Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

BRAD HOGARTH guest conducts the Monterey Symphony in Tchaikovsky & Shostakovich. APTOS KEYBOARD SERIES hosts Tyler Hayford. JAZZ PIANIST HIROMI (above) plays Kuumbwa. UCSC CONCERT CHOIR & CHAMBER SINGERS. PACIFIC GROVE POPS ORCHESTRA. THE THREE Rs at the Western Stage. FOR LINKS to these and other live performance events click on our CALENDAR or on the display ads, left.

BRAD HOGARTH AT MONTEREY SYMPHONY

GUEST CONDUCTOR Brad Hogarth is from the SF Bay Area where he is the Assistant Professor of Conducting at San Francisco State University, the music director and conductor of both the Contra Costa Wind Symphony and the Art Haus Collective. As a trumpeter he regularly performs with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and many more of the Bay Area’s professional ensembles. Shostakovich’s 15th Symphony makes its regional debut this weekend.

CABRILLO FESTIVAL 2020

58TH SEASON takes over Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium from July 26 through August 9. Highlights include three world premiere commissions, two works commemorating the centenary of women’s suffrage in America, two contemporary homages to Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, and a posthumous tribute to beloved composer Christopher Rouse. Composers-in-Residence are Mason Bates, Dan Caputo, Stacy Garrop, John Harbison (for his first Festival appearance), Jake Heggie, Pierre Jalbert, Paola Prestini, Kevin Puts, Andrea Reinkemeyer, Iván Enrique Rodríguez, Sean Shepherd, Sarah Kirkland Snider and Gregory Smith. In addition to the world premiere commission of Heggie’s Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope, orchestral version (Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano; Benjamin Beilman, violin), are Stacy Garrop’s For the Crime of Voting (Text from Susan B Anthony; with recorded narration) and Sean Shepherd’s Mass Appeals. Among the West Coast premieres are Chris Rouse’s Sixth Symphony, Harbison’s Great Gatsby Suite (from his opera), Puts’ second oboe concerto Moonlight and Bates’ The Art of War. Guest artists, in addition to those mentioned above, are Katherine Needleman (oboe), Gregory Smith (narrator), Quartet San Francisco, Lara Downes (piano) and Stewart Goodyear (piano). The Festival’s music director and conductor is the Grammy-winning Cristian Măcelaru (pictured above.) To read the complete, highly detailed press release, click HERE

SF MAYOR SHUTTERS PERFORMANCE VENUES

SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR LONDON BREED announced on Saturday that War Memorial Performing Arts Center venues, including Davies Symphony Hall, will be closed for all public events for the next two weeks in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All San Francisco Symphony concerts scheduled at Davies Symphony Hall through March 20 are canceled.

COVID-19 ADVICE

FROM BOSTON CAMERATA LABS: “Frequent washing of the hands is an excellent precaution against the day’s virus, and that singing “Happy Birthday” twice (circa 20 seconds) while doing so will help you time the process correctly. Lest you be deterred, however, by the thought of having to perform that sappy tune twice in a row, BCL suggest a few other washtime melodies that might time out acceptably, while giving somewhat more musical pleasure to the process. Our lab-tested examples hereby follow, in music-historical chronological order. Moniot d’Arras (13th century): “Ce fu en mai,” 21 seconds; J. Dowland (1563-1626): “Come again, sweet love” (only once through the second phrase) 25 seconds; Franz Schubert (1797 -1828): “Das Wandern ist der Müllers Lust” (one strophe), first song from the Schöne Müllerin: 22 seconds; Anon. 19th century: “O My Darling Clementine” (twice through) 20 seconds; WC Handy (1873-1958): Saint Louis Blues, just the minor key phrase with the diamond ring bit: 20 seconds.

JAZZ GREAT McCOY TYNER DEAD AT 81

WAS RECRUITED by legendary John Coltrane. Last played the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2006 with Roy Hargrove and Bobby Hutcherson, all of them now gone. Click HERE  

 

WHY APPS? WHEN YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF

SIMPLY learn to play an instrument. Click HERE  

BEYOND THE GRACE NOTE

TRAILER for a new documentary. The third of the women conductors featured is Santa Cruz native Rebecca Miller.

 

THE HYPERTAGIC NOTCH

FRED LERDAHL, born 1943, is generously represented in the Bridge Records catalog. He’s a very brainy guy as this new CD makes clear. The short There and Back Again for solo cello was commissioned as part of a ‘garland’ of pieces from as many composers by cellist Anssi Karttunen, each a variation on a ciacona by an obscure Italian of the 17th century, Giuseppe Colombi. As such, it follows a basso ostinato (an obstinately repeating bass line). In this case, the cellist is Tom Kraines who tracks the bass line of the Colombi as Lerdahl puts it through a beguilingly compact exercise of musical imagination and invention. Lerdahl even quotes from the famous Bach chaconne for solo violin. (The composer has written extensively on music theory; his latest book titled Composition and Cognition reflects on contemporary music and “the musical mind.”) In his String Quartet No 4, Chaconne, written for and recorded by the Daedalus Quartet, he admits that “it has been a challenge to compose constantly with symmetrical paired phrases,” which the piece indeed does. “To avoid squareness, I have introduced all kinds of overlaps and displacements.” The piece, in a single movement, from quiet to loud and back to quiet, surges as a splendid addition to the string quartet literature, all the while taking opportunities to disguise the underlying basso ostinato. Lerdahl also calls for all the conventional techniques used by string players. The most ominous piece on the CD is his setting of the Robert Frost poem, “Fire and Ice,” for soprano and double bass, a post-apocalyptic picture of the end of the world. Excellent soprano Elizabeth Fischborn sings the verse several times over, all to different melodic lines while bassist Edwin Barker growls menacingly in a dark counterpoint. Relief comes with Three Bagatelles, recorded here by guitarist David Starobin and violinist Movses Pogossian. Finally, orchestral music appears for Arches, with solo cellist Toke Moldrup and Denmark’s Odense Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andreas Delfs. The work is not a concerto, per se, but a “dialogue.” Also a commission from Karttunen, it was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer for music. At 20 minutes, the longest piece on the CD, it presents an atmospheric, at times dramatic, tapestry of rich orchestral colors, full of spotlighted solos, bells and piano among them. Lerdahl is tonal when he wants to be and chromatic at whim, but the music always remains coherent and gets superb performances across the board. SM        

ALL THINGS THEREMIN

EVERYTHING you now know you needed to know. Click HERE  

 

FRESH REVIEWS

CONSIDERING MATTHEW SHEPARD at Cabrillo College. MONTEREY COUNTY COMPOSERS’ FORUM at Hidden Valley. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

SANTA CRUZ JAZZ FESTIVAL at Cabrillo College. GOLDEN GATE CHAMBER PLAYERS at Hidden Valley. AN EVENING OF FLAMENCO at Hidden Valley. ARIA WOMEN’S CHOIR in Salinas and Pacific Grove. PIANIST BENJAMIN GROSVENOR plays for Carmel Music Society. SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS hosts Roy Malan string quartet with pianist Robin Sutherland. SC CHORALE hosts visiting New Choir. MANHATTAN TRANSFER at Kuumbwa. CABARET opens at Paper Wing.  

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor