Weekly Magazine

DANCING WITH MYSELF, Houston style

NEW THIS WEEK

OUR VIRTUAL CALENDAR

SINCE C-19 EXPLODED our Weekly Calendar has gone silent. But no longer; with more and more virtual performance events we have revived it to cover them. Therefore, we encourage press releases and notices from Monterey Bay virtual performances, and will add them as they come in. Send to editor@performingartsmontereybay.com 

SATURDAY’S ATTACCA QUARTET

THE LIVE STREAM from Detroit last Saturday at 5pm went very well, hi-res video and excellent stereo sound, except for a constant low-level hum—the consequence of an ungrounded open circuit—and the occasional rumble of passing vehicle traffic. (For true aficionados video/audio software makes it easy to record live-streams like this; audio editing software can easily filter out unwanted noise, pursuant to burning an audio or video copy.) The Attacca Quartet’s recent CD, “Orange,” which is devoted to the music of Caroline Shaw, won the 2019 Grammy Award—her second—and prompted the New York Times to comment that Attacca “is quickly becoming the authoritative ensemble for chamber works by Ms Shaw.”

CABRILLO FESTIVAL CONTINUES

JULY 31, 5PM, AN ‘OPENING NIGHT’ EVENT reflects on the Festival’s roots. Interviews with conductor, pianist, and former Cabrillo Festival Music Director Dennis Russell Davies and composer/bassoonist Robert Hughes, reveal composer Lou Harrison’s personal and musical influence at the Cabrillo Festival. PLUS AUG 1, 2 AND 3 events. See our Virtual Calendar HERE Even if you miss the first dates, you will be able to stream programs at your leisure, all for free.

THE TERRIBLE CULLING OF 1990

30 YEARS AGO major American performing arts talent was decimated by the extraordinary loss of many of our brightest stars: Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Sammy Davis Jr, Pearl Bailey, Art Blakey, Sarah Vaughan, Mary Martin, Paulette Goddard, Barbara Stanwyck (pictured, “A great broad in every sense of the word,” Charlton Heston), Ava Gardner, Irene Dunne, Joan Bennett, Gary Merrill, Joel McCrea, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jim Henson, Eve Arden, Dexter Gordon and Jimmy Van Heusen. Add Patrick Franklin, the last truly professional and honest Monterey Herald music critic.

SPEAKING OF BERNSTEIN

IN THE AUTUMN OF 1991, following his death one year earlier, Leonard Bernstein became a cottage industry, with Craig Urquhart taking a leadership role, as he does to this day in the twice-annual magazine Prelude, Fugue & Riffs that anyone can subscribe to at no cost. Bernstein’s three offspring, Jamie, Alexander and Nina take an active role in promoting the Bernstein brand. The publication is named after the piece he wrote for, and recorded with, Benny Goodman. Now, after 70 issues Prelude, Fugue & Riffs is replacing its paper-printed edition with an online newsletter. You can subscribe by submitting your email address HERE

SPEAKING OF 90

BIRTHDAY GREETINGS to Stephen Sondheim, Sean Connery, Tippi Hedren, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Joanne Woodward, and Robert Wagner (still under suspicion for Natalie Wood’s death).

OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND, 1916-2020

WHEN TRUE LOVE TURNED TO GLACIAL ICE: Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress. De Havilland’s eventual court victory helped shift the power from the big studios of that era to the mega-celebrities and powerful talent agencies of today. “Hollywood actors will be forever in Olivia’s debt,” de Havilland’s frequent co-star Bette Davis wrote in her autobiography, “The Lonely Life.” De Havilland later recalled how rewarding the ruling was for her. “I was very proud of that decision, for it corrected a serious abuse of the contract system (that) forced extension of a contract beyond its legal term. Among those who benefited by the decision were the actors who fought in World War II and who, throughout that conflict, were on suspension,” the actress told the Screen Actors Guild in a 1994 interview.

WILL RACISM AND SEXISM REWRITE THE ARTS?

YOU WILL FIND PLENTY of it in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Othello, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. Stand by for updates; there will be plenty.

LETTERS

AS A CLASSICAL MUSIC LOVER I am an avid fan and attendee of live music performances. Your Weekly Magazine was my go-to source to find out about upcoming events, and to read reviews of past ones. I sorely mourn the loss of these performances, which the pandemic has taken away. Now, arts organizations are getting increasingly creative, offering myriad engaging online presentations. Thanks to your magazine, I’m able to learn about these shows and access them. Now I check PAMB regularly for online events; I also enjoy the informational and biographical articles you feature. In these distressing pandemic times, your magazine is more needed than ever, as a guide to the healing and calming world of music. ~Phyllis Rosenblum, Santa Cruz

FROM ‘MONDAYS AT KUUMBWA’ ARCHIVES

ALICIA OLATUJA performing live at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in July, 2019.

 

100 GREATEST GOTH & METAL BANDS

ROLLING STONE’S choices. Click HERE

THE WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND

MICHEL LEGRAND (1932-2019) masterpiece as the composer joins Natalie Dessay. (In French the title is Les moulins de mon coeur.)

 

GINA PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD’S THE OLD GUARD

AN INTERVIEW by David Sims with the filmmaker on her recent movie hit. Click HERE

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTOS with Kristian Bezuidenhout, fortepiano and Freiburger Barockorchester, Pablo Heras-Casado conducting

GRAB A BAGUETTE, a nicely ripened camembert and some Beaujolais, the better to savor these not-so-serious bagatelles—trifles—from the quill of Beethoven. Though usually disregarded for concert purposes, other than as encores, they include the composer’s invention of ragtime (Bagatelle in B minor, Op 126:4) and the music-box favorite, Für Elise. Still they all bear the fingerprints found in the composer’s masterpieces. Three collections of bagatelles, Opp 33, 110 and 126, also include some much earlier piano pieces plus the concluding Fantasia, Op 77, 1809, the odd man out, a fantasy/variations that corresponds to neither form precisely but embraces a manic spirit of improvisation. In any case, and thanks to Paul Lewis, you will not need to look further to find better. SM

HOW CHRISTINE WALEVSKA GOT HER FIRST CELLO BACK

THE 19TH CENTURY French child-sized instrument was discovered four decades after it was stolen. (In the 1970s Walevska was a concerto soloist with the Monterey Symphony.) Click HERE

TWO 20TH CENTURY CELLO ‘GODS’ CHAT

MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH AND JANOS STARKER join an insightful 40-minute audio conversation about their life and work. Produced in the studios of WFIU during the celebration of Starker’s 75th birthday, this marks the only time that these two great cellists have given a joint interview. Bob Willard hosts on Starker’s 75th birthday. Click HERE

SHELTERING IN PLACE

ONE COUPLE was way ahead of the curve. Click HERE

THE BOXER

PAUL SIMON with Art Garfunkel and a bunch of enhanced studio effects.

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor