Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 6:04 am
Tonight marks the first night of Passover, the commemoration of the Jews' liberation from slavery. Like millions around the world, I'll be sitting down to Seder to celebrate, in my case with a completely religiously and culturally mixed-up mishpocheh. I'm not Jewish, but Passover is one of my favorite nights of the year. With all of its rituals, this holiday takes eating mindfully to a whole new and incredible level, with every foodstuff, prayer and movement geared towards revisiting and renewing the ancient story of bitterness and then emancipation.
What happens when two very talented women — one, a rising alt-country star; the other, one of classical music's great new talents — meet one another? In the case of singer Tift Merritt and pianist Simone Dinnerstein, a friendship ensues.
The four finalists are doing all they can to impress the judges and make their mark on this special occasion. There is the award-winning performance of the commissioned work "Upsparkles" by the Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Moravec.
Russian mystic Alexander Scriabin breaks free from 'sonata-form' with his "Sonata Fantasy in g minor."
Claude Debussy cuts loose from the forms he used in his first set of preludes when one of the contestants plays four of the twelve works from his second set from 1913.
The Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz has found a great deal of success with her varied catalog of work. To try to define it in only a paragraph, or two, would be unfair and probably impossible. Likewise, her work defies any attempt to be pigeon-holed into a nationalistic or ethnic box. Yes, some of the catalog reflects her Mexican roots. But other titles speak in a musical language which should only be described as contemporary.
Tom Dooling leads Parts 2 & 3 of Handel's masterpiece
Handel's Messiah Parts II and III are the program this Sunday for the Sanctuary Choir of First Presbyterian Church, accompanied by a baroque ensemble playing on period instruments. Tom Dooling conducts the free concert that starts at 4 p.m.
"Messiah was popular in its day, and throughout history a real staple," says Dooling. "It is probably one of the most, if not THE most recognizable choral/orchestral works in the repertoire."