Weekly Update

THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTSYing Fang

Santa Cruz Symphony’s second concert features Metropolitan Opera soprano Ying Fang (right) singing Bach and Villa Lobos this weekend. On Sunday afternoon both Youth Music Monterey orchestras perform in Carmel, while the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony serves up its Fall Concert at the UCSC Recital Hall. Opening this weekend is Jewel Theatre’s new musical fantasy Enter the Guardsman. See our Calendar for details.

SANTA C252101-250RUZ VIOLINIST REBECCA JACKSON

The founder of Music in May and member of the Cabrillo Festival orchestra has become a key player with Ensemble San Francisco. She wants to spread the word of an ESF “Latino” concert on Saturday, 5:30pm, at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose (half a block from City Hall.) The program includes a piece by Monterey composer John Wineglass.

PUBLISHER BEWARE

In spite of a pre-concert lecture and a concert handout that included a detailed program note, a longtime reporter for the Monterey Herald decided that a piece written for string quartet and piano was instead arranged for string quartet and clarinet. The musicians and music lovers of my acquaintance certainly know one from the other. This particular “clarinet” was a full-size concert grand made by somebody called Steinway. Despite apparently working pairs of eyes and ears, however, the Herald’s classical music writer failed to notice the discrepancy. Also makes you wonder who edits the paper.

BALTIMORE SYMPHONY SURVEYS 2014-15 CONCERT PROGRAMS

Marin Alsop’s orchestra crunched American symphony orchestra data ‘by the numbers’ with results both surprising and unsurprising. Click HERE.

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS IN SANTA CRUZ

Phil Collins’ New Music Works threw a Day of the Dead party at the Rio Theatre on Saturday. The concert contained a hodge-podge of music and excerpts, leaning more toward ritual than substance, by composers both living and dead, and culminating in Collins’ new Historia de Ronaldo Federighi, an occasional homage to an influential friend/mentor who died untimely in 2008. It was the most opulently scored piece of the evening, with clarinet, brass, strings, percussion and guitar. Among the memorable items of the program was Henry Cowell’s extraordinary Banshee, with Mickey McGushin strumming and plucking the strings of the piano while Collins held down the pedals, a piece without precedence dating from 1925. McGushin then played Peter Garland’s Ring of Bones (1987) that went in circles for seven minutes, like a corpse spinning slow-mo in its grave. Gabriela Ortiz’ Danza Macabra (1997) for string quartet satisfied the name of the piece, but I couldn’t figure out why the strings were amplified and reverb-ed since it cost them their intimacy. Lou Harrison’s In Memory of Victor Jowers for clarinet and piano (1967) achieved a heartfelt conversation with a subtly expressive turn in the clarinet phrases. Requiem for solo cello (1979) by the recently late Aussie composer Peter Sculthorpe was expressively explored by Kristin Garbeff. Michael Strunk’s Cabrillo Latin Music Ensemble, including two vocalists, visited the traditional La Llorona in low-energy terms. Long delays resetting the stage between numbers added nearly half an hour to the event.

PERFORMING ARTS PEOPLE

Photographer William Roden makes a living with commercial work. But his heart belongs to dance. Click HERE.

THE CELLO SUITES AGAIN

Alex Ross weighs in on the debate over whether they were composed by Mr Bach or Mrs Bach. Click HERE.

FRESH REVIEWS

We welcome Richard Lynde and his coverage of an all-American program by the Ives Quartet and pianist John Orlando. Click on our Music Reviews HERE.

In what appears to be the longest Halloween season in memory (thanks in part to London’s National Theatre cinema screenings of Frankenstein) Philip Pearce sinks his teeth into Dracula at MPC Theatre and envisions Harvey at The Western Stage. Click HERE.

Scott MacClelland, editor