Five-Spot: What caught my eye on November 3, 2011

By Robert D. Thomas

Music Critic

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

______________________

 

Each Thursday morning, I list five events (actually six this
week) that peak my interest, including (ideally) at least one with free
admission (or, at a minimum, inexpensive tickets). And this doesn’t count the
Metropolitan Opera’s HD telecast of Siegfried
on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at theaters in the area — be forewarned:
the running time is approximately six hours! (LINK).

Here’s today’s grouping:

______________________

 

Tomorrow at 11 a.m.,
Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Los Angeles
Philharmonic. James Conlon, conductor; Yuja Wang, pianist

Much of the attention will, undoubtedly, be focused on what
the young Chinese pianist will wear (she of the “little orange dress” notoriety
LINK) but the real story should be a wonderfully constructed
program — Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem, Prokofiev’s
Piano Concerto No. 3 and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 — led by LA Opera Music
Director James Conlon with Wang as soloist. Tip: if you’ve never attended a
morning L.A. Phil concert, this would be a great time to try it out, but check
for ticket availability. Info: www.laphil.com

 

Tomorrow at 8 p.m.
at Alex Theatre (Glendale) and Sunday at 7 p.m. at Royce Hall (UCLA)

Los Angeles Chamber
Orchestra plays Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti

The six Bach Brandenburg Concerti are about as far away from
Prokofiev’s 3rd (above) as you can get, but Bach’s famous sextet is
indelibly linked with LACO — this will be the 51st time that the
orchestra has played all or some of the pieces. Concertmaster Margaret Batjer
will lead the performance from her first-chair position. Info: www.laco.org

 

Sunday at 2 p.m. at
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Los Angeles Opera’s Romeo et Juliette

LAO brings back its
Ian Judge-created production of Gounod’s take on Shakespeare’s tale of
star-crossed lovers. Tenor Vittorio Grigolo and soprano Nino
Machaidze
sing the title roles; Plcido Domingo conducts. A Los Angeles Times story on the young
soprano is HERE and and of Brian’s nifty “10 Questions” posts in Out West Arts on Grigolo is HERE.
Info: www.losangelesopera.com

 

Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Lang Lang in recital

What caught my eye about this concert was the program, which
begins with Bach’s Partita No. 1 in B-flat, continues with Schubert’s Sonata in
B-flat, and Chopin’s 12 Etudes, Op. 25 — three pieces of distinctly contrasting
styles that should be fascinating in the hands and mind of the young Chinese
pianist (this is obviously a weekend for young Chinese pianists). Info: www.laphil.com

 

Monday at 7 p.m. at
Castle Press (Pasadena)

Muse-ique stops the
presses

Rachael
Worby continues her penchant in Muse-ique’s first year of presenting programs
in unusual sites — in this case, the Doric String Quartet making its Los
Angeles debut amid stacks of paper and the printing presses of this north
Pasadena establishment (the musicians will be standing on the press while the
audience will sit on other presses and rolls of paper).

 

The
featured work on the evening will be a new string quartet by Southern
California native Peter Knell that the composer and Worby will discuss and the
Doric Quartet (which took first prize in the 2008 Osaka International Chamber
Music Competition) will play. The evening will also contain movements from
quartets by Haydn, Schubert and Bartok, and — given that Worby is in charge –
there’s sure to be a surprise or two. Info: www.muse-ique.com

 

And the weekend’s “free admission” program …

 

Friday at 8 p.m. at
Pasadena Nazarene Church

Pasadena Community
Orchestra with Suzanna Guzmn as soloist

Music Director Alan Reinecke conducts a program that
features one of the nation’s finest mezzo-sopranos, Suzanna Guzmn, as soloist
in Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer. The
program also features music by Bartok, Howard Hanson, Prokofiev and Ralph Vaughan
Williams. Info: www.pcomusic.org

_______________________

 

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

 

 

AROUND TOWN/MUSIC: Chamber music rocks!

By Robert D. Thomas

Music Critic

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

This article was first
published yesterday in the above papers.

 

After a month when orchestral concerts dominated the local
classical-music landscape, chamber music will be in the spotlight during the
next couple of weeks. Here are a few of the potentially intriguing programs:

 

Muse-ique presents
the Doric String Quartet

Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. at
Castle Press (Pasadena)

Rachael Worby continues her penchant in Muse-ique’s first
year of presenting programs in unusual sites — in this case, the Doric String
Quartet, making its Los Angeles debut amid stacks of paper and the printing
presses of this north Pasadena establishment (the musicians will be standing on
the press while the audience will sit on other presses and rolls of paper).

 

The featured work on the evening will be a new string
quartet by Southern California native Peter Knell that the composer and Worby
will discuss and the Doric Quartet (which took first prize in the 2008 Osaka
International Chamber Music Competition) will play. The evening will also
contain movements from quartets by Haydn, Schubert and Bartok, and — given that
Worby is in charge — there’s sure to be a surprise or two. Information: 626/539-7085; www.muse-ique.com

 

Musica Angelica
salutes its founders

Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. at
Neighborhood Church, Pasadena

Lutenist and guitarist John Schneidermann will join Hideki
Yamaya, guitar and lute, violinists Janet Strauss and Susan Feldman, cellist
William Skeen, tenor Daniel Plaster and Denise Bries on viola da gamba in a
program that honors Michael Eagan and Mark Chatfield, who founded Musica
Angelica in 1993. Eagan, a lute player, died in 2004, while Chatfield, a
cellist, passed away in 1998. The duo formed the ensemble that has become one
of the world’s Baroque music groups. The concert repeats Nov. 13 in Santa
Monica. Information: 310/458 4504; www.musicaangelica.org

 

Los Angeles Chamber
Orchestra performs Bach’s Brandenburgs

Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. at
the Alex Theatre; Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at Royce Hall (UCLA)

LACO Concertmaster Margaret Batjer leads the ensemble in its
51st performance of Bach’s famed concerti. Information: 213/622-7001; www.laco.org

 

The Chamber Music
Society of Lincoln Center

Nov. 6 at 3:30 p.m.
at Beckman Auditorium (Caltech)

The New York City ensemble plays music by Beethoven and
Brahms as part of the 108th year of the Coleman Chamber Concerts. Information: (626) 793-4191;
coleman.caltech.edu

 

Meanwhile, Los
Angeles Opera
resumes its season next Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Dorothy
Chandler Pavilion when it brings back its Ian Judge-created production of Gounod’s
Romo et Juliette. Tenor Vittorio
Grigolo and soprano Nino
Machaidze
sing the title roles; Plcido Domingo conducts. Information: 213/972-8001;
www.losangelesopera.com

_______________________

 

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