Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

JEWEL THEATRE COMPANY adds Ebenezer, a free radio play, to their holiday lineup. MONTEREY SYMPHONY musicians play Christmas Eve online from MY Museum. JENKINS DANCE COMPANY and Dresher Ensemble rescheduled for Dec. 29. FOR DETAILS AND LINKS, CLICK HERE

GIFT FROM SAM BERGMAN OF CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC

 

WHAT CHARLEY PRIDE BUCKED

COUNTRY MUSIC’S black heritage still marginalized. Click HERE

NOTRE DAME’S ORGAN SURVIVED THE FIRE

BUT IT WILL TAKE YEARS before it is fully restored. Click HERE

CONCERTS FROM GRACE CATHEDRAL

THREE CHRISTMAS PROGRAMS from San Francisco. Click HERE

JULIE TO THE RESCUE

JULIE EDGCOMB, Ambulatory Services Administrator at the Monterey County Health Department, has joined the Board of Directors of Opera San José, where her rescue skills will be further applied to a company that has weathered the events of 2020 better than many. She was involved in the online production of Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers, starring the internationally acclaimed Susan Graham.

WATCH THREE DECEMBERS

JAKE HEGGIE’S opera available online. Click HERE

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN is perhaps the most brilliant virtuoso on the concert circuit today. The Canada-born pianist has dominated the music of Charles Valentin Alkan, one of the most feared piano composers of the 19th century who attracts advocates of his music only once every two or three generations. And so it is with Samuil Feinberg (1890-1962), one of a handful of great Russian pianist/composers in the generation after Tchaikovsky starting with Alexander Scriabin (born 1871) and including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Nikolai Medtner, Sergei Prokofiev among others. Legendary pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva said each of Feinberg’s sonatas was a “poem of life.” Feinberg has been called a musical heir to Scriabin who heard the young pianist play his Fourth Piano Sonata and praised it highly. What shocked me about these first six of his dozen solo sonatas is the rapid growth of his visionary style: they span less than a decade, from 1915 to 1923, and grow ever more expressively personal. All, save the third, are highly concentrated single-movement works, not unlike the sonatas by Scriabin. And like Scriabin, they wander away from their fellow Russians by dabbling in the atonality of Schoenberg and Debussy. The key word here is dabbling for they remain essentially tonal and harmonic. Clearly Hamelin is the man for the job; it seems no density of textures can escape his illumination. In sum, this is an altogether enlightening, highly recommended ear-opener. SM

A REAL SONG IN THE LOCRIAN MODE

BYÖRK does it when almost no one else uses this ‘unmusical’ scale.

 

HOW SOCIAL CLASS IMPACTS CLASSICAL MUSIC

SOME OF its barriers remain to be taken into account. Click HERE

TUCK IN THE LITTLE ONES ON CHRISTMAS EVE

 

A NEW MOZART BIOGRAPHY

JAN SWAFFORD’S “Mozart: The Reign of Love.” Click HERE

INTRODUCING MOZART’S CLARINET

 

CARMEL CAROLING COMPANY

 

FRESH REVIEWS

PHILIP PEARCE watched Estella Scrooge courtesy Jewel Theatre and Howard Burnham’s A Christmas Carol. Click HERE

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor