Weekly Magazine

NEW THIS WEEK

FRIDAY NIGHT PARTY IN KING CITY!

COWBOY HATS AND MASKS are good for robbing a… For keeping safe. Show up at 5 and stay for the music from 6 to 8 by Los Vaqueros Traveling Band, Backyard at Sol Treasures, 519 Broadway. 386-9089.

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.”

LETTERS

“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.)

LAUREL CANYON

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.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @PerfArtsMtyBay

Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor

 

Weekly Magazine

NEW THIS WEEK

MC WEEKLY’S WALTER RYCE JUMPS SHIP

LONGTIME and valued performing arts editor at The Monterey County Weekly announced in a Zoom call Saturday to members of the Monterey Peninsula Gospel Community Choir that he was leaving the Weekly for a position as Public Information Officer at CSU Monterey Bay. The Weekly’s loss is CSUMB’s gain, since that position has been virtually lifeless in its communications with the public and the media for the last 25 years.

SANTA CRUZ SYMPHONY UPDATE

LIKE MANY OTHER performing arts presenters and producers, the Santa Cruz Symphony is waiting for the opportunity to begin live performances during its 2020-21 season. Music Director Daniel Stewart provided his plans for the season, including “the return of superstar pianist Yuja Wang in her third all piano concerto program with the Santa Cruz Symphony, currently scheduled for February.” Other highlights include an all-Beethoven program in honor of his 250th birthday, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Brahms’ Fourth Symphony, Orff’s Carmina Burana, LIFE: A Journey Through Time with music by Philip Glass and images by local National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting. Moncayo’s Huapango will include the dance group Esperanza Del Valle. “In addition, we are proud to present a new digital series which will directly connect our audience with our musicians and special guest artists in a variety of formats,” Stewart said. In a recent announcement Executive Director Dorothy Wise explained, “We felt it was prudent to not sell subscriptions when we can’t be 100 percent certain we can actually perform all those concerts as the safety of our patrons and musicians is our top concern. Instead we will perform individual concerts if and when we are cleared to do so. Those concerts we are not able to perform, which most likely will include our scheduled 2020 dates, will be postponed to a later date.” The Symphony will exclusively sell single tickets to any events held this season. Meanwhile, the Santa Cruz Symphony Association Board of Directors announced on June 2 that Dorothy Wise is stepping down as Executive Director and that a search committee has been formed to identify her replacement. Wise is returning to her roots in software development with her daughter, Jess Wise, in technology startup company Mesh Communities. She will remain with the Symphony through July and will be available for consultation after that, according to Linda Burroughs, Board President. Applications for the position of Executive Director are now being accepted. For further details, click HERE

S.T.A.R. FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIPS

SEVEN graduating high school seniors will receive $1,000 per academic year for a four-year college or $500 per year for a two-year college for each of their consecutive years in college. They are Isabella Apodaca (King City H.S.), Joshua Berndt (Monterey H.S.), Adrian Clark (Pacific Grove H.S.), Noah Conklin (Carmel H.S.), Cherrie Paghasian (Monterey H.S.), Mia Poletti (Carmel H.S.) and Yarelie Ruelas (Gonzales H.S.) To date the S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County has distributed $125,500 in scholarship awards to fifty-three students. The S.T.A.R. Foundation college scholarship program began in 2012 to encourage Monterey County students to actively participate in the performing arts regardless of their major. For more information, click HERE

SMUIN’S HOMAGE TO 9/11 VICTIMS

SMUIN CONTEMPORARY BALLET presents Michael Smuin’s uplifting Stabat Mater (photo top of page by David DeSilva) 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. The powerful piece is a response to the events of 9/11, offering affirmation to the perseverance of the human spirit, with the San Francisco Examiner calling it “completely satisfying, almost cathartic. Gorgeous.” Stabat Mater, set to the eponymous music by Antonín Dvořák, will be offered beginning Wednesday, June 17, accompanied by a video introduction from Smuin Artistic Director Celia Fushille. 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).

RECOVERING THE MUSIC OF TEOTIHUACÁN

THE ANCIENT MEXICAN CITY had lots of musical instruments. Replicas will be fairly easy to make. Restoring the music will be tougher. Click HERE 

MANHATTAN CHAMBER PLAYERS

STREAMING for you.

 

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

AFTER A BRIEF STAY at Stanford University in the late 1960s, Mark Abel was active on the New York rock scene during the 1970s and early 1980s, leading his own groups, producing the bands The Feelies and The Bongos, and playing on albums of Tom Verlaine and former Left Banke mastermind Michael Brown. He returned to California in 1983 and worked in mainstream journalism for two decades, eventually becoming foreign editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He moved away from rock during that period, immersed himself in classical and gradually began developing his hybridized style. Six CDs of Abel’s music have appeared in the past dozen years.   The Dream Gallery, a 69-minute song cycle for seven soloists and chamber orchestra depicting the lives of imaginary archetypal Californians, caught the interest of pianist Carol Rosenberger, director of the Delos Productions label, leading to its recording by the La Brea Sinfonietta.  This is Mark’s fifth release on Delos and is devoted to chamber, including Four Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva with soprano Hila Plitmann, the first of which provides the album with its title.

The Sybil (1922) is a powerful and unusual poem depicting the ancient oracles, which some mythologies contend were decayed trees into which God breathed a temporary life and human form — only to disappear into an astral whirlwind when their time of service elapsed.

Sibyl: burnt out, sibyl: stump. All birds perished, but God has come.

Sibyl: drunk up, sibyl: waste. All veins shriveled: the zealot prays!

Sibyl: has-been, Sybil: gape Of fate and death — Ancient tree among maids.

Sovereign tree in the naked wood – At first, fire rustled as foliage should.

Then under closed eyelids – rushed and stunned, Through dried-up channels God spewed in.

And, swiftly despairing of outside help: With heart and voice fallen: into myself!

Sibyl: all-seeing! Sibyl: vast! Annunciation was done in that

Immortal hour, when grass turned gray, And fleeting maidenhood became a cave

Of wondrous voice… A whoosh of stars — Sibyl: as she quits this earth.

 

FELIX’S OCTET AS HE NEVER HEARD IT

FELIX MENDELSSOHN composed it at age 16, one of his earliest masterpieces. Two string quartets not available? No problem.

 

GOT AN UNEASY FEELING ABOUT THIS

THE TWO-METER RULE for musicians performing together might work with masks on. Click HERE

RIVER OF NO RETURN

 

ARTISTS STUCK AT HOME

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY emeritus conductor Herbert Blomstedt, 92, has contracted to record the complete symphonies by exact contemporaries Franz Schubert and Franz Berwald. He is interviewed by New York Philharmonic emeritus conductor Alan Gilbert. (Be sure the sound is turned on.) Click HERE

McCARTNEY EXPLAINS McCARTNEY

AND Lennon

 

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor