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Sense and Sensuality

Extrasensory, Jacaranda February 24, 2018— Andre Jolivet, Eric Tanguy, Olivier Messiaen, Betsy Jolas and Claude Debussy Midway through its 15th season, Jacaranda presented an updated interpretation of it's two season 2007-2009 celebration of the centenary works of Olivier Messiaen and the 20th century French music informed by and that paid homage to the great composer. Entitled Extrasensory, the concert began with works by younger composers who were students of or influenced by Messiaen; it ended with a seminal work by Claude Debussy, historically the starting point for the kind of impressionistic "sound painting" heard throughout the evening. Jacaranda's creative decisions—from the choice of composers and musicians … [Read more...]

Coursing Towards Twelve Tone

Quatuor Diotima, Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg, String Quartets, Jacaranda February 25th, 2017— The Diotima Quartet is an anomaly in the 21st century. Witnessing their precision, concentration and commitment in action serves as the perfect antidote to the off-the-cuff remarks, half baked ideas, reactionary reflexes, and incomplete sentences that marked and marred the beginning of 2017. Quatuor Diotima, in it's present incarnation, includes Yun-Peng, violin I, Constance Ronsatti, violin II, Franck Chevalier, viola and Pierre Morlet Cello. Soprano Elissa Johnston joined for the Schoenberg String Quartet No. 2 and Contralto, Adrianna Manfredi, concluded with the Berg Lyric Suite. Released in 2016, … [Read more...]

Hallucinations…and Hymns

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...]

“Rites” of Passage

Celebrating A 100 Years of Le Sacre du Printemps The Joffrey Ballet "Rite of Spring", Dance at the Music Center, February 2013 4handsLA, Le Sacre du Printemps, Jacaranda: Thresholds, February 2013 — While other sixteen year olds sought summer employment behind the counter of MickeyD's or bagging at the local Safeway, I got lucky and was hired as a backstage "runner" at the Hollywood Bowl, the world famous outdoor amphitheater in the foothills of Los Angeles, where music concerts—classical, pop, jazz and rock—have brightened the night sky above since 1922.  As a “runner” and on stand-by for every show, I was assigned to the backstage area.  My close access to the dressing rooms allowed me the chance to meet some of the greatest … [Read more...]

Organ Meets

Rosary Mantra, Jacaranda, April 21, 2012 – The programing masters at Jacaranda were at it again Saturday night. I could not pass up any opportunity to hear Messiaen, Dutilleux and Gubaidulina together and knowing the strategic pairing acumen of artistic director Patrick Scott, along with music director Mark Alan Hilt there was surely going to be some mighty music-appreciation in store. The extra layer of resonance was provided by the complex renderings of which only an organ can produce. I can confess to little familiarity with this instrument having had very few ecclesiastical excuses to pilgrimage to the great cathedrals where normally one experiences the pipes. But Jacaranda has the double blessing, being housed at First Press in … [Read more...]

Armenian Suite

Radiant Summit, Jacaranda, March 12-13th, 2011 – On the occasion of the Alan Hovhaness’ centenary, Patrick Scott, Artistic Director of Jacaranda, wanted to include another great Armenian American composer Richard Yardumian (1917-1985) in all-Armenian program. After much Googling, and efforts just short of the Library of Congress, Patrick, who had recently been introduced to me and the writings of Times Quotidian asked for an introduction to Aram Yardumian, whose musical musings, insights and historical research can be found regularly on TQ. Upon finally discovering a living link to the Yardumian family, a fruitful collaboration began with the composer’s daughter Miryam. Jacaranda needed permission to  commission a chamber … [Read more...]

Romancing the Ring

The Ring Festival Los Angeles April 15 -June 30, 2010 – For ten weeks this spring more than 115 cultural partners and Institutions have gathered round the Los Angeles Opera'a first complete Ring Cycle and mounted in support an amazing array of events, symposia, art exhibitions, lectures, theatrical performances and film presentation. This is a great time to experience the depth, breath and enthusiasm of this city's artistic community. Not only are all committed to the cooperative ideal of festival, but they are wholeheartedly embracing the labyrinth of material that The Ring poses for critical study: Political Allegory, Epic mythological archetypes, philosophical inquiry ranging from classical Greek to contemporary French, in depth … [Read more...]