Weekly Update

NUTCRACKERS TO THE RESCUE

Hard to say if author ETA Hoffman or composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky would be more shocked, or dismayed, at the glut of annual revivals. It’s the Black Friday of dance, by companies large and small, professional and amateur, which hopefully pays for everything else they do year round? One can only wonder. We gathered all of them in a seasonal listing on our Calendar.

HIDDEN VALLEY STRING ORCHESTRA DEBUTS

An audience of about 80, plainly starved for string orchestra fare, turned out Saturday afternoon in Carmel Valley’s intimate Hidden Valley theater to hearMalan_MG_6260-med 15 musicians, led by Roy Malan (right) and conducted by Stewart Robertson, in Grieg’s Holberg Suite and Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings. The musicians had been ensconced on the Hidden Valley campus for several days of rehearsals and their impressive efforts were warmly and generously rewarded. The program, which also included JS Bach’s Double Violin Concerto featuring Malan and Farkhad Khudiyev, and already endowed by some 30 “Founding Patrons,” repeated Sunday in Aptos. (For logistical reasons, a next program would not likely be produced until late spring of 2015.) It wasn’t until the assembled orchestra began to wonder where Robertson had apparently wandered off that Malan asked the audience, “Does anybody know how to conduct?” High standards set the tone for the event, and Khudiyev, conductor of Youth Music Monterey, played with such personality and improvisational spirit that one wag proposed, “Stephane Grapelli meets Bach.” Rarely do Carmel Bach Festival players indulge in such a seductive degree of twinkle and cheek.

ATTENTION BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPERS

That retail ‘background’ music affects what you pay. The Economist gives you ears-open advice for the holiday shopping frenzy. Click HERE.

MOLESTING CHOPIN’S HEART

Haydn’s head suffered even more grotesque peregrinations. Why can’t we allow Chopin’s Polish heart to rest in peace in Poland? Click HERE.

FRESH REVIEWS

Richard Lynde writes on Adam Marks’ Nov 16 piano recital in Santa Cruz. I comment on the Monterey Symphony’s “City Lights” performance in Carmel last Sunday afternoon. Click HERE. Philip Pearce bears witness to The Full Monty at PacRep. Click HERE.

Scott MacClelland, editor