It was habit in the nineteenth and early twentieth century to present operas, whatever their original language, in the language of the host country. Playbills of the past are filled with references toWagner's Il Sigfrido, or Mozart’s Il Fluto Magico, or Figaro's Hochzeit. The idea was, of course, to fill the seats. This is especially important in comedy, because what was the point if nobody got the jokes!
There are three chances to go to Holiday Pops and hear seasonal favorites with Akiko Fujimoto and the San Antonio Symphony featuring guest vocalists Cristal Smith, Eric Schmidt, and the Children's Chorus of San Antonio this weekend.
The first two concerts are at the Majestic Theatre and include holiday classics by Leroy Anderson, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and John Rutter.
Flamenco music is relatively new on the music scene (especially considering the long history of music as art), but still dates backs a couple of hundred years. It was brought to Spain by gypsies, who were erroneously named because they were mistaken for Egyptians but are of Indian descent.
Mention Frida Kahlo and we immediately think of the painter and the wide range of self portraits she produced during her troubled -- and at times anguished -- life. A recent recording by the Dublin Drag Orchestra with vocalist Clara Sanabras brings to light another side of Kahlo: occasional poet and writer. "La Vida Callada," ("The Unspoken Life") is included on the recently issued "¡Viva Frida!" from the Heresy record label. This track stands out for its balance of contrast and similarity to what the Dublin Drag Orchestra (DDO) has come to champion - early music.
Godfrey Reggio's groundbreaking trilogy of experimental films, "Koyaanisqatsi" (1983), "Powaaqatsi" (1988), and "Naqoyqatsi" (2002), were released for the first time on Blu-ray this month from the Criterion Collection. In this essay, former New York Times arts critic John Rockwell traces the evolution of Philip Glass's music, and how it works in these wordless films.
The Qatsi Trilogy: Counterpoint and Harmony By John Rockwell At this late date, with Glass having attained the patriarchal age of seventy-five, some of the polemics about minimalism have abated. He's still in some ways boyish, but he is also a father figure for generations of younger composers, some of whose music sounds in no way like his own.
It’s fitting that The Playhouse is showing Annie, which is set in a 1930s orphanage. Times were tough during those years in San Antonio, and Board Chair Lee Cusenbary said that theater was very important to San Antonians in the 1930s.
On "The Piano" this Sunday, a collection of riveting pieces that have Slavonic roots. First, Sergei Rachmaninoff and his new, modular approach to music; whether he consciously or unconsciously chose tolling bell patterns as a basis for his 2nd piano sonata, the effect is the same as a great festival in which, at the conclusion, all the church bells get involved.
Then there is Mily Balakirev, who explored the height of piano virtuosity with his "Islamey," featuring a soloist who was never known to rein in his power and audacity - Vladimir Horowitz.