Once again, the Music Academy of the West week starts with a flourish, with two events of great interest.
At 8 p.m. Monday in Hahn Hall, composer Matthias Pintscher will lead members of the Academy Festival Orchestra with select Academy Vocal Fellows, in a concert that will include the West Coast premiere of Pintscher’s bereshit, Maurice Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin and Igor Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, a ballet based on melodies derived from six trio sonatas that may — or may not — have been composed by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.
Tickets to Monday evening’s event are $40.
At 8 p.m. Tuesday, the second in the series of faculty chamber concerts (“Tuesdays at Eight”) will take the stage in Hahn Hall with a program consisting of two works featuring the outstanding quintet of faculty winds (Timothy Day on flute, Cynthia Koledo de Almeida on oboe, Richie Hawley on clarinet, Dennis Michel on bassoon and Julie Landsman on horn) performing Bohuslav Martinů‘s Nonet No. 2 for Wind Quintet, String Trio, and Double Bass, H. 374 (1959) (also featureing Kathleen Winkler on violin, a String Fellow on viola, Alan Stepansky on cello and Nico Abondolo on bass) and Franz Danzi’s Wind Quintet In Bb-Major, Opus 56 No 1.
We will also hear the Sonata No. 1 in E-Minor for Cello and Piano, Opus 38 (Alan Stepansky on cello and Jonathan Feldman on piano) and Claude Debussy’s Sonata in G-Minor for Violin and Piano, 1917 (Glenn Dicterow on violin and Warren Jones on piano).
Tickets to Tuesday evening’s event are $40.
I assume that the Vocal Fellows will participate in the Pintscher — the title, pronounced very carefully, is the first word of the Torah, and means as you would expect, “In the beginning …” — since neither the Ravel nor the Stravinsky pieces have singing in them. Stravinsky took a certain amount of heat for using borrowed tunes in Pulcinella and The Fairy’s Kiss, but not only, in both cases, did he rescue obscure melodies from oblivion, he also transformed them into great music. In the case of The Fairy’s Kiss, the composer told Robert Craft, “Listening to a concert of the saccharine source material for that work the other day, I almost succumbed to diabetes.”
The academy is to be congratulated for its continuing support of the Czech master, Martinů, generally managing to slip one or more of his works into every festival. Martinů has his eccentricities — he spent a good deal of time in France, after all — but his music is never jarring or offensive and is often quite breathtakingly lovely.
Reserved seats to either of these events can be purchased by phone at 805.969.8787 or online by clicking here.
— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at email@example.com. The opinions expressed are his own.