May 23, 2009 |
There was a heavy Taiwanese presence at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica for the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra's run-out concert Thursday night. No wonder, what with the sponsorship of the concert by the Taiwanese United Fund and the unveiling of a new Romance for Cello and Orchestra by Taiwanese composer Gordon Chin as played by cellist Felix Fan, whose parents come from Taipei. Ultimately, though, the biggest attention-getter of the night was another Fan solo vehicle, a cello concerto from the bent imagination of Austrian pianist-composer Friedrich Gulda.
May 26, 2008 |
I don't know that Baudelaire meant music in his poem "Invitation to the Voyage," when he thought of a world far away -- exotic, unobtainable, a land lost in love's gaze. "All is order there, and elegance," he wrote, "pleasure, peace and opulence." But I think he did. Music as an outpost of order, pleasure, peace and opulence kept Bartok and Stravinsky sane when their world was not. In 1936, with the Nazi takeover of Hungary inevitable, Bartok turned to fugues and the mathematical Fibonacci series for "Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta," one of his most magical scores.
December 6, 2005 |
Starting their third season Sunday at Westwood United Methodist Church, Young Riddle and his Nimbus Ensemble continued to juxtapose music of J.S. Bach with that of the composer's successors way downstream in the 20th century. That's a durable foundation for a series, as the choice of high-grade material is nearly endless and the inclusion of a "mystery piece" in each concert is an endearing come-on for connoisseurs who like to play "name that tune."
January 16, 2003 |
The world's two most charismatic, most beloved cellists are, without question, Mstislav Rostropovich and Yo-Yo Ma. And there is little chance that Anssi Karttunen could ever challenge their popularity, given that his specialty is difficult new music.
January 28, 2001 |
Chronology can be a burden in an arts culture that places overweening emphasis on originality. Had Saint-Saens written these warmly Brahmsian, beautifully shaped works 20 years sooner, they might be repertory staples. Coming as they did in the early 20th century, amid the Impressionist revolution in French music, they were condescendingly greeted as sentimental dinosaurs, and difficult to boot.
January 18, 1999 |
The Los Angeles Philharmonic got lucky over the weekend. It happened to have scheduled Elgar's affecting Cello Concerto. Written in 1919 but once thought a dated relic of a British composer's Edwardian visions, it was given a new lease on life in the hip 1960s by Jacqueline Du Pre. And now it has another, thanks to its appearance in the prurient film "Hilary and Jackie," which scrutinizes the cellist's life.