Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: making great music personal



Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra blog

February 25, 2013

an evening of discovery

an evening of discovery

Ambassador Auditorium
photo courtesy of Pasadena Symphony Orchestra

Oh boy, do I love LACO’s annual Discover concert. This is the fourth year in a row they’ve done it (if I’m counting correctly on my fingers), and it’s both the highlight of the season, and a highlight of my year. If you haven’t been to a Discover concert before, make a note on your calendar and attend next year (LACO hasn’t announced next year’s season yet, but they will in a few months). The premise is simple: they take a singular piece of music, and before they perform it, Jeffrey Kahane presents a fascinating introduction. The Orchestra is onstage to provide musical accompaniment as needed, but it’s mostly Kahane, eloquently talking and weaving stories about the composer, the place and time in history when the piece was composed, and all the sign posts to look (and listen) for when the piece is performed. Not only do you walk away at the end of the night having heard an exemplary musical performance, but you’ve learned something, too – and I don’t know about you, but I love learning! This year, the Discover concert focused on Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4.

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the power of music to calm and charm
February 15, 2013

There is a great temptation for us to imagine we know exactly what a composer had in mind when he or she created a piece of music. In looking at the context of composition, it may seem so easy to connect the dots and assume that a musical work has something to do with a particular event that had just happened, or a state of mind, or an emotion. Musicologists are trained to avoid this trap—for the most part, anyway. Sometimes evidence seems compelling, but oftentimes we lack a “smoking gun” that would seal our case. Nevertheless, these are the kinds of things that keep us thinking, debating, questioning. The truth is, we often don’t really know why something gets written. Sure, there are the facts we do know for sure (Mozart wrote his Requiem in response to a commission), and the ones that are very likely (Bach presented the Brandenburg concertos to possibly get a job), but what these men were feeling when they wrote — what they were thinking — is something that remains hidden.

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discovering compassionate love through the duet – a prelude to baroque conversations 2
February 11, 2013

With a program compiled of purely Baroque duos – two harpsichords, two violins and a pianoforte/harpsichord duo, LACO’s upcoming Valentine’s Day concert inspires reflection on the nature of romance and musical performance in a duo.

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rilling me softly
February 05, 2013

First of all, if you’re reading this, happy 2013 to you. LACO started out 2013 with an all Mozart extravaganza featuring Mozart’s unfinished final composition Requiem in D minor K. 626. Tangent: If you’re like me you’re probably wondering what the heck a “K. 626” is. No, it’s not the planet where “Aliens” takes place (LV-426). Apparently it’s a designation of the Köchel catalog, which is a chronology of all Mozart’s work created in 1862 by a guy named Ludwig von Köchel. I’m almost positive that Ludwig would have LOVED Wikipedia. End of tangent.

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