Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

PIANO ICON OXANA YABLONSKAYA to perform in Santa Cruz. KITKA’S “WINTERSONGS” (above photo by Vincent Louis Carrella) returns to Santa Cruz to launch the last concert tour of their 40th season. LA PASTORELA opens at El Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE radio drama opens at Carmel High School’s Black Box. RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA opens in Monterey. THE NUTCRACKER by Monterey Peninsula Ballet Theatre at Sunset Center. GUITAR ROCKER TOMMY EMMANUEL plays the Rio. FOR LINKS to these and dozens of other live performance events click on our CALENDAR OR ON THE DISPLAY ADS, LEFT.

OXANA YABLONSKAYA RETURNS

SOVIET EXPAT artist performed several times with the Monterey Symphony and conductor Clark Suttle in the 1990s. Now she solos for the Distinguished Artists Series in a program that includes Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, Rhapsodies by Brahms and Nocturnes and Mazurkas by Chopin. Despite numerous concert invitations from abroad, the Soviet government forbade her from performing outside Eastern Bloc borders. Frustrated in her career, Yablonskaya applied for a US visa in 1975 and was subsequently stripped of her professorship at the Moscow Conservatory and denied all concert engagements. In 1977, thanks in great part to a petition signed by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rodgers, Katharine Hepburn, and other notables, Yablonskaya emigrated to the United States with her father and cellist/conductor son, Dmitry. In 1990 she created a near-sensation in her former homeland, giving several sold-out concerts and conducting master classes at the Moscow Conservatory.

I CANTORI DI CARMEL AT CARMEL MISSION

CONDUCTOR CYRIL DEACONOFF’S program features music for choir and brass ensemble, including John Rutter’s Gloria and works by Gwyneth Walker, Anton Bruckner, Hector Berlioz, Arvo Pärt, and Deaconoff’s own A Northern Tale. Performances will take place on both Saturday and Sunday. 

WORDS TO LIVE BY

THE GREAT Latvia-born conductor Mariss Jansons, who died Saturday at his St Petersburg home aged 76, lived by a motto told to him by his father.Better one good concert less than one bad concert more.”

ROBBIE ROBERTSON’S SIX DECADES IN MUSIC

CANADIAN musician’s thoughts on The Band, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman & more. Click HERE  

MUSCA, THE SINGING MOLECULAR CLOUD

IT’S WHERE new stars are born

 

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

A MOST WELCOME PAIR OF RARITIES

RACHEL BARTON PINE has teamed up with young conductor (pianist, clarinetist and composer) Teddy Abrams and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for the violin concertos by Antonín Dvořák and Aram Khachaturian, major works that are rarely heard in American concert halls. The Dvořák, begun in 1879 but premiered only in 1893, is a fully mature and spirited piece with a gorgeous Adagio slow movement. (It was written with the great violinist Joseph Joachim in mind, but he declined to play it.) The Violin Concerto would enjoy more exposure but for the great Cello Concerto of 1894-5 that overwhelms the composer’s violin and, even less performed, piano concertos. The Khachaturian is a vivacious barn-burner of a piece, at 40 minutes a fully urban work but shot-through with allusions to Armenian, Azeri and Georgian folkloric melodies, modal scales and rhythms that make the composer’s music so immediately recognizable. The vividly colorful orchestration features many cameo solos. Khachaturian used pulsing patterns that show up in some of Bernard Herrmann’s movie scores and outbursts borrowed from Gustav Holst’s Beni Mora. The concerto is also a huge technical challenge. (The first movement sports a monster solo cadenza.) The Andante slow movement gives the violin a haunting, moody character. The rowdy final Allegro, a vigorous dance in rondo form, borrows bombast from Tchaikovsky with a pinch of Hungarian paprika. Cleverly, its coda quotes from the second theme of the first movement. Rachel Pine is one of a handful of great female violin artists that today outnumber the boys. She gives these works a compelling argument and particular authority. (She also wrote the erudite program notes for this Avie CD.) Highly recommended. SM

THE PECULIAR CLAVICHORD

WITH SEVERAL DIFFERENT NOTES on a single string set.

 

SPANISH IN THE UNITED STATES

DEPENDS ON WHERE and from where. Click HERE 

BALOW, MY BABE

CUSTER LARUE and the Baltimore Consort, 16th-17th century. (To follow the words, click HERE

 

NEXT WEEK

KEIKO SHICHIJO performs for Aptos Keyboard Series. WHOLEHEARTED CHORUS at Hidden Valley. CAMERATA SINGERS in Salinas & Monterey. DANCE KIDS’ NUTCRACKER in Carmel. ANDY VARGAS & SOULEROS at the Rio. MUSICAL JOURNEY OF JEWS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE at Kuumbwa. LOTS MORE music at UC Santa Cruz, CSU Monterey Bay and Cabrillo College.

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor