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Review- Inventiveness Reigns with Camerata Pacifica

Inventiveness reigns at Camerata Pacifica

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”

-John Cage-

      Innovation proved the theme of the night at Tuesday’s concert comprised of Ian Wilson’s Heft, for Flute and Piano, Franz Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata. D. 821, and Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G. Minor, Op.25. Each of these pieces embodies a pioneering attitude, uniting the program into a cohesive whole of creativity, ingenuity, and vision.

 Franz Schubert wrote Arpeggione Sonata D. 821 for an unusual new invention, the Arpeggione, a cross between a cello, guitar, and viola de gamba. Although Tuesday’s performance consisted of the piece transcribed for viola and piano, Richard Yongjae O’Neill’s virtousic and subtle interpretation (one that has resulted in his recording of the piece going platinum in Korea) personified the innovation that marked the night’s theme.

 Johannes Brahms represents another avant-garde composer in the musical world. Arnold Schoenberg called him “Brahms the Progressive,” music critic William Youngren labeled him a “Proto-Modernist,” and pianist and theorist Charles Rosen dubbed him, “Brahms the Subversive.” Although Brahms composed in the nineteenth century, twentieth century composers, like Schoenberg, hail his style as distinctly modern. The Piano Quartet in G. Minor, Op.25 exemplifies progressive techniques including experimental harmonic language and asymmetrical phrasing. Violinist Nurit Pacht, violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill, cellist Lars Hoef, and pianist Kevin Fitzgerald performed the Rondo alla Zingarese on the edge, a frenzied, unrestrained rendition lauded by an audience, thoroughly captivated by the gypsy mood.

 The program commenced with Ian Wilson’s Heft, for Flute and Piano, in which the opening section of the work was inspired by a quotation by the Egyptian conquerer, Amr Ibn Al-As, “I dreamt that heaven lay close upon the earth, and I between them both, breathing through the eye of a needle.” The flute in Wilson’s piece convincingly mimics the human breath as the audience awaits each carefully constructed note; each subsequent note becomes more vital than the previous one, like breathing itself. Wilson aptly titled his work “Heft,” a word with layers of meaning. The noun definition of Heft refers to weight, heaviness, importance, and influence. The verb definition of Heft signifies to raise, to elevate, or to test the weight of something by lifting it. The double-entendre in the title of Wilson’s inventive piece thus drives at the essence of music and its manifold purposes. Music is crucial, vital, and often weighty and dense. At the same time, music aims to raise and elevate the human intellect, heart, and spirit. The last definition, “to test the weight of something by lifting it,” is particularly fitting for modern music, like Wilson’s piece, which challenge traditional audiences to open their minds to unfamiliar and often complex new horizons, which make the musical journey that much more worthwhile.

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Quote of the Day


nyctourists-011 

Q: ” Excuse me. How do I get to Carnegie Hall?”


 A: “Practice, Practice, Practice.”

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Michelangelo Buonarroti

Believe it or not, I can actually draw.”

-Michelangelo Buonarroti

the-creation-of-adam-detail-of-gods-and-adams-hands-from-the-sistine-ceiling-giclee-print-c129738581

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This week in Los Angeles Nov. 14th-16th

This week’s Cultural Cocktail Hour involves a blend of competition, mystery, and invention- enjoy! 

opera-met152nd Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) – Western Regional Finals

Saturday, Nov 15. 1:00p.m.

Tickets $29 each at www.usctickets.com

Or call 213.740.4672.

Bovard Auditorium. University of Southern California. 3551 Trousdale Pkwy,Los Angeles, CA 90089. (213) 740.4211 

The Metropolitan National Council Auditions unearths raw talent across the nation with the goal of bestowing exceptionally talented singers with the opportunity to compete on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. During the Regional Finals at Bovard Auditorium, young opera singers will compete to win a trip to the National Semi-Finals concert held in New York. The Metropolitan Orchestra accompanies the eventual Grand Finals Concert at the Met, which is broadcast nationwide on the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

feature-renee-fleming

The National Council has provided awards to many of the world’s most illustrious opera singers including Renee Fleming, Deborah Voigt, Ben Heppner, Susan Grant, and Frederica von Stade.

Renee Fleming, past MONC winner.

 

mtf-theschoolofnight1SCHOOL OF NIGHT

Mark Taper Forum at the Music Center

Fri. Nov 14. 8:00 p.m.

Sat. Nov.15. 2:30 pm;8:00 p.m.

Sun. Nov. 16. 1:00 pm; 6:30 p.m.

135 N. Grand Avenue. Los Angeles, CA, 90012. 213.628.2772.http://www.centertheatregroup.org/

Who killed Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe? Was her targeted for his allegiance to the secret society of independent minds, The School of Night?

Take advantage of the Center Theatre Group’s Entertainment Stimulus Package – which will make 100,000 tickets available at a $20 ticket price.

score_home_straightCAMERATA PACIFICA

Fri Nov. 14. Hahn Hall, Santa Barbara. 1:00 p.m & 7:30 p.m

Sun. Nov. 16. Temple Beth Torah, Ventura. 3:00 p.m.

Tues. Nov. 18. Huntington Library San Marino. 8:00 p.m.

Thurs. Nov. 20, Zipper Hall, Los Angeles. 8:00 p.m.

Program: Heft for Flute and Piano by Camerata Pacifica Principal Composer Ian Wilson; Schubert’s Arpeggione, D 821; Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G minor. Op.25

Adrian Spence, flute; Richard Yongjae O’Neill, viola; Lars Hoefs, cello; Kevin Fitz-Gerald; Violinist Nurit Pacht. Tickets for the concerts, as well as additional information on Camerata Pacifica can be found at www.cameratapacifica.org or by dialing toll-free 1-800-557-BACH.

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During an economic downturn is Art a luxury or a necessity?

great-depression

By Leticia Marie Sanchez  

When I get a little money, I buy books;

 And if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”

        ~ Desiderius Erasmus ~

 The Los Angeles Times reports that the troubles of the Pasadena Symphony, Opera Pacific, and the Geffen Contemporary represent but a few examples of artistic collateral damage in Los Angeles. When the economy goes down, arts are the first to get slashed from any budget. People simply cannot afford the arts, that muse who sits too lofty on Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs. Or can they?

       A quick observation of Pasadena’s Old Town on a recent Saturday evening reveals crowds with still-disposable incomes huddled inside the Cheesecake Factory waiting to spend their dollars on a caloric feast. Let them eat cheesecake. Lines of designer label-clad youth still line up on Sunset Boulevard outside of the latest club du jour, flashing wads of cash at the barbarians at the gate in order to have the privilege to spend even more money on alcohol, cover charges, deafening music, and the opportunity to become desensitized.

     Therefore, many still have the economic means to get desensitized while denying the opportunity of refining the senses through the symphony, the opera, or fine art. The reduction of the arts in the City of Angels is not an issue of finance; it is an issue of priorities. A friend from Russia once remarked to me, upon seeing a vast sea of silver patrician heads last year in the audience of the Pasadena Symphony, that in Moscow concerts were not the exclusive domain of well-heeled patrons, those on the upper echelons of the social ladder. Families of modest means would dine on cabbage soup for a week in order to be able to take their children to see the virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz in concert.

      One need only to look at Venezuela, a country where the average income is a mere $3,490 a year, and, where the youth symphony embodies a national priority. More than 400,000 of Venezuela’s youth have participated in this program, saving themselves through musical dedication and discipline from a life of gangs, criminality, and destitution. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Venezuelan conductor José Antonio Abreu declared that musical programs in Venezeula functioned as a “weapon against poverty.” In Venezuela, classical music represents a vital component of the popular culture and progress, not a sanctuary for economic elites. If only many Angelenos could look at classical music and fine arts through the same lens: not as a luxury item but as a central building block of the social fabric and future of our city.

      The Dutch humanist and scholar Desiderius Erasmus once remarked, “When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”  Unfortunately, in Los Angeles, this proverb exists in the reverse. Citizens first shell out money for dinners, libations, or a fetching new outfit, with nothing left for the Grapes of Wrath (an opera now cancelled by Opera Pacific) or the holiday concert at the Pasadena Symphony.

      The arts crisis in Los Angeles is not a reflection of the economy; it is a reflection of ourselves: our desires to feed our bodies at the expense of nourishing our souls.          

For LA TIMES report on struggling arts organizations:

 http://www.latimes.com/business/la-et-artswoes7-2008nov07,0,3849403.story

 

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This weekend in LA: Cultural Events Nov 8th and 9th

dibnerbanner Dibner Hall of the History of Science opens at the Huntington.

From Ptolemy and Copernicus to Galileo and Newton this exhibit presents revolutionary ideas that changed the world.

The Huntington.1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108. (626)405.2100

http://www.huntington.org/

20576_midori1 Midori and Harth-Bedoya

Sat. Nov 8th. 8:00 p.m

Sunday Nov 9th 2:00 p.m

 Walt Disney Concert Hall. 111 South Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012. 323.850.2000.

Featured Artists: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor, Midori, Violin.

Program: Copland: Appalachian Spring Suite, Britten, Violin Concerto, Revueltas, La noche de los mayas

 

 

vivaldi1Harmonia Baroque Players

Sun. Nov. 9, 4:00 p.m.

Concordia University: Good Shepherd Chapel

1530 Concordia West. Irvine, CA 92612

http://www.cui.edu/

Program:

Scarlatti: Concerto in A minor ; Corelli: Sonata in G minor for Violin and Archlute Telemann: Trio Sonata in C minor for Recorder, Oboe and Basso Handel: Sonata in F major for Recorder and Basso Vivaldi: Concerto in F major P.323

 http://www.harmoniabaroque.org/

(714) 970-8545

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This weekend in LA: Halloween Weekend 2008, Oct 31-Nov 1st

Imbibe a Cultural Cocktail this Halloween!

Halloween in Hades; UCLA Hammer Museum; 7-11 p.m  

 

 This Halloween party includes a costume contest, a spooky screening in the Billy Wilder Theater as well as musical performances by the groups Discount Cruise to Hell, Hecuba, and We Are the World. According to the Hammer website, “The ghoulish music, ghastly dancers, and gruesome visuals that descend upon the Hammer Courtyard will have you shrieking with horror.”


Hammer Museum.

10899 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA, 90024. 310.443.7000

 

 

MUSE COSTUME BALL at LACMA

Editor’s Caveat: Although most individual tickets are sold out, one can purchase a Halloween membership to LACMA which comes with two Costume Ball tickets. Call 323 857-6010 for information. 

 From the LACMA website:

 Ghoul meets glamour at the fifth anniversary of the Muse Costume Ball as we walk down the blood red carpet on the arm of Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008. Join us as we enjoy mysterious potions concocted by Pernod Absinthe while getting down to live music by Grand Ole Party and a DJ set by Le Femme Digitale. Once again, the party kicks off in the L.A. Times Central Courtyard followed by the after party in the LACMA West Penthouse featuring our annual Costume Contest. Dress to impress as paparazzi lurk at every turn!”

For more information, please visit: http://www.lacma.org/membership/mtm08.aspx

 

LACMA. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA 90036.  

 

 

 

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Introduction to Wagner’s “The Ring” November 8

 A touch of Fantasy..

A touch of Myth and Magic..

An experience you’ll never forget!

In conjunction with LA Opera and Hispanics for LA Opera, Dr. Sherwin Sloan, Chairman of the Southern California Wagner Society, will give a lecture on the Ring Cycle at his home in the Hollywood Hills

Saturday November 8

5:00 P.M Wine Reception and Hors D’Oeuvres 6:00 P.M Lecture on Wagner’s Ring Cycle6:30 P.M Opera Recital, featuring Teresa Brown, Soprano, Nmon Ford, Baritone, Victoria Kirsch, piano;

To purchase tickets, email SpecialEvents@LAOpera.com, call 213.972.3260

Or open the following link:

ring-invite-pdf-2

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This Weekend in LA, Oct. 24-26

VANITY FAIR PORTRAITS :

Photographs 1913–2008.

Opens Oct. 26th

Hammer Building.

LACMA.

5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA 90036.(323) 857-6000

http://www.lacma.org/

 

 

 

 NightSpot

by Twyla Tharp & Elvis Costello

Fri. Oct. 24 & Sat Oct 25 7:30 P.M Sun. Oct. 26. 2:00 P.M

Music Center. 135 North Grand Ave. LA, CA 90012 213.972.7211

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October Master Calendar of Events Los Angeles

Editor’s Note: As your cultural correspondent will be on a different continent this month, here are October’s activities in advance.

Weekend of October 4-5

Da Camera Society

Sat. Oct 4 8pm

Doheny Mansion

8 Chester Place, LA, CA, 90007

Richard Stoltzman, Clarinet; Menahem Pressler, Piano

Schubert, Sonatina in D, D. 384; Berg, Four Pieces, Op. 5; Brahms Sonata in F, Op. 120/1

http://www.dacamera.org/

 

 

 

 Darwin’s Garden: An Evolutionary Adventure

Opening Sat. Oct. 4th

The Huntington.1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108. (626)405.2100

http://www.huntington.org/

 

 Lecture: American Wartime Propaganda

Sat. Oct 4th. 4 p.m.

Norton Simon. 411 W. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91105.

(626) 449.6840 http://www.nortonsimon.org/

 

Weekend of October 11-12 

Tradition as Innovation in African Art

Ahmanson Building, Plaza Level

LACMA. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA 90036.

(323) 857-6000

http://www.lacma.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madama Butterfly

Fri. Oct. 10 7:30 p.m. Sun. Oct 12. 2:00 p.m LA Opera. 135 North Grand Ave, LA CA 90012. (213) 972-8001. http://www.losangelesopera.com/ 

 

 

 

Confucius: Shaping Values Through Art

Pacific Asia Museum. 46 N. Los Robles Ave. Pasadena, CA, 91101.

(626) 449. 2742

http://www.pacificasiamuseum.org/

 

Weekend of  October 17-19

Surf Orpheus- Oct 17 8 pm

Auditorium, Getty Villa

17985 Pacific Coast Highway.

Pacific Palisades, CA 90272.

(310) 440-7300

http://www.getty.edu/

 

 

 

 

 

Baroque Variations: Anderszewski Plays Bach- Sat. Oct 18

Piotr Anderszewski, piano

Bach: Partita No. 2 in C minor; Partita No. 1 in B-Flat, BWV, 825; Prelude and Fugue No. 19 in A from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II; Prelude and Fugue No. 20 in A minor from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II; English Suite No. 6 in D minor, BWV 811  

Walt Disney Concert Hall. 111 South Grand Ave., LA, CA 90012

323.850.2000

http://www.laphil.com/

 

 

Camerata Pacifica- October 17-23

Fri. Oct 17. Hahn Hall, Santa Barbara: 1:00 p.m and 7:30 p.m

Sun. Oct 19. Temple Beth Torah, Ventura. 3:00 p.m.

Tues. Oct 21. Huntington Library, San Marino 8:00 p.m.

Thurs. Oct. 23. Zipper Hall, LA, 8:00 p.m

Saint Saens, Sonata for Bassoon, Op. 168. Gaubert. Flute Sonata in A Major. Harbison. Twilight Music. Villa-Lobos. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6. Brahms. Horn Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 40.Adrian Spence, Catherine Leonard, John Steinmetz, Steve Becknell, Kevin Fitzgerald. For more information about the concerts, please see:

http://www.cameratapacifica.org/

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