTEREY COUNTY POPS musicians are collaborating with Access Monterey Peninsula (AMP1) (Comcast channel 24) every Friday at 4:30pm to teach music clinics for school students, Kindergarten through 12th, emphasizing middle- and high-school students. The telecasts began in November with no fanfare. Click HERE

CHICK COREA, 1941-2021

LAST PERFORMED AT MONTEREY JAZZ FEST in 2017. On his FaceBook page Corea left a message to his fans: “I want to thank all of those along my journey who have helped keep the music fires burning bright. It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so. If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It’s not only that the world needs more artists, it’s also just a lot of fun.”

 

18,000-YEAR-OLD INSTRUMENT SOUNDS AGAIN

PURPOSE-CUT conch shell comes back to life. Click HERE

SCHINDLER’S LIST THEME

COR ANGLAIS player Davida Scheffers reduced to tears. Viewed 36 million times.

 

TWYLA MOVES

A NEW DOCUMENTARY on the legendary choreographer is in line for a Great Performances episode planned for March on PBS. Click HERE

GET THEE TO A NUNNERY

 

STUPID IN POLAND: “LGBT-FREE ZONE”

IT ONLY COST them $2.2million in canceled grants. Click HERE

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

WHILE WELL-DOCUMENTED, the Westernization of music in Turkey began long before the founding in 1923 of the modern Turkish republic. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk told his parliament in 1934, “The quality of today’s music is far from something to make us proud. It is necessary to collect the virtues and ideas of the nation, and to work them within the latest developments of music as soon as possible. Only in this way can Turkish music rise and take its place on the world stage.” Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven all welcomed the music of the Ottoman Janissary military percussion into their music. Atatürk implemented his vision by sending leading Turkish composers of the time to study Western classical music in European musical capitals. Yet despite the achievements of such leading Turkish composers as Ahmet Adnan Saygun, Ferid Alnar, Ulvi Cemal Erkin, Cemal Reşit Rey and Necil Kazim Akses, the relationship has never won general reciprocity between the two cultures. While Saygun and Rey have both contributed works for orchestra and chorus on a major scale, pianist Beyza Yazgan’s earnestly artistic “To Anatolia” of some 26 very brief miniatures by these five composers only seems to underscore the disconnect. To be sure, many of them incorporate Turkish folk song and dance elements, not least modal melodies and charged syncopations, including some from neighboring Armenia, but others seem fully rooted in the European classical tradition without regional inflections. To get on the world stage, what Turkey needs more than a garland of bonbons is a major original musical voice. Kudos to Yazgan for her advocacy. SM

A QUIET MADNESS doesn’t quite live up to its title. The closest it comes is Zydeco Madness (2006) for solo accordion; Stas Venglevski’s virtuosity and timbral palette cinch the deal. The other standouts on this new Belarca CD are Aria for violin (Karen Bentley Pollick and pianist William Susman,) and Seven Scenes for Four Flutes. At 12 minutes, Aria is the most complex and unpredictable piece on the program with its many starts and stops and changes of mood. Seven Scenes, all parts played and overdubbed by Patricia Zuber, examines its potential in seven short ‘variations.’ Between the aforementioned pianist Francesco Di Fiore plays three selected Quiet Rhythms. Susman tends to favor minimalistic repetition. All works composed since the turn of the century. SM

DANNY STEWART AND YUJA WANG GO SURFING

SANTA CRUZ SYMPHONY collaborators during Covid-19.

 

ARMLESS BRAZILIAN GIRL CHOOSES BALLET

VITÓRIA BUENO is much more than bueno. Click HERE

THE BIG BAD WOLF

FRESH REVIEW

CONTRALTO KAREN CLARK opens Santa Cruz Baroque Festival season. Click HERE

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @PerfArtsMtyBay

Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor