Weekly Magazine

NEW THIS WEEK

THE BAD NEWS: C-19 strikes the arts yet again

MONTEREY SYMPHONY’S BIG DECISION

2020-21 SEASON moved back one full year. Symphony’s ED fleshes out the story. (We added the news to our Weekly Magazine last Wednesday.)

PACREP CARMEL CANCELS ALL 2020 SHOWS

THEIR THREE VENUES to remain dark for the rest of the year: Golden Bough Playhouse, Circle Theatre and Forest Theater.

CALI ROOTS & WEST END CELEBRATION CANCELED

THE POPULAR California Roots Music and Arts Festival announced last week that it was necessary to postpone from Memorial Day 2020 for one full year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Festival’s Dan Sheehan recently said, “The good thing is we have a great relationship with all the artists and the managers and agents that we work with.” SAND CITY announced that it will be cancelling this year’s West End Celebration due to COVID-19 concerns. The event was scheduled for Aug. 21-23.

THE GOOD NEWS

SMUIN ARCHIVES’ CARMINA BURANA

MICHAEL SMUIN’s acclaimed Carmina Burana (above photo by Chris Hardy) is the July release in its Hump Day Ballets series, which aims to brighten mid-week spirits with free video streaming of a ballet from the company’s archives. Set to the sensual Carl Orff score of the same name, this dramatic piece was called “dazzling” and “unforgettable” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Carmina Burana will be offered beginning Wednesday, July 15, accompanied by a video introduction from Smuin dancer Tessa Barbour. 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).

MONTEREY COMPOSERS’ FORUM GOES VIRTUAL

THE MONTEREY COUNTY COMPOSERS’ FORUM is offering “Music From A Distance,” our first virtual, on-line concert, Sunday, July 19; the website will remain active through August 2.  Music selections include solo songs, choral works, instrumental chamber music, and fixed media (AKA “electronic music”).  Composers include Dana Abbot, David Canright, Steve Ettinger, Paula Kaiser and Julie Roseman, Mary Lesher, Carleton Macy, Edward Moncrief, Douglas Ovens, Dale Victorine and Rick Yramategui.  Performers include a number of distinguished guest artists as well as some of the composers. Many of the selections are video performances linked to YouTube.  As with most MCCF concerts, a wide variety of musical styles is offered for your enjoyment. Click HERE

CABRILLO VIRTUAL FESTIVAL 2020

CABRILLO FESTIVAL invites you to join our global community of composers, musicians, and creators July 25 through August 9 as we pivot to a completely new experience…a virtual 2020 season! 2020 Grammy Award-winning Music Director and Conductor Cristian Măcelaru, said “Despite the distance, the Festival Orchestra and I feel so profoundly connected to our Cabrillo family and so committed to the Festival. We all wanted and needed to make music together, to connect in meaningful ways, and to offer gifts of music and conversation that will be a source of healing and hope.” Click to their just-released 2020 website and explore all the offerings now! Then mark your calendar, and tune in July 25-August 9 to join this journey into a new frontier. Thanks to the generous support of foundations and individuals like you, most all of the 2020 events are FREE!

SALINAS SUMMER SYMPHONY

JOIN YOUTH ORCHESTRA SALINAS (YOSAL) for a virtual performance of Beethoven. Click HERE

 

SAN JOSE’S NEW ALL-PRO ‘DANCE THEATRE’

A NEW PROFESSIONAL dance company, spawned by San Jose Ballet Theatre dance school, coming soon.

 

CHORAL SINGING UNDER COVID

INHALING? Okay. Exhaling? Nokay. Click HERE 

THE GUSTAVS—KLIMT AND MAHLER—MADE WAVES

WHEN HE GETS HIS MOJO GOING Norman Lebrecht tells a really good story. Click HERE

LETTERS

THANKS SO MUCH for the concert (John Wineglass’ Big Sur: The Night Sun, last week’s Weekly Magazine.) I first saw it from row Z in the auditorium.  It was wonderful to view the performance up close. ~Janna Ottman, Seaside

THANK YOU for writing tenderly about Sara Wilbourne….big breath! Wonder if you knew Roberta Bristol died—she started the dance program at Cabrillo College as well as yoga in Santa Cruz, and Evan Parker—he designed lights for me for 30 years, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Cabrillo Stage—and George Coates, Baltimore Opera and more. Ooh my! I am reeling from their departures, yet each left when their bodies had said enough. Hope you are managing through this rigorous time, asking us all to be so many new things. ~Tandy Beal, Olympia Station, Felton

YOU DESERVE A (RE)TREAT

MAKE IT Rachmaninoff’s gorgeous Second Piano Concerto with Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and the Filarmonica Teatro Regio Torino, Gianandrea Noseda conducting. Watch fullscreen & sound.

 

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

BRIDGE RECORDS loves George Crumb. This is their 19th volume of his music, which previously included his 1968 Pulitzer-winning Echoes of Time and the River. As ever, the now 90-year-old composer continues to astound as this new CD, Metamorphoses, Book I, composed between 2015-2017 attests. (Crumb completed Book II this year.) These are ten ‘fantasy pieces’ for amplified piano inspired by famous paintings by Paul Klee, Vincent van Gogh, Marc Chagall, James Whistler, Jasper Johns, Paul Gauguin, Salvador Dalí and Wassily Kandinsky. (A heady bunch there!) The only thing you can expect with certainty from Crumb is surprises, and here ‘amplified piano’ is only the beginning. Klee’s Black Prince (1927) was inspired by a visit to Tunisia; like the painting, Crumb throws splashes of color onto a somber and dark background and adds sweeping chords on the bare strings of the piano, a technique pioneered by Henry Cowell. For the artist’s Goldfish, Crumb hints at Debussy’s Poissons d’or and darts about with sharply struck whole-tone chords and mutes. (Much of the piano playing liberally uses the sustain pedal.) Van Gogh’s Crows over the Wheatfield (1890) finds Crumb marking the music “Lento elegiaco (uncanny, forbidding)” and adds the sound of duck calls to imitate crows cawing; a wire brush is stroked over the low strings with percussive tapping on the instrument’s frame. Chagall’s The Fiddler sounds vaguely like klezmer music, with another example of the wire brush on the exposed strings. Marcantonio Barone, long a Crumb advocate, displays astonishing effects here; he observed that Crumb “achieves an orchestration of richness in a work for piano solo, supplemented by only a handful of auxiliary instruments.” Crumb noting Whistler’s Nocturne: Blue and Gold “eerie insubstantiality” creates an “ethereal, dreamlike” image. Jasper John’s Perilous Night sputters out of the gate at high speed then fades away quietly. Chagall’s Clowns at Night restores a nocturnal mood, with moaning, bell-like tones from the keyboard and heavy knocking. Gauguin’s Contes barbares follows a narrative of story-telling including a Tahitian Death Chant and menacing shouts. Dalí”s The Persistence of Memory paints a “distorted self-portrait” and quotes from Beethoven’s Op 110 sonata and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, and ends with the melody of “Amazing Grace.” For Kandinsky’s The Blue Rider Crumb takes inspiration from Schubert’s song Erlkönig, “a father galloping on horseback with his child in a frantic but futile attempt to outrun Death.” All of these extraordinary pieces are short: from three to five minutes. Barone has made them his own. SM

MELLON FOUNDATION SHIFTS FOCUS

THE NATION’S largest arts funder notifies applicants they need a new ‘social justice’ rationale. Click HERE

HIGHEST PAID CONDUCTORS

DREW McMANUS has reached phase two of his annual survey of US orchestral wage bills, as posted in their tax returns for tax year is 2017-18 and this is the league table for maestro remuneration:

1 Chicago Symphony: $3,527,730 (Muti)
2 San Francisco Symphony: $2,203,185 (Tilson Thomas)
3 Los Angeles Philharmonic: $2,130,895 (Dudamel)
4 Dallas Symphony: $1,894,129 (van Zweden)
5 Cleveland Orchestra: $1,698,759 (Welser-Möst)
6 New York Philharmonic: $1,660,299 (Gilbert)
7 Philadelphia Orchestra: $1,380,667 (Nézet-Séguin)
8 Boston Symphony: $1,199,866 (Nelsons)
9 Saint Louis Symphony: $1,020,638 (Robertson)
10 Baltimore Symphony: $926,562 (Alsop)

Riccardo Muti was the big winner with a 29.86 percent wage hike, posted as $2,264,240 in payments as an independent contractor and $1,263,490 as an employee.

HAPPY 100TH YUL BRYNNER

BIGGER THAN LIFE stage and film actor, Yuliy Borisovich Briner, was born July 11, 1920 in Vladivostok. He won the 1956 Oscar for his role in The King and I. He also starred opposite Deborah Kerr in what other feature film?

SOCIAL CORRECTNESS 2020

GOODBYE Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah. (It won an Oscar!)

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @PerfArtsMtyBay

Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor