Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

ANNUAL WEST END CELEBRATION in Sand City (Michael Nesmith & First National Band above). STEINBECK’S OF MICE AND MEN, THE MUSICAL opens at The Western Stage. “TANGLE OF RAINBOWS” as Monterey County Composers’ Forum returns to Hidden Valley. VERDI’S FALSTAFF by Bay Shore Lyric Opera outdoors at Henry Miller Library in Big Sur. For links to these and dozens of other live performance events click on our CALENDAR

CHAMBER MUSIC MONTEREY BAY’S 2019-20 SEASON

THE JUILLIARD STRING QUARTET kicks off the season on October 26, followed by Inscape (Nov 23), Horszowski Trio (Feb 23), Escher String Quartet (March 7) and the St Lawrence String Quartet with pianist Stephen Prutsman (April 4). Click HERE  

SYMPHONIC CANARY IN A COAL MINE

“WE ARE LOSING ORCHESTRAS,” said Meredith Snow, chair of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM), and a longtime violist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, at a crisis conference this week at Park City, Utah.  Click HERE  

BERNSTEIN’S SECRET LOVE AFFAIR OUTED

A TROVE OF LOVE LETTERS in the Library of Congress’ Bernstein collection discovered by Mari Yoshihara, a Japanese-American academic. Click HERE 

MTT AT TED: MUSIC & EMOTION THROUGH TIME

THE WHAT, the How and the Why

 

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

RICHARD DANIELPOUR was invited twice by Marin Alsop during her Cabrillo Festival years but was a no-show. To my ear, this new Naxos CD redeems him. Talking to Aphrodite, of 2016, for soprano, horn and orchestra of strings inevitably will be compared to Benjamin Britten’s great Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, the opening movement especially. The six-movement song cycle is based on ecstatic narrative poems from an epic collection by Erica Mann Jong in which “a woman of a certain age who considers, not unlike Sappho, jumping off a cliff to end her life.” Danielpour’s music swings to a wide range of emotions, from circumspect to manic to joyful, with an emphasis on melody. The fifth song setting is “playfully, in the manner of a tango.” By implication, the horn is the Aphrodite half of a conversation with the woman. Soprano Sarah Shafer, whom we recently reviewed in a CD of Poul Ruders’ opera The Thirteenth Child, is sensational. (The Ruders opera has since made its stage debut at Santa Fe Opera to enthusiastic notices.) You will be hearing more and more about Shafer. Likewise, the horn player, Maxim Semyonov, who joins the Russian String Orchestra and its founding conductor Misha Rachlevsky in a ravishing realization of Danielpour’s score. The Symphony for Strings “…For Love is Strong as Death…” (2014) is the composer’s rearrangement of his Sixth String Quartet. Likewise, his Kaddish for violin (Evgeny Pravilov) and strings is derived from a string sextet written for violinist Gil Shaham. This is gorgeous music, full of expression and energy. Highly recommended whether for escape from fraught times or to take hope for the future. SM

BUTTERFLY LOVERS ERHU CONCERTO

FROM CHINA, it was introduced to America in the 1980s, on vinyl and later CD, as a violin concerto, and even in a piano concerto version. At last, the original version for Chinese classical instruments, plus cellos and double basses. 

 

FRESH REVIEWS

MARK KOSOWER CELLO RECITAL in Carmel Valley. Click HERE

NEXT TO NORMAL in Monterey. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

DAVID CROSBY to play Henry Miller Library in Big Sur on Sep 8. (Good luck getting a ticket.) SANTA CRUZ SHAKESPEARE final season performances. PAPA DOO RUN RUN ends Bands on the Beach season. JUSTIN HAYWARD of The Moody Blues comes to Monterey.

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor