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Review: Pittance Chamber Music

Pittance Chamber Music and the Chambers of the Heart By Leticia Marie Sanchez All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez Chamber Music comprises music that can be played in a large room or chamber, or as denoted by the French “chambre.” This week’s concert by Pittance Chamber Music suggests a second meaning: music that penetrates the chamber of the heart. The ensemble evoked a raw immediacy and poignancy through their talented performance and moving repertoire. Particularly moving were the pieces set to verse. Ralph Vaughan William’s “On Wenlock Edge” was set to “A Shropshire Lad” by A.E. Housman while Benjamin Britten’s “Folk Songs,” included the verses of 18th century Irish Poet Thomas Moore. Tenor Arnold Livingtson Geis sublimely captured the nuanced shades of love, death, loss, and humor in the verses which were simultaneously rooted in nature and soaring in spirit.

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Beethoven: In a Stew Over Beef?

by Leticia Marie Sanchez According to Norman Lebrecht, author of “The Book of Musical Anectodes” (Simon & Schuster, 1985), Beethoven flew off the handle when a waiter at the Viennese restaurant “The Swan,” brought him the wrong meat dish. Some artists are particular about their piano benches (Gould) while others are particular about their beef.  An outraged Beethoven hurled the dish, gravy and all, over the waiter’s head. Just as the wrong meat could turn him into a raging bull, the right one could turn him into a loving lamb.  When his friend Ferdinand Ries sent him a particular type of roast veal, Beethoven kissed and embraced him, telling him “never had anything given him such pleasure as the roast veal, coming at the very moment when he so greatly longed for it.” (Lebrehct, 81) Beethoven also adored bread soup,

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March Highlight- Pittance Chamber Music- Free-Music Center Founder’s Room

A delightful Cultural Cocktail recipe: An infusion of R. Vaughan Williams+ a shot of Britten+ a dose of Korngold= a TOP PICK! And, it’s free! Sunday, March 26th 3 pm Pittance Chamber Music Presents Members of the L.A. OPERA ORCHESTRA with ARNOLD LIVINGSTON GEIS, tenor and PAUL FLOYD, piano Program: On Wenlock Edge,  R. Vaughan Williams; Selected Folk Songs, Benjamin Britten; Sextet, Op. 10, E.W. Korngold Admission is FREE Seating is first-come, first-serve Founders Room Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. 135 North Grand Avenue, LA, CA, 90012 During LA Opera’s Open House Above left: Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams

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At the Descanso Gardens

All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez “Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world” Ralph Waldo Emerson      

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Outside of the Broad Museum…

All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez  “It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”- Rainer Maria Rilke  

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Sibelius and the Cigar Royalty

According to Katerine Bakeless, in her book “Story Lives of Great Composers,” Jean Sibelius received minor ducats for one of his most famous compositions, Valse Triste. The payment for his work? A small sum and a box of cigars. Meanwhile, Valse Triste went on to be performed internationally, over and over. Yet, Sibelius did not receive one dime of royalties on the work he had composed. Bakeless revealed, “Years afterward, when Sibelius visited America, he remarked to his hostess, with tears in his eyes, that he could have used that money when his family of daughters began to grow up. “(39) The payment of a box of cigars for the beautiful, dream-like waltz, is, in fact, tres triste.

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Salvador Dalí and the Scuba Diving Fiasco

dali-and-scuba-diving

by Leticia Marie Sanchez Salvador Dalí, surrealist extraordinaire, decided to lecture at the 1936 London International Surrealist Exhibition dressed to the nines in scuba gear. He commenced giving his speech, Fantomes paranoiaques authentiques (authentic, paranoid, phantoms) when suddenly, he could not breathe. As Dalí waved his hands for help, the audience laughed uproariously. The more he suffocated and gesticulated, the louder they laughed. The audience mistook what could have been a tragedy for slapstick comedy. Luckily, Dalí was able to unscrew his scuba helmet without losing consciousness. As he gasped for air, Dalí exclaimed,” I just wanted to show that I was ‘plunging deeply’ into the human mind.”  

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Massenet and the crossed phone line: Dial M for Murder

by Leticia Marie Sanchez French opera composer Jules Massenet once experienced an untimely mix-up in phone lines at the precise moment he was dashing off the finishing lines to an opera.  Stuck on the last scene of his opera Thérèse he called up his collaborator from a hotel phone to brainstorm together. Unfortunately, the lines got crossed, and a terrified eavesdropper listened in on their conversation. Katherine Bakeless related the anecdote in her book, Story-Lives of Great Composers: “The last scene didn’t come out right. He called up his collaborator who had written the words, and said: ‘Cut Therese’s throat and it will all be all right.” The wires had crossed, and some total stranger heard him. The strange voice said,  ”Oh, if I only knew who you were, you scoundrel, I would denounce you to the police.” The collaborator

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Review: “Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment”- a MUST SEE Exhibit at the Getty Center

Review: “Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment” at the Getty Center by Leticia Marie Sanchez  All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez This Enlightening Cultural Cocktail recipe includes: Splashes of Sculpture and Infusions of Drawing! Juxtaposition is the name of the game at the Getty’s exhibit on Edmé Bouchardon. Sculpture and Drawing. The Sacred and the Profane. Aristocracy and the Common Man. Juxtapositions work seamlessly in this vast exhibit, co-organized by the Musée du Louvre, providing a window into an artist of the Enlightenment, who was truly a Renaissance Man. The son of a provincial sculptor, Bouchardon first studied under his father and then under sculptor Guillaume Coustou. Winner of the Prix De Rome, Bouchardon lived in Italy for a decade. His Italian sojourn proved to be a formative part of his career; Bourchardon immersed himself in classical works, refining his

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Valentine’s Weekend at the Getty

  All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez Bouchardon’s “Cupid” Stole My heart! Look for an upcoming review on Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment on   Cultural Cocktail Hour Glorious day, post-tempests in LA:  

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