December 20, 1987 |
'I can make any student violin sound like a Stradivarius.' --Alfredo Galea Alfredo Galea has a subversive idea. In the world of violins, he says, older is not necessarily better. When one listens to a truly great instrument, he says, "what they hear is . . . not the age" but the varnish. It is a simple concept, yet one that has made the spectacled, balding gentleman a controversial figure among area musicians and the recipient of both lavish praise and bitter scorn.
November 3, 1990 |
The Southwest Chamber Music Society apparently doesn't want to know about the word routine. That was the impression left by its refreshingly eclectic program Thursday night in Chapman College's Salmon Recital Hall (and repeated Friday at the Pasadena Library). Unusual instrumental combinations dominated this outing, beginning with Max Reger's delightful Serenade for flute, violin and viola, Opus 141a, a dashing, rambunctious, richly harmonized piece that ought to be better known.
March 28, 1994 |
Friday in Pasadena Presbyterian Church, the Southwest Chamber Society dared ask the musical question: What do Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) and Luigi Nono (1924-1990) have in common, besides Italian heritage? Is it possible to make a smooth transition from the lucid timeless elegance of the Renaissance master and the cerebral, atonal strategies of the modernist? Somehow, the concert made the programmatic leap over three centuries with integrity intact.
October 20, 1990 |
In today's conservative musical world of brand names and recycled repertory, the presenter with the courage to offer unhackneyed music is usually new to the game or about to lose it. Not so the Southwest Chamber Music Society, which survives, and opened its fourth season Thursday night in Salmon Hall at Chapman College. Southwest, to call it by its first name, specializes in the unusual and neglected, and seems to draw an enthusiastic audience also friendly to discovery.
October 5, 1991 |
Gyorgy Ligeti's Trio ("Hommage a Brahms") for horn, violin and piano served as the emotionally wrenching core of a program that opened the Southwest Chamber Music Society's fifth season Thursday at Bertea Hall at Chapman University. Even without the helpful introductory comments by Jeff von der Schmidt, horn player and artistic director of the society, the impact of this work, composed in 1982, surely would have been felt.
June 14, 1988 |
A number of nervous moments marked the first half of the final concert at the Corona del Mar Baroque Festival. By intermission, the worst was over, and the second half went smoothly. More than smoothly, splendidly.
November 15, 1988 |
You've heard the one about the silk purse and the sow's ear. Sunday afternoon, Ami Porat and the strings of the Mozart Camerata neatly transformed the decidedly non-glamorous auditorium at Santa Ana High School from the latter into the former. These accomplished musicians vanquished negative effects of unlikely surroundings and attendant acoustical anomalies via the most straightforward means: glowing, stylistically elegant, splendidly accurate playing from first note to last.
April 2, 1987 |
The Sequoia String Quartet & Friends series at the Japan America Theatre has, in the half-dozen years of its existence, become a vital, sometimes unpredictable (part of its appeal) ingredient of Los Angeles musical life, playing to a dedicated, perceptive audience.