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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review: Camerata Pacifica’s September concert

Apollo, Dionysus, and Camerata Pacifica In his groundbreaking 1872 work The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music, Friedrich Nietzsche connects musical structures with two ancient deities, Apollo and Dionysus. The Apollonian and Dionysian framework allude to Apollo, the fair-haired Greek and Roman god of music, prophesy, and the sun. His errant half-brother, Dionysus, also known as Bacchus, held court as the god of wine, theater, fertility, and ecstasy. Apollo represents the paragon of classicism- order, harmony, and control, while Dionysius stands as the paragon of Romanticism- emotional expression, expansion of formal structures, and lyricism. The Camerata Pacifica, with their vibrant interpretation of Bach, Haydn, and Dvorák at the Huntington’s Friends Hall proved that this chamber music ensemble more than holds its own with both the sun and wine divinities. However, the ensemble’s powerful performance of Dvorák’s Piano Quintet

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Mingei East and West at the Pacific Asia Museum

East Meets West: The Mingei Exhibit at the Pacific Asia Museum The East and West have often been at conflict on the political stage. Even today, geo-political grandstanding mars the 2008 Summer Olympics in China as titans prove unwilling to give up an inch of their superpower. During the first half of the 20th century, the Pacific Rim was also a chessboard where the East and West fought for dominance. The exhibit Mingei East and West, however, evinces the power of art to transcend political borders. In a century when Japanese Americans lived in internment camps, and Americans lost their lives at the hands of Kamikaze pilots, the exhibit illustrates a unity of spirit and respect between artists on opposite ends of the Pacific. Mingei East and West shows the positive impact of Mingei on the California Arts and Crafts movement as well

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A bright candle for Peace

    Picasso, Dove of Peace, 1949     Pippa Bacca, an Italian performance artist on a mission to promote peace and cultural understanding was murdered during her journey last spring. Peace is one of the highest goals of art. May Pippa’s idealistic spirit always be remembered as well as her desire to bridge cultures. She did not see geographic boundaries as limiting; she saw the whole world as her home. As Roman author Gaius noted almost two thousand years ago, “Home is where the heart is.” Home is not simply our residence, our state, nor even our country. Home is a place where we can all live together in peace. For the full story read: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-pippa31-2008may31,0,6381255.story

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Pandora

During the best of times and the worst of times, we must always remember that Hope was the last spirit in Pandora’s Box; she captured it just in time as a last refuge for humanity. “Only Hope was left within her unbreakable house,  she remained under the lip of the jar,  and did not fly away.”- Hesiod Here is Pandora and the eternal possibility of Hope.   Pandora. John William Waterhouse. 1896. Oil on Canvas. Private Collection 

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Review: Camerata Pacifica at the Huntington, May 20th

O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we tell the dancer from the dance? William Butler Yeats, Among School Children     Ludwig Van Beethoven called music “the electric soul in which the spirit lives.” The supremely talented Camerata Pacifica filled Friends’ Hall at the Huntington with explosive electricity on Tuesday night. Pianist Warren Jones, violist Richard O’Neill, cellist Ani Aznavoorian, and violinist Catherine Leonard all gave riveting performances. The four virtuosos combined in Robert Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-Flat major, Op. 47, laced together tightly through shades of melancholy and jubilee.      Cellist Ani Aznavoorian shone in Grieg’s Sonata for Piano and Cello in A Minor, Op. 36, her face, body, and instrument one. Aznavoorian held the cello as tenderly as Michelangelo’s Pieta, eliciting an intense palette of tones: haunting, passionate, playful, transcendent. How can we tell the

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Classical concert, Camerata Pacifica, this Tuesday, May 20th at the Huntington

What better way to feel refreshed on a balmy spring evening than with a soothing concert at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens?  Camerata Pacifica, a Chamber Music ensemble based in Santa Barbara, will be gracing the Huntington with Mozart, Grieg, and Schumann.Tuesday May 20, 8pm.  Program:  Mozart, Duo for Violin & Viola in B-Flat Major, K 424; Grieg, Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 36; Schumann Quartet for Piano and Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 47. Musicians: Warren Jones, Piano; Catherine Leonard, violin; Richard O’Neill, viola, Ani Aznavoorian, cello Huntington Library, Friends Hall, 1151 Oxford Rd. San Marino, CA, 91108 For more information on tickets please visit: http://www.cameratapacifica.org/concert_schedule/may.html#

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Making the Fig and Other Artistic Insults

An Eye for an Eye, a Fig for a Fig Even noble literary figures need to blow off steam. Shakespeare’s Capulets and Montagues deliver the shocking, duel-provoking insult of thumb-biting.  Only a duel could avenge such a slur on one’s honor.           Sampson: I will bite my thumb at them, which is disgrace to them if they bear it. Abram: Do you bite your thumb at us, Sir?’   Romeo and Juliet. Act I. Scene I.   Melee ensues.  Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy contains another impish affront,“Making the Fig.”  This slur involves thrusting out the thumb between the first and second fingers to express anger or disdain.  In Dante’s Inferno, Vanni Fucci, a thief convicted of stealing from the Church of San Zeno, “raises his hands, points in mockery, and cries, ‘Take them, God.’” (Canto XXV)

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Get Lost! (Lost in Battery Park, that is)

monuments_sphere

                                                      Fritz Koenig’sThe Sphere           It is the stillness after the storm, a place for reflection on the violence that occurred nearby in lower Manhattan. It is what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called a symbol of the “power of art to heal.”             The Sphere, a globe sculpted by the German artist Fritz Koenig, is the only structure to survive and remain standing after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The 45,000-pound steel and brass work, its face dented, chipped, fragmented, scuffed and scratched, now rests in a quiet place in Battery Park, a short distance from Ground Zero.             More than survivor,

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Gen Art’s The New Garde: LA Fashion Week, March 2008

 Since 2003, Gen Art has given the opportunity to emerging fashion talent to display their work in high-profile group runway shows and fashion presentations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago. Designers debuted by Gen Art include: Zac Posen, Rebecca Taylor, and Philip Lim for Development. Taking place during L.A’s Fashion Week, the New Garde sashayed at the Park Plaza Hotel,showcasing designers including Jessie Kamm, J. Mary, and Le Sang des Betes.  Upon Entering the Park Plaza, guests were greeted with a Singing in the Rain and Grecian Goddess motif. Three young gamines, encapsulated in clear white boxes and holding transparent umbrellas, smiled bravely while faux raindrops splashed upon their fetching bright blue dresses. They carried parasols labeled Botox, a cynical insinuation that a wrinkle-free complexion can keep rainy days at bay?      A few steps beyond, tall,

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