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Sam Hall Kaplan

Music, Architecture Blend in Harmony

September 05, 1987|Sam Hall Kaplan

One of the more evocative experiences for lovers of the arts is the Da Camera Society's music series set in historic sites.

For eight years, the society has imaginatively offered a variety of musical programs amid distinctive architecture, an effort orchestrated by Mary Ann Bonino, a professor of music history at Mount St. Mary's College.

Among the society's more memorable matches has been a concert of the baroque music of Corelli and Vivaldi in the Baroque Gallery of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, and a jazz performance by the Free Flight ensemble at the Mt. Lowe Railway Museum above Altadena.

Other inspired juxtapositions have included ceremonial state music from the Renaissance sung in the council chamber of City Hall, and the neo-primitive compositions of Bartok echoing off the concrete blocks of the Mesoamerican-styled Ennis-Brown house in Los Feliz, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Gospel and Cantorial Music

Matches this season will include gospel music at the First AME Zion Church, 1449 W. Adams Blvd.; cantorial themes at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 3663 Wilshire Blvd., and a guitar recital at the Raphael House, 1353 Alvarado Terrace. The latter is a turn-of-the-century Tudor-styled residence that has been restored as an attractive bed-and-breakfast establishment known as Terrace Manor.

The season's first offering will be Sunday evening, Sept. 27, at Bullocks Wilshire, the Art Deco landmark at 3050 Wilshire Blvd., where composer David Raksin and the Da Camera players will perform a program of film scores, illustrated with excerpts from the films.

The program, which features Raksin's scores for "Laura" and "The Bad and the Beautiful," will be presented on the first floor in the richly detailed Townleigh Room, known for "The Spirit of Sport"--a strikingly Moderne mural designed by Gjura Stohana--and a distinctive Cubist-styled clock designed by Jock Peters. A champagne reception will precede the concert and intermission will feature a display of historic Hollywood fashions.

The evening promises to be a delight, exuding the slick spirit of Hollywood and the sleek style of the store. Those interested in times, tickets and reservations should call the Da Camera society concert line, (213) 747-9085. For those who cannot attend or are not inclined to spend the $15 or $20 for a ticket, the society will offer monthly Sunday afternoon concerts at Bullocks, beginning Oct. 25; for some of these performances there will be a modest charge, others are free. For information and reservations concerning these concerts call the Da Camera society, or Bullocks at (213) 382-6161, Ext. 196.

With an exterior of soaring light-tan terra-cotta walls, dark copper trimming and a slender, ornamented green-copper-topped tower, and an interior of striking murals and opulent decorations, the store is a monument to the Art Deco movement in Los Angeles. John and Donald Parkinson were the architects, and Eleanor Lemaire, Jock Peters and the firm of Feil & Paradise shared the interior design. The stylized relief above the Wilshire Boulevard entrance was fashioned by George Stanley, a movie industry art director who designed the original "Oscar" statuette in addition to the reliefs at the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl.

Built in 1928, the store retains much of its original flavor and flash, from the welcoming porte cochere and its marvelous ceiling mural at the parking lot entry through the richly ornamented and tasteful shops and salons to the gracious Tea Room on the 5th Floor.

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