Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

PAUL CONTOS and friends play jazz at the Cherry Center. TENOR TYLER FARR comes to Monterey. THE KINGSTON TRIO returns to Santa Cruz. BANDS ON THE BEACH (above) starts up at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with Berlin starring Terri Nunn. SPECTORDANCE SCHOOL performs Peter & the Wolf and scenes from Swan Lake. For links to these and other live performance events, click our CALENDAR or on the ads, left.

YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC

“WHAT PART of the brain lights up when we learn music? The whole brain! When music is a core subject, youth are more engaged, more connected, more motivated overall and more likely to graduate on time,” says Paulette Lynch of the Arts Council for Monterey County. District officials are finalizing their plans and budgets now. For a complete toolkit, including links to every county school district and school board member, visit the Arts Council website HERE  For a directory of Monterey County public school districts, click HERE   

FARKHAD KHUDYEV WINS CAREER GRANT

MUSIC DIRECTOR at Hidden Valley and Youth Music Monterey County won third prize at the International Georg Solti conducting Competition in February 2017. The Solti Foundation has just announced its eight Career Assistance Award grantees for 2018, to one woman and seven men, including three from California. The largest prize the Solti awards annually is $30,000 “Solti Fellow.” A past recipient of that big one is Cabrillo Festival MD Cristian Măcelaru.   

MONTEREY COUNTY THEATRE ALLIANCE EVENT

MCTA EXECUTIVE Andrea McDonald has announced a panel discussion about theater tech, an activity associated with their new Program, “Hands-On Technical Theatre Workshops.” MCTA is accepting applications from individuals, 16 years old to seniors, to work with experienced professionals behind-the-scenes, before and during live performances. The event is open to the public on June 27, 1-3pm, at the Oldemeyer Center, 986 Hilby, Seaside. For more information, click HERE  

AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER’S NEW EXECUTIVE

JENNIFER BIELSTEIN of Guthrie will replace retiring Peter Pastreich in the San Francisco post. Click HERE   

“FAMOUS FATHER GIRL”

JAMIE BERNSTEIN’S memoir of “growing up Bernstein.” It will fascinate you and make you squirm. Click HERE  

HOW THE CIA FUNDED SMEARS OF SHOSTAKOVICH

JOE HOROWITZ reports. Click HERE  

THE INTERTRAGIC NOTCH

JOE HAYDN NEVER ceases to amaze me. His sheer output and always-surprising originality boggle my mind. (The only category which has not exported well is his vast corpus of operas, and they are never less than good.) Here again, in five “sonatas for keyboard accompanied by violin and cello,” the composer’s imagination sizzles. They date from between 1790 and 1795, the period when his best friend WA Mozart was sinking into death. Indeed, the Trio in F-sharp Minor, a key Haydn visited infrequently, contains an adagio-cantabile central movement of such exquisite tenderness that he recycled it into his Symphony 102, even at the expense of its intimacy. Trio Wanderer takes the movement in character with all the slow movements in this collection. (By comparison the famed Beaux Arts Trio broadened it out with an extra layer of “sentiment.”) If he had Mozart in mind, he dedicated it to a female piano pupil. One must remember that Haydn never wears his heart on his sleeve. Even his minor key music is ultimately cheerful and nearly always witty. But now in his 60s, he allowed himself moments of thoughtful reflection. But then the finale of the Trio in A is a laugh-out-loud steeplechase of good fun. The French Trio Wanderer, who made this recording in January 2017 in Berlin, displays their versatility of style, having recorded trios, and, with guests, a repertoire from Beethoven to Shostakovich, including a great discography of French repertoire, some quite rare. SM   

THANKS TO the Carmel Music Society we’ve gotten to know Anne-Marie McDermott as the touring partner of uniquely-gifted violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. But as this new Bridge release makes clear McDermott is an outstanding solo artist on her own terms, and she can be just as witty as the composer himself, and apparently takes joy in being coy. At least she gave me the giggles. This CD also made me want to collect her Haydn Sonatas, Vol 1. The big work here is the 28-minute Sonata in A-flat from 1760, early in the composer’s long service at the Esterházy court. He called it a ‘divertimento’ but it’s far more meaty than that word suggests and stands among his finest for solo keyboard. Its 13-minute slow movement, adagio, is in the key of D-flat, a real oddity at the time. The other three sonatas range from 12 to 16 minutes performance time. The sonata in C was published by Breitkopf in 1789. The sonatas in G and D date from around 1780. The sonata in D, which bursts out of the gate like a yearling thoroughbred whose nervous system is still adolescent. It’s followed by a short, three-minute largo that is all dark grandeur, as ominous as anything by Haydn I have ever heard. Then suddenly a presto sonata-rondo. Thanks to McDermott and a few others, Haydn’s piano sonatas are getting more play and the respect they deserve. SM 

DANCING BERLIOZ’ SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE UNDER WATER

DESIGNED BY puppeteer Basil Twist. Angelica Frey reports. Click HERE 

WHEN HEAVY METAL MEETS MARIACHI

METALACHI same instruments, different rhythms

FRESH REVIEWS

HARTNELL COMMUNITY CHOIR, oboist ELAINE DOUVAS. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

JUDITH LECLAIR & ROBERT WALTERS continue the Masters Festival at Hidden Valley. SHAWN COLVIN at the Rio. SAXOPHONIST GARY MEEK plays Kuumbwa. FIELDS OF EDEN play Carmel.

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor