Sunday, April 19, 2009

A disorganized, delightful concert

The final Chamber Innovista concert at USC Sunday provided many annoying moments.

Only about 15 paying audience members attended. As one of the people who paid said to me at intermission everyone wants everything to be free.

The information I was provided with about the concert was incomplete – missing proper titles and even an entire work. Nor did it contain any background on the composers or the pieces. Nor did the program given out at the concert have this information.One poor student had to move a grand piano by himself.

What wasn’t annoying was the music – especially that played during the second half although I got the feeling that a goodly number (which in this case was a small number) of the audience found it annoying (kind of strange, awfully loud) but I found it exhilarating.

By any name, including the incorrect, the variations on themes (performed on oboe, clarinet, bassoon and piano) by Heitor Villa-Lobos written by the young composer Andre Mehmari was solid and stunning. It swooped and looped, was playful and jagged. That was followed by the equally dynamic “Homage to Federico Garcia Lora,” by the doomed composer Silvestre Revultas, and played by an 11-member ensemble with conductor. It’s a short, but splashy piece that has a great many edges, every single one honed sharp by the players.

The second half cast the first, a trio by Francis Poulenc, and the peppy “A Brass Menagerie” by John Cheetham, in a shadow. It also blocked from view nearly all disappointing aspects of the concert organization.

St. Paul Sunday” host Bill McGlaughlin put in a plug for Phillip Bush, so why shouldn’t I. Pianist Bush, who lives in Columbia, is on a new recording just put out by the public radio program.

If you want to know what happens before a play hits the stage you must go to

There you’ll find a great video of Trustus Theatre’s creation of “The Elephant’s Graveyard,” which opens Friday. In it you'll see how this ensemble work, directed by Robert Richmond, comes together, and hear Trustus artisttic director Jim Thigpen tell you why you won't want to see the show.

1 comment:

  1. I'm enjoying your blogging and hope you keep it up.


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