February 13 - In the Air
Updated SFCCO press release, as below, then wrote up SFS February 9 show for Commuter Times and 21st-Century Music, also following....
Figured out how to make calls, take photos, and recharge on the new cell phone -- thanks to the booklet, phone guy, and David Chavez...
COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Mark Alburger, Music Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
February 1, 2007 SFCCO (707) 451-0714
SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA PRESENTS
"A SPRINGTIME ROMANCE"
8:00PM, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, OLD FIRST CHURCH, 1725 SACRAMENTO STREET
(AT VAN NESS), SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO AND WORLD PREMIERES OF WORKS BY
ALEXIS ALRICH, CHRIS CARRASCO, LOREN JONES,
LISA SCHOLA PROSEK, ERLING WOLD, AND KATRINA WREEDE
SAN FRANCISCO, February 1,, 2007 -- Though the winter rainy season just seems
to be kicking in, it's not too early to kick up your heels and engage in some
early sonic fertility rites with "A Springtime Romance" at the San Francisco
Composers Chamber Orchestra's 8pm, Sunday, March 10, show at Old First Church
(1725 Sacramento Street), in San Francisco.
The seductions of yore will be evoked in another installment of "Dancing on the Brink of the World" -- movements five through seven of Loren Jones's 12-movement evocation of the Cool Gray City of Love. "Barbary Coast March" romances Civil-War-Era melodies, juxtaposed against the festivities of a "Midwinter Exposition," while "The Outside Lands" calls forth that age-old command to be fruitful and multiply.
And multiplications there will be in a "Childrens' Garden" of delight from Katrina Wreede, were melodious sounds of the violist-composer join forces with soprano Lisa Scola Prosek and pianist Alexis Alrich, to gambol in a suite of "Foreign Lands," "Time to Rise," "The Wind," Unseen Playmate," and "The Whole Duty of Children." The dancing nature of the music spills over into Alrich's own essay in mallet percussion virtuosity with the second movement of her Marimba Concerto, which has been presented serially by the Orchestra over the past few seasons.
Of course not every romance results in a happy musical marriage and offspring. The Wedding Scene in "Belfagor," by Scola Prosek, is hardly one made in
heaven, but instead a delightful hell-on-earth of arresting melodies and glorious
harmonies that will presage the full presentation of this stimulating opera at Thick House from June 1-3 at Thick House in San Francisco. "Who is that guy?" asks the music -- it's the devil in "Your Hands."
In a related malevolent spirit, Erling Wold's "Baron Ochs" is an outrageous world of sexual innuendo and extravagance, where the music provides all the redeeming social value for which anyone could ask. Through five movements that may not pass the muster of Islamic censors, listeners will experience "The night before the festival," "Mohammed has a vision," "Confusion'; "the Baron arrives"; "all gather";"Mohammed speaks," "A moment passes," and "Valzaccho returns to
the forest." Perhaps there is nothing left but to chronicle the descent and dissent of men and women in "The Mind Suite" from Chris Carrasco, where "The March of Lucidity" devolves into the "Final Dance of a Decaying Mind" and "A Closer Look."
Clearly this is A Springtime Romance where anything can and does happen -- from a dramatic standpoint, the good, the bad, and the ugly, but it all comes out beautiful and engaging from the star performers of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, under the dynamic direction of Music Director Mark Alburger and Guest Director Alrich.
Tickets for the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra's "A Springtime
Romance" on Saturday, March 10, at 8.00 p.m. at Old First Church, 1725 Sacramento
Street (at Van Ness), San Francisco are $15 general, $12 students and
seniors. Tickets are available through the Old First Church Box Office at (415)
474-1608 and at the door. For more information, please call Old First Church Box
Office, or the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra at (707) 451-0714, or
visit the organizations' respective websites at www.sfcco.org and
www.oldfirstconcerts.org. Tickets are also available at www.ticketweb.com. Other links
to the show may be found at myspace.com/sfcco, myspace.com/erlingwold, and
CALENDAR EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:
OLD FIRST CONCERTS PRESENTS
Saturday, March 10, at 8:00 p.m. Old First Presbyterian Church
1725 Sacramento Street at Van Ness
San Francisco, CA
A SPRINGTIME ROMANCE
San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra
Alexis Alrich Marimba Concerto
Chris Carrasco The Mind Suite
Loren Jones Dancing on the Brink of the World
Lisa Scola Prosek Wedding Scene from "Belfagor"
Erling Wold Baron Ochs
Katrina Wreede Children's Garden
Tickets:$15 general, $12 students and seniors, available through the Old
First Church Box Office at (415) 474-1608, at the door, and at www.ticketweb.com.
6.5 on the Scale
The San Francisco Symphony's "6.5" series denotes digitally a starting point
of 6:30 on Friday nights, but it could also approximately reflect the
proportion of music offered when compared to a more customary 8pm start time. Case in
point was the February 9 program at Davies Hall, which included only music by
Hector Berlioz and Paul Dukas, when compared to the previous Wednesday's
show, which was to have featured further Frenchmen with Claude Debussy and Charles
"Was to," since that program experienced a last-minute change to cut
Koechlin's intriguing "Les Bandar-Log," one of seven studies on Rudyard Kipling's
"Jungle Book." The absence was explained as due to insufficient rehearsal time
left after a beefed-up schedule for last week's "Fourth Concerto for Orchestra,"
a premiere from the pen of Robin Holloway.
So Friday's folks were two steps away from the most unusual work advertised
for the week, and had to remain content with a rousing reading of the Berlioz
"Roman Carnival Overture," not listed in the program, but shoehorned easily
into the short shift. All the colors and energy were in proper array and
balance. English horn soloist Adam Dinitz and the violists took star turns, and the
trombones were no slouches either -- certainly a performance which the
composer, long gone, would have met with favor.
More distant were the intimations of the same artist's "Les Nuits d'ete"
("Summer Nights," op. 7). On this late winter early evening, the solstice seemed
far removed in delicate washes from the orchestra, graced by the glories of
soprano Susan Graham. If Wednesday's accounts are any indication, Friday did
have its advantages by allowing the ensemble and soloist an extra "dress
rehearsal" to work out any problems of coordination. All the muted sentiments were
well in place, in a liquid work that almost made the loss of the Debussy
"Nocturnes" bearable. While it was wonderful to hear this side of Berlioz in
juxtaposition with his more demonstrative -- if not downright bombastic, popular
side -- this is an essay that is perhaps greater in its sum of parts than the
The same cannot be said of Paul Dukas's classic "Sorcerer's Apprentice," and
this popular work remains every inch a minor masterpiece of economy,
story-telling, glittering orchestration, whimsy, and progressive harmony for its day.
While three years short of the turn (1897) of the last century, this piece
still has a contemporary ring, and not just due to the strong association with
Mickey Mouse and Disney's "Fantasia." The music rings true and Music Director
Michael Tilson Thomas and the gang served as master magicians to coax the
wonder -- and yes, terror -- out of the goings on.
One was left hoping that the magic wand would have conjured up even a few
more warm repertory treats as we hustled out into the chill early evening air.