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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Review: The Colburn Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Dancing and playing into our hearts The Colburn Orchestra and Dance Academy at Walt Disney Concert Hall By Leticia Marie Sanchez On Friday evening, the Colburn Orchestra had the audience at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on the edge of their seats. It was a night celebrating the trajectory of of love, from the sweet lightness of the music of Irving Berlin to the dissonant passionate struggle in Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Leonard Bernstein’s “Overture to Candide” opened the program with enthusiasm and proved a fitting bookend to the intensity of Prokofiev.From the music of Bernstein, the music flowed smoothly to the music of Irving Berlin arranged by Scott Ninmer. The transportive choreography by L.A Dance Project Founder Benjamin Millepied added to the uplifting nature of the evening. Dancers from Colburn Dance Academy conveyed a soaring spirit of optimism, their

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Behind the Scenes with Vittorio Grigòlo: Master Class with the superstar Tenor

Behind the Scenes with Vittorio Grigòlo:  Master Class with the superstar Tenor By  Leticia Marie Sanchez All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez A master class with Vittorio Grigòlo offered an unexpected lesson in chemistry, conducting, and electricity. The charismatic opera star has been in Los Angeles where he stars as E.T.A Hoffman in LA Opera’s Tales of Hoffman. While in Southern California, Grigòlo led master classes with Angels Vocal Art, an organization that fosters emerging vocal talent. Singers auditioned for the chance to perform for the world class tenor. At the master class, Grigòlo told the students that opera singers are also conductors.“A conductor is not somebody who has a baton in his hand..It’s a tube that can bring energy from the stage, passing through the people in the orchestra seats and sending it through the theatre. Conductors and Semi-Conductors. Electricity. We bring

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Wagner, Robber,and the Flying Dutchman

                                                        Wagner, Robber, and the Flying Dutchman By Leticia Marie Sanchez Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark He not have been an actual thief, but Richard Wagner’s Newfoundland dog Robber successfully stole the composer’s heart. In Wagner Without Fear, author William Berger regales us with colorful tales from Wagner’s life, including his tumultuous journey from Riga to Paris. When the debt-ridden Wagner and his wife Minna decided to escape from present-day Latvia, the composer insisted that Robber join them, despite the great risk. Cossack patrols guarded the Prussian border, with orders to shoot and kill the unlucky fugitives who caught their attention. Miraculously, the pooch did not make a peep as they dashed

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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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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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February Top Pick! Mozart and Mendelssohn with Pittance Chamber Music

 A mélange of Mozart and Mendelssohn creates an intriguing Cultural Cocktail! Pittance Chamber Music Friday, February 3, 8 p.m. Zipper Concert Hall The Colburn School. 200 South Grand Avenue, LA, CA 90012 Featuring Maestro James Conlon Conducting Members of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra MOZART Serenade No. 10 in B flat (“Gran Partita”) James Conlon, conductor MENDELSSOHN Octet for Strings in E flat, Op. 20 Artists: - Leslie Reed, Jennifer Johnson — Oboe;  - Stuart Clark, Laura Stoutenborough, Donald Foster, Steven Piazza – Clarinet, Basset Horn; - William May, William Wood — Bassoon; - Steven Becknell, Kristi Morrell, Nathan Campbell, Philip Yao — Horn;- David Young — Double Bass; - Roberto Cani, Jessica Guideri, Ana Landauer, Lisa Sutton — Violin; - Brian Dembow, Shawn Mann — Viola; - John Walz, Dane Little — Cello

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Rachmaninov’s Retort

According to author Norman Lebrecht, in his Book of Musical Anecdotes, virtuoso pianist Sergei Rachmaninov was in the midst of performing a violin and piano recital in New York when his partner, violinist Fritz Kreisler was struck by a memory block. A nervous Kreisler inched towards the piano, whispering intensely at Rachmaninov, “Where are we?” To which Mr. Rachmaninov cooly replied, “Carnegie Hall.”

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December TOP PICK: LA Dance Project December 9th and 10th

A splash of  art+ 2 shots of music+ a pas de bourrée of ballet= a TOP PICK! The choreography of Benjamin Millepied+ piano etudes of Philip Glass, + a live performance by Rufus Wainwright+ the art of Mark Bradford =the recipe for a scintillating CULTURAL COCKTAIL!  L.A. Dance Project at The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown LA December 9 and 10th 8 p.m. Choreography by: Benjamin Millepied, Christopher Wheeldon, and Roy Assaf;  Special Musical Performance by: Rufus Wainwright; Art by  Mark Bradford; Featured Dancers- Janie Taylor with Benjamin Millepied, Carla Korbes with Batkhurel Bold L.A. Dance Project Company Artists Ticket Information: http://www.acehotel.com/LADP For a past Cultural Cocktail Hour review on the innovative LA Dance Project, please read: http://culturalcocktailhour.com/review-step-inside-a-vibrant-framework-l-a-dance-project-at-moca-a-must-see-production/3943/

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Behind every cloud is a silver lining…Nimbus at Walt Disney Concert Hall

All photography ©2016 Leticia Marie Sanchez CCH designates NIMBUS as a must-see, must-hear! Art Installation + Accompanying Music= Purely Celestial From LA Phil website: “Fallen Rising Text from the Tenth Elegy of Rilke’s Duino Elegies Translated by Yuval Sharon And we And we who always Always think of happiness rising Rising and we who always think of happiness rising We will be Will be over whelmed by the emotion Emotion of a happy thing falling Falling Falling Rising Fall”

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