Five-Spot: What caught my eye on April 21, 2011

By Robert D. Thomas

Music Critic

Pasadena Star-News/San
Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News



Each Thursday morning,
I list five events (including one next Tuesday) that peak my interest,
including (ideally) at least one with free admission. Here’s today’s grouping:



Thursday and Saturday
at 8 p.m. Friday at 11 a.m. at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Los Angeles
Philharmonic; Juraj Valcuha, conductor,
Yefim Bronfman, piano

Slovakian conductor Juraj Valcuha, chief conductor of the
Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI in Turin, will make his Disney Hall
debut with this program, which includes Tchaikovsky’s rarely heard Symphony No.
1 (Winterdreams) and Bronfman as
soloist in Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2. BTW: I find Friday morning to be a delightful
time for a concert. INFO:

Saturday at 1 p.m. in
local movie theatres

Metropolitan Opera’s “Live
in HD:” Richard Strauss’ Capriccio

Rene Fleming stars in this production that seems (if you
believe Anthony Tommasini in the New York
LINK ) to have designed specifically for her. Andrew Davis, music
director of Chicago’s Lyric Opera, conducts. The prices (around $25) and the
theatre ambience make this a great way to see opera, especially if you’re new
to the genre. INFO:


Saturday at 8 p.m. at
California Theatre, San Bernardino

San Bernardino
Symphony; Carlo Ponti, conductor; Marek Spiazewicz, cello

In their final concert of the season, Ponti (the son of film
director Carlo Ponti and actress Sophis Loren) leads the orchestra with a
program in the key of D major: Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and Haydn’s Cello
Concerto No. 2, with Spiazewicz as soloist. INFO:

Tuesday at 8 p.m. at
Walt Disney Concert Hall

L.A. Philharmonic
Chamber Music Society

The program includes a complete performance of Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale),
which — in the Phil’s words — “is a cautionary fable about the devil, a
soldier, and a fiddle,” written for seven instruments. It will be preceded by
Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 8. INFO:


And the weekend’s “free admission” programs …


Friday at 7:30 p.m.,
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

The Kirk Choir,
Pasadena Singers, soloists and Friends of Music Orchestra; Dr. Timothy Howard, conductor

Even if I wasn’t singing in all segments of the program and
giving a preconcert lecture at 7 p.m., I would recommend this concert, but you
can — as the late, great Molly Ivins was wont to say — take my suggestion with
a grain of salt or a pound of salt. In this 14th annual Good Friday Devotional
Concert, the featured works are Faur’s Requiem and Poulenc’s Quatre motets pour un temps de pnitence
(Four Lenten Motets).
The Kirk Choir is augmented by about 25 singers from
the community who rehearse specifically each spring for this performance. Free
admission (a freewill offering will be received). INFO:



(c) Copyright 2011, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved.
Portions may be quoted with attribution.




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