Friday, June 24, 2011

Saturday Night in Pasadena:

Make it a June Night, the Moonlight, and You
at "Classical Underground" Free Concert Under the Stars

by Anne French

Stars shining above Levitt Pavilion at Memorial Park in Pasadena will have an added sparkle Saturday night, June 25th, as the "Classical Underground" ensemble presents a wide-ranging array of instrumental and vocal music in an 8:00 p.m. concert. The program, which is free to the public, includes works of Vivaldi, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Bellini, Rimsky-Korsakov, Paganini, Lutoslawski and Bernstein. Self-described as an "illustrious camaraderie of artist, musicians and friends....," Saturday's ensemble players (combinations change according to program requirements) include trumpeters Ilya Sergienko and Courtney Jones, cellist Laszlo Mezo, percussionist John Astaire, soprano Oxana Senina, and pianists Mikael Oganes, Diane Ketchie and Steven Vanhauwaert.

Just bring your chairs or blankets for front-row lawn seats in the pavilion's family friendly atmosphere. Located on Raymond Avenue between Holly and Walnut in Old Pasadena with ample parking available.

The Friday Phonograph

Peter Nero Plays Michel Legrand ... "Summer of '42"

by Anne French

Looking for songs to usher in the summer of 2011, I came across this unforgettable Michel Legrand theme written for the film, "Summer of '42." I had forgotten the Peter Nero million selling recording that I had always loved, and when I listened to him playing in concert on this video, I was taken back to that haunting and nostalgic theme that defines both the music and the film. Hope you enjoy it as the first weekend of summer of '11 begins today.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Friday Phonograph

Musical Discoveries from "Down Under" ...
the Works of Phillip Wilcher

by Anne French

Australian composer Phillip Wilcher (b. 1958) has recently brought my ears to attention through several clips found on YouTube. The hauntingly beautiful "1791" For Oboe and String Orchestra is an example of Wilcher's wonderfully lyrical style that seems to permeate everything he writes. Says one critic, "I believe this is a composer who is a unique creation - as if he belongs to another time, another world. No musician who plays his music comes away the same or feels unchanged by the experience."(Wendy Reid, "Cultured Views," France) Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world of Wilcher.

Photo used by permission

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Immortal Robert Schumann

Hélène Grimaud and Albrecht Mayer Play Two Romances

by Anne French

A loving and lovely interpretation of two Romances written in 1849 by the great, immortal Robert Schumann (1810-1856). There are a plethora of recordings of this, his Opus no. 94, transcribed for many different solo instruments. But I thought the Grimaud/Mayer symbiosis was really quite remarkable. We hope you agree.