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 dancer from the dance? In Ms. Aznavoorian’s we do not; the music and musician are one being, one entity, one spirit, in a divinely inspired performance.
Guido Reni, Saint Cecilia, 1606,
Norton Simon Museum of Art
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#
“Music Is a Moral Law. It gives soul to the Universe,
Wings to the mind, flight to the imagination,
Charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”
Music: To Hear or Not to Hear
Tosca is opening this weekend. LA Opera calls Tosca “Puccini’s action-packed pyschological thriller.” Sir Richard Armstrong conducts in May. Placido Domingo conducts the second week in June. LA Opera 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90012. 213.972.7219. For tickets and times, visit http://www.losangelesopera.com/productions/0708/tosca/index.htm
Theater: To Attend or Not To Attend
A Noise Within presents Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1.
In this play Prince Hall pals around with the portly, jolly Falstaff. A Noise Within. 234 South Brand Boulevard. Glendale, CA, 91204. 818.240.0910 For tickets, please visit http://www.anoisewithin.org/boxoffice.shtml
Art: To See or Not to See
Marcel Duchamp Redux at the Norton Simon Museum of Art
Marcel Duchamp once said, “… the creative act is not performed by the artist alone…the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contributions to the creative act.”
So head to the Norton Simon and decipher to your heart’s content!
Norton Simon Museum of Art, 411 Colorado Boulevard. Pasadena, CA, 91105. 626.449.6840. For more information about the exhibit, please visit: http://www.nortonsimon.org/exhibitions.aspx?id=6#998
Question: Which artist was dubbed “Jack the Dripper” by a critic from Time Magazine?
For the answer, visit this site:
a) live anywhere in the LA area
b) have a remote interest in classical music
You already know, or will learn about Gustavo Dudamel, who in September 2009 will take over the LA Philharmonic. The 27 year-old Dudamel has been called, The World’s Most Precocious Conductor, Classical Music’s Rock Star, and The hottest thing to hit Classical Music.
Others simply call him THE DUDE.
60 minutes profiled Gustavo Dudamel in an interview:
Much More to come!
I came. I saw. I was thrown overboard.
From today’s news:
On May 3rd The J. Paul Getty Museum in conjunction with LA Opera, hosted a conference on the “Declarations of Love in Music and Image.” Speakers included: Michael Walsh, music critic for TIME magazine, Mitchell Morris, UCLA Musicology Professor, and Scott Allan, assistant curator in the Department of Paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The conference concluded with a dynamic and moving performance by LA Opera. Soprano Tammy Jenkins, Tenor Robert MacNeil, and pianist Daniel Faltus performed selections from Puccini’s Tosca, Suor Angelica, and La Rondine.
Scott Allan illuminated the Getty exhibit on Fragonard’s “Allegories of Love”, a departure from the artist’s earlier, frothier Rococo style. Love becomes elevated from frivolous entanglements to a new state of spiritual ecstasy. The exhibit compared Fragonard’s Sacrifice of the Rose with Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Theresa.
Allen also noted that in the Allegories, Fragonard’s palette becomes darker, more muted, invoking nocturnal mystery. For instance, in The Oath of Love, these darker shades contrast with the lovers who are symbolized by a radiant central energy.
Fragonard’s Kiss illustrates the power of love to vanquish even death. The sarcophagus breaks open and one can see the lovers embrace through the vapors as Love travels to the great beyond.
Fragonard’s The Kiss, 1785, Brown Ink over black chalk; The Albertina, Vienna
Professor Morris’ lively lecture on Puccini revealed that at the time of La Rondine, musicologist Fausto Torrefranca accused Puccini’s music of inciting criminal decadence. Cesare Lombrosio, an Italian Criminologist, believed in the degeneration social theory, whereby humans could “evolve” into a class of criminals. Torrefranca’s critical attacks suggested that Puccini’s opera could do the trick. Modern audiences, those of the Mozart for Babies age, may find it absurd to think that at one point in history, exposing children to opera was considered a recipe for Juvenile Delinquency. Perhaps Torrefranca’s misguided attacks can be best summarized by a Bon Jovi song: Shot through the Heart and Opera’s to Blame, Darling, you give Music a bad name.
On Torrefranca’s Most Wanted List
Sometimes the best things in life are free!
For those who have a taste for the theater, but not always the ducats to attend, this Wednesday May 14th the Pasadena Playhouse is offering a “Pay What You Can” Performance Of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men
Pasadena Playhouse Mainstage
Tickets offered on a pay-what-you-can basis to arts groups and community groups – call the box office at (626) 356-7529 for details.
Take advantage of this opportunity! Tickets for this production are normally at least $50.
Art: To see or not To See
1. Huntington Library
Chinese Gardens: Liu Fang Yuan, The Garden of Flowing Fragrance
A scholar’s retreat: step back in time where you can inhale the lotus, plum, and pine. Saturday and Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 1151 Oxford Road San Marino, CA, 91108. 626.405.2100
2. Theater: To Attend or Not to Attend
Of Mice, Men, and the American Dream: A Weeklong Celebration of Culture and Community May 12-17. Pasadena Playhouse. 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA, 91101. (626)356.7529 http://www.pasadenaplayhouse.org/of_mice&men.htm.
Highlights include: The performance of Mice and Men at the Pasadena Playhouse, photo exhibit: “In the Fields,” and lectures with historians, critics, and activists.
3. Music: To Hear or Not To Hear
Do not mourn Adonis- he is still alive!!
Check out Cuban sensation Adonis Puentes at:
The Latin Jazz Festival at the Greek Theater, May 10th. 7pm 2700 North Vermont, Griffith Park, CA, 90027
Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill, May 12th 8pm. 6122 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA, 90028