NEW THIS WEEK
FRIDAY NIGHT PARTY IN KING CITY!
CAMERATA’S JOHN KOZA SAYS FAREWELL
IT WAS MY PLAN to conduct one last and final concert in May. It was my plan to present the exquisite Requiem by French composer Maurice Duruflé. It was my plan to perform this with my dear friend and music colleague Tiffany Bedner at the pipe organ. So much for my plans! I will say, however, that performing Considering Matthew Shepard in March was truly the most important thing I’ve done in my life. The text and music of that composition are so deftly crafted. Many in our audience told me that they were deeply moved and simply “had no words.” The soloists, the chorus and the instrumentalists all performed to the very best of their abilities, and I consider it to be my finest work in my two decades with the Camerata Singers. I am so grateful to the many people who have supported me and the Camerata Singers over the past twenty years. To attempt to list everyone would simply be too voluminous. We have made a lot of beautiful music over the years, and we’ve had a lot of fun! Susan and I will be moving to our beloved Tucson, Arizona, at some point later this year. If you are traveling our way, we hope you will look us up!
ARTISTS STUCK AT HOME
TOM PARKS, the Carmel-based playwright/producer/director, has for a long time created intimate theater pieces that find their perfect venue at the town’s Cherry Center. Silents, a one-person story of a star of the silent screen, was to have opened there just as COVID-19 reared its awful head. Parks now says he’s hopeful that it can be premiered for a one-month run in 2021. Set in 1968, “it appears with historic clips that include the tearing down of an old movie palace,” he says. The 25-page monolog was to and will star Phyllis Davis.
LEIF SEGERSTAM’S COVID-19 SYMPHONY
PROLIFIC FINNISH composer just published his newest symphony. Sinfonia piccola No. 339 “Coronavirus chaoticlies in prisonic moods,” composed in 2020; duration 16 minutes. Click HERE
I’M STILL STANDING
ELTON JOHN ‘Blown away’ by Telford Students. Click HERE
SF OPERA CANCELS 2020
“It is with heavy hearts that the San Francisco Opera announces the cancellation of our 2020 fall season, including our opening-night celebration and productions of Fidelio, Rigoletto, Cosí Fan Tutte, The Handmaid’s Tale and La Bohème. Our 2021 spring programming is not affected by this announcement.” Matthew Shilvock, general director, shares these thoughts, articulating the grief rippling through the company in the wake of today’s announcement. “We were so proud of the works that were to have been on stage this fall. I am heartbroken that we cannot share them with you. They are pieces that would have spoken powerfully to the world that we are now living in and that would have brought us together with themes of liberty and humanity.”
“I JUST WANTED to thank you so much for sharing the conversation with Herbert Blomstedt through your newsletter. I just finished watching it. It brought back so many memories of his master classes that I attended forty years ago. It felt like yesterday. It is unbelievable that he is 92 years old. Your online Weekly Magazine is a great way for me to keep up with what is going on up there. It is very rewarding to see how the Santa Cruz Symphony continues to grow and develop with Danny and Dorothy’s support. I hope that things soon will get back to normal so that many more live performances will be possible. It is so important for the musicians to have concerts to prepare, to keep their chops up, as it were. The socialization among musicians is so integral to our lives. For many it is like being separated from your family.” ~Larry Granger, San Diego. (He is a retired longtime music director/conductor of the Santa Cruz Symphony, Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony and Youth Music Monterey.)
NEW DOCUSERIES will open eyes and ears to music in L.A. from 1965 to 1975, a regular wildfire for Crosby, Stills & Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Doors, Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, and so many more. Look for it on EPIX channel.
ADVENTURES OF A FAKE ROCK STAR
JERED ‘THREATIN’ EAMES took the world by storm, but his tempest never got out of its teapot. Click HERE
HEROINES OF WORLD WAR II
LILY LIAN & VERA LYNN, BOTH DEAD AT 103
LILIANE LEBON, Parisian chanteuse, and Lynn, “The Nightingale of Berkeley Square,” gave hope to their countrymen and women during the war.
SMUIN BALLET ON WEDNESDAY
SMUIN CONTEMPORARY BALLET will present Stanton Welch’s critically acclaimed Indigo (photo top of the page by Chris Hardy) as the next installment of its Hump Day Ballets series, which aims to brighten mid-week spirits with free video streaming of a ballet from the company’s archives. Indigo examines the vagaries of romantic relationships as four couples come together, fall in love, fight, and exchange partners. It will be offered beginning Wednesday accompanied by a video introduction from former Smuin dancer Erica Chipp-Adams, who danced in its West Coast premiere in fall 2016. The recorded performance will be available for 48 hours only, with streaming instructions announced through Smuin’s email list (sign up at smuinballet.org), or via Smuin’s Facebook (facebook.com/SmuinBallet) and Instagram (instagram.com/smuinballet).
HOW MOZART RIPPED OFF THE VATICAN
FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD memorized Allegri’s Miserere which was the private property of the Sistine Chapel Choir.
THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH
VIOLINIST NICOLA BENEDETTI LOVES ELGAR
SHE PLAYS the rarely heard Violin Concerto and others of her favorites by the universally known composer, Edward Elgar.
ANNE-MARIE McDERMOTT’S NEWEST MOZART
SAME ORCHESTRA with three different conductors.
THE SECOND VOLUME in Anne-Marie McDermott’s fledgling survey of the Mozart piano concertos reveals a startling change in the composer’s style. The Concerto in D, K451, harkens back to the Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra (1779) while the Concerto in B-flat, K450, points toward the late and greatest of Mozart’s concertos for piano. Both of these works—known as concertos nos. 15 and 16, though numbers are notoriously undependable when key signatures and catalog numbers are far more reliable—date from 1784. If you’re a Mozart fan, take note of that pivotal year. Of the two concertos, Mozart wrote to his father, “I consider them both to be concertos which make one sweat; but the B flat one beats the one in D for difficulty.” It’s almost as if he didn’t realize the stylistic page he had turned. Meanwhile, McDermott renews her ideal Mozartian playing, so light of touch that the notes sparkle like diamonds, so fleet and transparent that it sounds like she’s making it up as she goes. Her Mozart concerto project so far has availed only the Odense Symphony Orchestra in that Danish city. The Vol. 1 CD was conducted by Scott Yoo. In this case, three conductors take the podium: Kenneth Montgomery for K451, Gilbert Varga for K450 and Andreas Delfs for the earlier Concerto in D, K175, composed in 1773 when Mozart was 17. The young composer was as adept with jokes as was his older mentor, Joseph Haydn; some very witty turns in the first movement under McDermott’s hand had me laughing out loud. (To further gild her lily, these nine movements come with solo bits and cadenzas. Becky Starobin of Bridge Records told me, “The practicalities of doing a Mozart cycle over many years require that we employ conductors that can make the recording dates the orchestra offers us, and most importantly, conductors who have excellent working relationships with both our orchestra and our soloist.” She added, “Vol. 3 (K. 449 and K. 595) are with the same conductor—the excellent Sebastian Lang-Lessing. We have Vol. 4 dates scheduled with him in August, but the progression of the disease is putting them in jeopardy.” SM
1968 THELONIOUS MONK CONCERT FOUND
IT WAS PLAYED at a Palo Alto high school and will be released next month. Click HERE
BEYONCÉ KNOWLES’ JUNETEENTH
RELEASED last Friday.
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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor