March 14, 1986 |
Two other major pianists played local recitals Wednesday night, but it scarcely mattered. A program by Ursula Oppens is a realm unto itself. There aren't many artists who would devise the inspired survey of dance suites, tangos and waltzes with which she made the Schoenberg Institute at USC come alive. And there aren't many free spirits, even among the elite specialists of new music, who play--and speak--in a manner so appealingly unfettered.
June 17, 1991 |
In 1791, as in 1991, the majority of new music was of only passing interest. Time has weeded out those ephemeral compositions of yesteryear, so that from this vantage point it seems like a golden age. Not so, 1991. The indefatigable California E.A.R. Unit, now in its 10th year, offered what turned out to be a weak agenda of new music Saturday night. The inspiration of monsters was the puzzling binding element in this program at Thorne Hall, Occidental College.
April 23, 1986 |
For a social moralist like Frederic Rzewski there is probably nothing better he could do than promote and perform his 1982 "Antigone-Legend," the work featured by Monday Evening Concerts at the Bing Theater of the County Museum of Art. "Anyone who uses violence against his enemy/Will turn and use violence against his own people." This quotation from Sophocles' ancient tale is one that Rzewski uses in his program note to sum up the original storyteller's wisdom.
January 25, 1995 |
One of the more consistent, technically able and musically astute pianists of her generation, Ursula Oppens seems rarely to give a performance that is less than engrossing. But the New Yorker did so Monday night, when, with Frederic Rzewski, they offered a 20th-Century program of music for two pianos. The event was the first Monday Evening Concert of 1995, in comfortable Bing Theater at the L.A.
May 17, 2002 |
With Vicki Ray's thoughtfully organized, Buddhist-inspired, season-closing program Tuesday night, Piano Spheres turned a corner, for this was the innovative series' last concert in Pasadena's Neighborhood Church. After eight seasons there, Piano Spheres joins the stampede to downtown L.A.'s Zipper Hall in 2002-2003, trading the sylvan, off-the-beaten-path ambience of the church for better acoustics, vastly improved sightlines and, most likely, a higher profile.
September 25, 1986 |
Tuesday night at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, the Minnesota new-music group Zeitgeist (not to be confused with the popular punk-rock ensemble of the same name) performed music by Frederic Rzewski, Peter Otto and others, the earliest work written in 1980. A moderate-size but appreciative audience attended this part of the Innova Music Series, part of a larger series, TCXTRAS.
March 31, 1992 |
Music of bitterness, irony and black humor characterizes Frederic Rzewski's grim oratorio "The Triumph of Death," a 4-year-old work that reached the West Coast, via the annual Spring Festival at CalArts, Sunday night.
April 22, 1997 |
Much of Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie's recital Sunday at Veterans Wadsworth Theater turned out to be better in prospect than actuality. More specifically, the idea of hearing a piece written for solo snare drum by an Icelandic composer (Askell Masson's "Prim") holds a promise the music can't live up to. You can only hit a snare drum so many ways, even if you're Glennie.
March 20, 1996 |
This season's bounty of worthy new music continued Monday night with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players making its annual appearance at the L.A. County Museum of Art. Directed by Stephen L. Mosko, the well-honed, well-intentioned ensemble has established itself as one of the West Coast's finest new music crusaders, and it didn't disappoint in the Monday Evening Concerts series.