March 5, 1987 |
In this era of New Age and New Romanticism it is now hip to be tonal. If that's the case, the members of the Pacific Composers Forum are the hippest folks in town. Making its formal debut, the PCF offered unabashedly conservative works for chamber orchestra Tuesday at the Japan America Theatre, as part of the New Music L.A. Festival--though it would be misleading to call this new music.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 1989 |
In his valedictory appearance Sunday night as music director of the Santa Monica Symphony, Yehuda Gilad received the best of all going-away presents--a committed performance of Mahler's First Symphony from his musicians. However, the opening works provided scant clues that the evening would be memorable. Byron Adams' "Intrada and Alleluia for Brass and Percussion" (1988) presents no threat to conservative listeners. Aural adjustments having been made for the lack of polish and refinement in the playing, one discovered a pleasant and effective exercise in contrasting dynamics and tone colors.
June 14, 1993 |
One has to wonder where our area's musical heads and ears are if the spiffy little Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra, our one artistically viable period band, can fill only half of Santa Monica's inviting, accessible--it is located a block from the Third Street Promenade--300-seat (eyeball estimate) First Presbyterian Church.
December 10, 1985 |
Russell Lawrence Fox signaled clear intentions of offering a stylish performance of Handel's "Messiah" when he conducted the Southern California Mormon Choir and Master Symphony on Saturday in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. But complete success eluded him. Following period practice, Fox utilized a 24-member orchestra at both full and small ensemble force, the latter to accompany soloists.
October 18, 1989 |
Appearances can be deceiving. John Perry's dour demeanor seemed to indicate that the pianist wasn't happy to be where he was Monday: in Hancock Auditorium at USC playing a faculty recital. But Perry delivered, with intense concentration and no self-indulgent shtick. On the Steinway, his full-out forte was never harsh, his featheriest piano never evaporated. He was undaunted by the slipperiest bravura passages. And he is more than a little enigmatic as an artist.
October 19, 1987 |
Pity the public oversight that allowed Panayis Lyras to appear before a mere 32 auditors Friday at his recital in Murphy Hall, Loyola Marymount University. Nevertheless, the playing seemed to be the thing for the prize-winning pianist, not the size of his audience. A silver medalist at the 1981 Van Cliburn Competition, the young Greek proved himself a cultivator of the big sounds and grand effects to which his heavyweight program testified.
May 22, 1990 |
Ton Koopman, who brought his excellent Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra to the Biltmore's Crystal Ballroom on Sunday for a Chamber Music in Historic Sites concert, maintains a hard-nosed allegiance to stylistic practices that many of his period-performance colleagues have discarded in favor of a more genial way of going about the musical business of the 18th Century.
March 14, 1988 |
Those seeking the aristocratic Chopin, the heroic, passionate Chopin, the introspective, sensitive Chopin were likely to be disappointed with pianist Charles Rosen's recital Friday at South Coast Community Church, Irvine. The problem seemed more a matter of temperament than of technique. Rosen offered strong, respectable, intelligent pianism, but he rarely stormed the heights or stirred the soul.
April 10, 1989 |
With his undemonstrative physical style and placid stage presence, Minoru Nojima might seem ill-suited for the fantasy of Ravel's piano music. Friday evening in Marsee Auditorium at El Camino College, however, he demonstrated ample poetic ability, supported with fastidious technique. The occasion was also the official dedication--it had been played previously--of a new Steinway for the school, and began with introductions and short speeches from campus dignitaries. The instrument sounded bright and dry at first, in the "Noctuelles" of the opening "Miroirs" set. Nojima was soon able to draw mellow, balanced sounds from it, however, while exploiting its clarity to full effect in "Alborada del gracioso."