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.
Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 9:13 am
There's an amazing video floating around YouTube that has brought a ray of sunshine to a very dark week for all of us. It's the trailer for an upcoming documentary called Landfill Harmonic, which focuses on one remarkable group in Paraguay: an orchestra that plays instruments created out of literal trash, made lovingly for them by their community.
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.
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.
There are so many genres of opera. There are the exquisite chamber operas that are close to plays like Strauss’ "Capriccio" of Gluck’s chamber operas. There are the operas of morality or ideology like Beethoven’s "Fidelio" or Mozart’s "Idomeneo." Some works highlight verismos raw emotions and atonal expressionism, decadent excesses like Berg’s "Lulu" or the opera of scandal, like "Salome" and the late romantic opera as epic poetry, "The Ring." The list goes on and on.
Robert Xavier Rodriguez combines cello music on new recording
The latest release of Robert Xavier Rodriguez on Albany Records spans several years, and includes all the cello and piano works, plus a work for solo cello.
"It's wonderful to have quality recordings out, you can show what a piece is supposed to sound like. It is, of course, always great to have live performances, but I hope recordings will help generate more live performances of my music," says Rodriguez.
When the Heart of Texas Concert Band (HOTCB) performs this weekend, they will add an element for the very first time in the ensemble's history: a choir. Band and choir works are more rare than orchestral accompaniment, but Mark Rogers has done some searching and arranging.
"Nancy Oehlert approached me about collaborating with the Encore Youth Chorus, and I thought it was a natural fit, and immediately thought of the holidays," says conductor Mark Rogers.