Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

CABRILLO FEST’S first concert, “In the Works,” on July 31. SPECTORDANCE in Marina hosts summer Choreographers Showcase (above, Meghan Horowitz choreography). PARIS COMBO coming to Kuumbwa. THE FANTASTICKS opens at MPC. THE PRODUCERS takes the Cabrillo Stage. SWEET JAZZ @ EMBASSY monthly jazz jam in Seaside. For links to these and other live performance events, click our CALENDAR 

FALL EVENTS AT UC SANTA CRUZ

CAMPUS CALENDAR, beginning to fill up, includes the Kyma International Sound Symposium, Strange Window: The Turn of the Screw, Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour and pianist/storyteller Nathan Carterette.

YOU PROBABLY SPEAK FOSSIL

WHEN WORDS go extinct before memories do. Click HERE  

HOW DEATH DREW SHAKESPEARE INTO SCIENCE

NEW SCHOLARSHIP raises new questions. Click HERE  

HOW SCIENCE IS SAVING TODAY’S DANCERS

NEW TECHNIQUES are protecting limbs and joints. Click HERE  

90TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RED POPPY

POPULAR SOVIET BALLET sparked a row with the Chinese. Eveline Chao spells it out. Photo, right, by Marc Haegeman. Click HERE  

À CHLORIS

GRAMMY-WINNING mezzo-soprano Susan Graham speaks about the power of music, and sings Reynaldo Hahn’s À Chloris with composer Jake Heggie at the piano. This performance is from the 2013 Sing With Haiti Gala Benefit Concert at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Sing With Haiti raised funds to support and rebuild the Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake.

THE INTERTRAGIC NOTCH

A SENSATIONIAL new CD conducted by Santa Cruzan Rebecca Miller of music by Aaron Jay Kernis features two major concertos, the two-movement Dreamsongs for cello and chamber orchestra, that was composed and premiered in 2013, and the three-movement Viola Concerto of 2013-14. Joshua Roman is the cellist (apparently the only one to play the piece so far) with the Royal Northern Orchestra, recorded at Gateshead. Paul Neubauer is viola soloist. Kernis describes the first movement of the cello concerto, Floating Dreamsongs, as “mostly slow and airy” and “continuously developing variations.” Tremolos on marimba and vibraphone make his colorful orchestration more exotic. The second movement, Kora Song, uses abundant pizzicato and strummed chords in imitation of the well-known West African gourd lute that sounds similar to a harp. Both movements are energetic, the second more than the first with mini-cadenzas for the cello. The Viola Concerto’s movements are titled Braid, Romance and, at more than twice as long as the other two together, A Song My Mother Taught Me. If anything, the concerto is even more fiercely virtuosic than Dreamsongs. In it Kernis uses both the Yiddish folksong Tumbalalaika and a melody from a piano piece by Schumann, each of which is also added to the playlist separately, providing a frame of reference. With pizzicato from both hands, the piece climaxes in “a Jimi Hendrix-style freakout.” The other work on the CD is Concerto with Echoes of 2009, that uses JS Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 as a template. Kernis accesses an amazingly eclectic range of styles but always with distinctive neo-Romantic sense of melody and harmony. Highly recommended. SM     

NEW FROM VADYM KHOLODENKO

THE VAN CLIBURN gold medal winner has just released an excellent new Harmonia Mundi CD of piano pieces by Alexander Scriabin. (The composer died at age 43 from septicemia caused, according to some reports, by an insect sting.) Eschewing the use of folk music then popular with Russian composers, Scriabin’s early music was conspicuously influenced by Chopin, then Liszt, and later Debussy and Schoenberg. Kholodenko’s program, which includes the fourth and fifth sonatas, the Poème tragique and Poème satanique, crosses all these styles and in the avant-garde pieces seems to anticipate the music of Olivier Messiaen. Many locals will recall his solo concert for the Carmel Music Society in the season after he won the Cliburn. Kholodenko’s artistry and sensitivity remain at the highest level. This is his ninth CD so far. It’s a treat to see and hear his discography growing. SM 

SUMMERTIME

ANDREA MOTIS and colleagues

FRESH REVIEWS

PIANIST YOONIE HAN plays Reynaldo Hahn in Aptos. CARMEL BACH FEST’S Chorale concert at Carmel Mission Basilica. Click HERE

LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST at Santa Cruz Shakespeare. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK  

CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORAY MUSIC opens first full weekend of concerts in Santa Cruz. MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET opens at PacRep in Carmel. David Ives’ VENUS IN FUR opens August 7 at SC Shakespeare. 

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor