Weekly Update

PERFORMING ARTS PEOPLE

Koly McBride, of Paper Wing Theatre, is a driven woman who runs two theaters in Monterey. She just opened Oscar Wilde’s Salome at her Hoffman St. venue and this weekend will open Bad Panda at her Fremont St. venue. Click HERE. anatomy of operas

ANATOMY OF OPERAS

Author: unknown friend of a friend; courtesy of Julia Janusz.

NEW, THE COMPLETE SONGS BY RACHMANINOV

A new 3-CD set, “Rachmaninov Songs,” has appeared on the Scottish Delphian label. It gathers the complete 73 songs for the first time on records, thanks to one of the great song accompanists of our time, Iain Burnside. Partner is a better word, as Burnside teams with seven fine Russian opera and concert singers. The collection reveals how Rachmaninov first imitates then weans himself from the example of his adored Tchaikovsky. Rachmaninov began writing songs in 1890; his last, the Op. 38 set, came in 1916, just after The Bells (choral symphony) and the All Night Vigil (commonly known as Vespers) and contemporaneously with the piano Etudes-Tableaux Op. 39. The song collection puts to right a treasury persistently overshadowed by the half dozen that show up on song recitals outside Russia. Those DCD34127_coverinclude “Oh do not sing” from the early Op. 4 set, “Lilacs” from Op. 21, the wordless Vocalise from Op. 34 and “Daisies” from Op. 38. “Fate,” the first of the Op. 21 set, a poem by Apukhtin, quotes Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to underscore the ominous text. Burnside cites “Dissonance,” which appears just before Vocalise, as “an epic, closely worked symphonic poem for Wagnerian soprano and orchestral piano.” Meanwhile, he chose sopranos Evelina Dobraceva and Ekaterina Siurina, mezzo Justina Gringyte, tenor Danil Shtoda, baritones Andrei Bondarenko (Ukrainian) and Rodion Pogossov and bass Alexander Vinogradov, some of whom have gained recognition or will shortly debut in the US. Burnside’s notes, the song texts and English translations, and bios of the all performers, are included in the booklet insert. The poets, all Russian, include Pushkin, Tolstoy, Pleshcheyev, Chekhov, Balmont and Afanasyevich Fet. (Delphian is distributed in the U.S. by Harmonia Mundi.)

FRESH REVIEWS

Don Adkins and I split the last two Cabrillo Festival concerts. Click HERE. Philip Pearce covers West Side Story now playing on The Western Stage. Click HERE.

MUSICAL TRAINING ‘CAN IMPROVE LANGUAGE AND READING Click HERE

WHO’S THE BRAZILIAN GUY WHO’S BUYING UP ALL THE VINYL LPs IN THE WORLD? Click HERE.

Scott MacClelland, editor