(Revised) Five-Spot: What caught my eye on May 19, 2011

By Robert D. Thomas

Music Critic

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

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Each Thursday morning,
I list five events for the weekend that peak my interest, including (ideally)
at least one with free admission (or, at a minimum, inexpensive tickets).

 

Here’s today’s grouping:

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Today, Tomorrow and
Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Los Angeles
Philharmonic; Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

This continuation of the Phil’s “Brahms Unbound” series
features Dudamel conducting the U.S. premiere of Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina‘s
Glorious Percussion and Brahms’
Symphony No. 2. Dudamel conducted the concerto’s world premiere in 2008
with his Gothenberg Symphony in Sweden. The percussion ensemble formed for that
concert stayed together and adopted the title as their name. David Mermelstein
has a profile of Gubaidulina in the L.A. Times’ Culture Monster section online HERE.

A couple of notes: (1) The original program called for Brahms’s Tragic Overture. That has been cancelled due to what the Phil says is “the the stage setup requirements for the percussion ensemble in Glorious Percussion.” (2) Tomorrow is a “Casual Friday” concert, so the concerto will not be performed. However, Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture will be played, along with the symphony. Info: www.laphil.com

Saturday at 4 p.m.,
First United Methodist Church of Pasadena

Chorale Bel Canto,
Chancel Choir, Rio Hondo College Chamber Singers, solists and orchestra;
Stephen Gothold, conductor

Verdi’s Requiem is one of the monuments of choral literature
and Chorale Bel Canto closes its season by joining forces with the FUMC Chancel
Choir and Rio Hondo Chamber Singers for this performance. KUSC’s Kimberlea
Daggy will give a preconcert lecture at 3:15 p.m. Information: www.choralebelcanto.org

 

Sunday at 4 p.m.,
Thorne Hall (Occidental College)

Santa Cecilia
Orchestra, Sonia Maria de Len de Vega, conductor

The final concert of the orchestra’s 18th season,
“Mxico Sinfnico,” was originally scheduled as a celebration of music from
south of the border. It will still include that element, but it’s also tinged with
sadness because it also will be a remembrance of the life and music of Daniel
Catn (composer of the opera Il Postino,
among other things). The 80-piece orchestra — which includes harpist Andrea Puente Catn, the
composer’s wife –
will play four of Catn’s pieces along with
Silvestre Revueltas’ La Noche de Los Mayas
(with an additional dozen or so percussionists on hand for that swashbuckling
piece). Info: www.scorchestra.org

 

Sunday at 7 p.m.,
Walt Disney Concert Hall

Los Angeles Master
Chorale; Grant Gershon and James Newton, co-conductors

Gershon and Newton lead the Master Chorale, jazz orchestra,
soloists and tap dancer Channing Cook Holmes in selections from Duke
Ellington’s three Sacred Concerts.
The first of the three concerts took place in 1965 at Grace Cathedral in San
Francisco. The second occurred three years later at the Cathedral of St. John
the Divine in New York City and the third premiered in 1973 at Westminster
Abbey in London. Ellington called them “the most important thing I have
ever done.” Info: www.lamc.org

 

And the weekend’s “free admission” program …

 

Saturday at 2 p.m.,
Altadena Senior City; Sunday at 2 p.m., First Baptist Church, Pasadena

Crown City Symphony, Marvin
Neumann, conductor

Overtures by Rossini (La
Gazza Ladra — The Thieving Magpie)
and Dvorak (Husitska) bookend these concerts. In between, Armenian-born
Ophelia Nanagyulyan as soloist in A
Rhapsody for Violin
by Bagdasarian and tubist Stephen Wood will be soloist
in Alexander Arutiunian’s Tuba Concerto. Info: www.crowncitysymphony.org

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