WHO OWNS ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU’?
IT’S STILL UNDER COPYRIGHT. You owe royalties every time you sing it; the birthday cops are listening. Click HERE
THE AMAZING YSAŸE VIOLIN SONATAS
ALINA IBRAGIMOVA is among only the boldest of violinists, those who take on these six sonatas, conceived in 24 hours and composed in July 1923 by the Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. JS Bach’s solo sonatas and partitas ghost them and they deserve to be better known. When you listen to them you’ll think there couldn’t be more than a very few recordings. But you’d be wrong; they are the flame that draws in moths. They are full of double-, triple- and even quadruple stops, whole tone scales and even quarter tones. 29-year-old Ibragimova, born in Russia and now a UK resident, already has a slew of recordings to her name, including the Bach pieces. Each sonata, some with four movements, some with just one, were dedicated to famous violin virtuosos of the time.
The first, dedicated to Joseph Szigeti, contains a mind-boggling fugue. The second, dedicated to Jacques Thibaud and titled Obsession, opens with snips from Bach’s Partita in E then goes on to explore the old Dies Irae melody in variation form, some very spooky, in each of the remaining movements. The bravura third, Ballade, is dedicated to George Enescu and piled high with double- and triple stops. No. 4, dedicated to Fritz Kreisler, collects hints from Bach and contains a passacaglia. The fifth opens with L’Aurore (Dawn); its second movement, Danse rustique, is wildly pesante with lots of pizzicato. The sixth, in one movement, divides itself in half, the second part is a habanera. There are other fine recordings and this one brings a fresh perspective.
HAS RETURNED TO PACREP in Carmel with 11 familiar local actor/musicians and singers celebrating the big names of rock ‘n roll and their descendents. “Buddy, Elvis and the Gang” revives Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Big Momma Thornton, The Big Bopper, Little Richard, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, James Brown, Bob Dylan, The Mamas and the Papas, Marvin Gaye, Simon & Garfunkel, Crosby Stills & Nash, and many more. Most indispensable is the opening number, Don McLean’s American Pie, with a slide show that ‘explains’ all the lyrics. The show is not just for listening; it’s for moving and shaking, and dancing. Last Sunday’s matinee rocked the Golden Bough. Warning: it’s pretty loud; I had to plug my ears enough to get below my pain threshold. For details, click the ad, left.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, POTHEAD
AH, SCIENCE. It turns out the Bard of Avon smoked marijuana. Click HERE
PERFORMING ARTS PEOPLE
DAVID LIGARE doesn’t perform in the usual sense of the word. But, with a big multi-museum retrospective on now, the Monterey County fine artist deserves more attention than most of the local print media have provided. Click HERE
Scott MacClelland, editor