HOME     BLOG VIEW     ABOUT     CONTACT     SUBSCRIBE

English Impressions

Salon_Feature

John Ireland, Frank Bridge and Howard Hanson, Le Salon de Musiques, October 12, 2014 — A jewel in the crown of Los Angeles culture has returned for its fifth season, Le Salon de Musiques - Masters Rediscovered, continues its series of chamber music concerts devoted primarily to late 19th and early 20th century compositions at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's Fifth Floor. The opening recital, played on October 12th, carries on Le Salon's tradition of presenting obscure but always insightful treasures from the post-Romantic era. All of the pieces--two from British composers John Ireland and Frank Bridge, one by an American, Howard Hanson—deserve a wider audience and greater recognition. Ireland (1879-1962) and Bridge ... [Read more]

Pete and Royce Resurface

Daysof Destruction_1

Suffering of Tomorrow and Days of Destruction, [Musicbazz, 2012, 2013] — The 1970s were painful years for Athenians. Seven years of military dictatorship, beginning in 1967, brought uncertainty into the homes of all who had fought for three decades against the deep political division whose roots grew in the soil of Axis occupation and the Greek Resistance. It was a bitter time of cultural suppression and appeals to patriotism, rural simplicity, and secret torture clearinghouses. These kinds of parochial and inward looking cultural values have been argued as the doctrinaire stance of a prime minister with rural roots, a form of reactionary traditionalism, or an antidote to the Truman Doctrine and its kudzu vine of cultural ... [Read more]

Russian Soul

Le Salon_Russian

Medtner, Rachmaninoff and Arensky, Le Salon de Musiques, February 9th 2014 — Moves Pogossian, Mona Golabek, John Walz, Edith Orloff The latest presentation from Le Salon de Musiques—the fifth in its season of nine chamber music concerts—took place on February 9th. The setting, overlooking downtown Los Angeles, was an intimate corner of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s fifth floor.  The program featured music by Russian composers—Sergei Rachmaninoff, Anton Arensky and Nikolai  Medtner—all born between 1861 and 1880 and each well-acquainted with the other two.  In his introduction, Le Salon’s artistic director Francois Chouchan said, “Tonight, when you listen to this music, I hope you will feel the Russian ... [Read more]

Hallucinations…and Hymns

Voxnova_Stimmung

Hallucination, A Tribute to Mary Bauermeister, Jacaranda, January 25, 2014 — Jacaranda, the concert series in Santa Monica now in its 10th season, gave listeners two solemn, stunning performances on January 25th. With important compositions by Iannis Xenakis and Karlheinz Stockhausen —two originators of “electronic music”—the evening offered the possibility of explosive, sonic fireworks. But candlelight in a hushed room might have better suited the reverential tone of this music, despite its many unusual and fervent sounds. It was fitting that Jacaranda’s Halluncination take place in the modern, airy sanctuary of Santa Monica’s First Presbyterian Church. Patrick Scott, the Artistic Director of Jacaranda, writes copious, ... [Read more]

¡ Revolution Zendebad !

Raks!

The Persio-American Romance and Its Discontents — The suspicious and sometimes shameful gazes which Iran and America have lately been exchanging across the negotiation table are not always staged. Nor are they needlessly pragmatic. They are links in a very long chain of speech that began early in America’s history and very late in Persia’s [1], and continue today at secret seaside meetings in Muscat, in the trees inhabited by chattering neo-con jungle fowl, and, best of all, in that poetic Morse code we call the formalities of the state. It is difficult to say who more badly needs to hold the grudge, those who profit from sanctions or those who profit from circumventing them. And while it’s too soon tell who will be in worse ... [Read more]

Two by Four

le_salon_december_8.2013_Quartet

String Quartet #2 in G Minor, by Reinhold Gliere, String Quartet in G minor, opus 27, by Edvard Grieg - Le Salon de Musiques, December 8, 2013 — Francois Chouchan and John Walz, the artistic directors of  Le Salon de Musiques, gave Los Angeles music lovers an early Christmas present on December 8, 2013: the third chamber music concert of the pair’s fourth season on the top floor of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The late afternoon soiree presented two seldom-heard string quartets performed by four young, accomplished musicians. Standing ovations followed both rousing compositions. Each of the four musicians has an extensive resume as soloist, concertmaster, composer, member of other quartets and symphony orchestras or all of ... [Read more]

Zorn@60

29812085

John Zorn's Complete String Quartets Lincoln Center, July 20, 2013 — Program and Performers: Necronomicon — JACK Quartet The Dead Man — JACK Quartet Cat O'Nine Tails — JACK Quartet Mememto Mori — Alchemy Quartet The Alchemist — Alchemy Quartet Kol Nidre — JACK Quartet, Alchemy Quartet, and Brooklyn Rider If like me you spent July of 1990 listening to Naked City on crummy headphones [1], alone on the floor of your room, wondering how anyone could create something at once so flailing mad and anally precise, then like me you may not have predicted finding yourself twenty-four years later purchasing tickets, dressing up, and taking a date to Lincoln Center to watch a performance of string quartets ... [Read more]

Anglo-Electronic

IanBoddy_Liverpool_800

An Interview with Electronic Musician Ian Boddy — By accounts, Ian Boddy’s entrée into sound art was spontaneous. While reading biochemistry at Newcastle University in the late 1970s he walked into the Spectro Arts Workshop’s electronic sound studio and, in one sense, never walked back out. These were the years of the Berlin School, when Tangerine Dream, Manuel Göttsching, Klaus Schulze and others were building long, innovative synth structures on the Krautrock floorplan, and when such things could actually be heard on late night BBC Radio and the Saturday afternoon Alan Freeman Show. So much seemed possible in those years. The analog synth was a gateway into a new universe of expression, especially for those, like Boddy, ... [Read more]

Remembering Gangubai Hangal, 1913-2009

G_Hangal_500

Four years ago, on Tuesday July 21, 2009, Dr. (Smt.) Gangubai Hangal passed away at the ripe age of 96 years. Her fans and music lovers were shocked, since they thought that she would complete the century of her life. She was quite energetic in her advancing age and had recently visited Mahalaxmi Temple at Kolhapur. After the Darshan of the Mahalaxmi Devi, she had rendered her musical service to the deity by singing in the Sabhamandap for a short while. She was the ‘Grand Mother’, not only to her family but to the entire state of Karnataka. A State mourning was declared, educational institutes were closed for two days and last rites were performed with state honor. In recent times, she was probably the only artist to receive such ... [Read more]

Emotional Landscapes

Le Salon-Wilke, Callus, Orloff, Waltz_800

Le Salon de Musique: Recital, Gustav Mahler and Johannes Brahms, May 19th, 2013  — The program notes to the final concert of Le Salon de Musique's 2012-2013 season promised a review of Austro-German traditionalism and Modernism, but in many ways it was also a sturm und drang affair. Mahler's single movement Piano Quartet in A minor is a piece about which little is known, but its composition within the tradition of the conservatory is more remarkable when we consider Mahler composed it before his 17th birthday. Brahms' lieder, often used as palate cleansers between two works of great magnitude, did so leading up to the emotionally charged Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Minor Op. 60, a development of some of Brahms' more complex ... [Read more]