Showing posts from December, 2022

Landmarks Center presents a Christmas cornucopia from Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra

There was lots of variety packed into the Christmas concert that Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra offered Sunday evening at Indiana Landmarks Center.   Taking a break from its normal home at Butler University's Schrott Center and partnering with a specially recruited chorus, the ICO surveyed music of the season by five 18th-  and 19th-century masters: Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Arcangelo Corelli, J.S. Bach, G.F. Handel, and Hector Berlioz. The spectrum probably compelled more trimming than desirable of the best-known selection, the Advent and Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah." Several favorites were missing as a result, and I am used to hearing "His yoke is easy" as the chorus ending the oratorio's first part, not "Hallelujah." But for selling the show to the public, I realize that the Hallelujah Chorus was inevitable as a concert finale. I once sang in a choir that attracted a large crowd for a performance of the whole work, and watched a

Dover beachhead: Another esteemed quartet stakes a claim on late Beethoven

Completing its Beethoven cycle for Cedille Records , the Dover Quartet has put a seal on its excellent Dover Quartet concludes its three-volume Beethoven journey for Cedille. permanent accomplishment so far. "Volume 3: The Late Quartets" brings its collection of Ludwig van Beethoven's 16 to a stunning conclusion. The Dover's manner with the twelfth through fifteenth quartets, plus the "Great Fugue" ( Grosse Fuge ), is distinguished by pervasive lyricism, though the recurring tumult and wealth of surprises are not scanted. One commentator has described the slow movement of Op. 132 as a demonstration of "how slow you can ride a bike without falling off." The Dover meets that difficult standard with the self-possession of star athletes. Violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, and cellist Camden Shaw illustrate both their precise coordination of pace and the gracefulness of every expressive gesture. As a result, the qua

Steel City pianist pays tribute to a forebear on 'Tone Paintings: The Music of Dodo Marmarosa'

Craig Davis, a current fixture as a jazz pianist in his native Pittsburgh, works with the veteran bass-drums "Tone Paintings" erects a memorial. team of John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton to recall the inspired melody-rich bebop style of Michael "Dodo" Marmarosa on a new release from the Steel City label MCG Jazz . "Tone Paintings" takes its title from a modernist composition of Marmorosa that receives an attractive interpretation here from the trio. There are 11 tracks in all, indicative of the creative range of a pianist whose notable early career ended in obscurity.  Davis made a personal discovery of Marmarosa while exploring Pittsburgh's rich heritage in jazz pianists, including Mary Lou Williams, Errol Garner, Ahmad Jamal and Billy Strayhorn. "Here's this guy who was boppin' with Bird and he was pushing the envelope at the same time," Davis said of the pianist who played with Charlie Parker and others in advancing jazz in the most a

Digging through lightness: Thomas Linger plays third Premiere Series trio sets for APA

It could be daring to say it, but I sense there's both a wink and a bit of self-revelation behind the original Thomas Linger worked with Kenny Phelps and Nick Tucker. tune Thomas Linger played during his second set Saturday night at the Jazz Kitchen : "Mercurial Behemoth" he called it, and it was tacked on to the sincere charm of the standard "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."  As finalist in the 2023 American Pianists Awards, Linger was presented in a trio evening in American Pianists Association 's Premiere Series. There are two more finalists to hear after the turn of the year, culminating in two evenings of finals in April. The club setting, with just bass and drums in accompaniment, tests young jazz pianists in the most likely setting for much of their careers. Linger, a North Carolinian now living in New York City and well-launched there on his own, displayed his experience, his audience rapport, his creativity — all qualities that he blended w

Scrooge reinvents himself once again, dashing through the snow at IRT

  Scrooge upbraids his clerk, Bob Cratchit. For the first time in four years I've seen Indiana Repertory Theatre 's production of "A Christmas Carol," as adapted by Tom Haas from Charles Dickens' novella, I've sensed a show chastened by the pandemic. I'm allowing for having projected personal feelings of having come through a trying historical episode onto the show. The robustness of the re-creation remains to a large degree, but the stage action feels starker this time around, and the cast is smaller. The bitter side of the fantasy leaves its imprint, despite the famous happy ending, in which the habitual skinflint and misanthrope becomes a one-man source of Christmas cheer in merry old, uncharacteristically snow-covered London. Janet Allen directs the show in her last season as IRT's artistic director. And the company itself is observing another milestone, its golden anniversary, in 2022-23. For me, this version conveys the sense that the world has b