Carmel Bach Festival — Bach & Shakespeare

Carmel has inspired many people. Over the decades, stretching as far back as early 20th Century, creative people have thrived in this small town by the sea. On Sunday, July 14, 2019, day two of the 82nd Carmel Bach Festival, we enjoyed a glimpse of what Carmel has inspired in Maestro Paul Goodwin. Every conductor and director has a vision with much joy to share. Attending live performances seems the only way to understand and receive that joy and vision. At first blush, one wonders how Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, by Johann Sebastian Bach is related to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Incidental Music, Op 61 by Felix Mendelssohn. Andrew Oster gave us some insight with his pre-concert lecture. His well-presented thoughts with recorded excerpts made it easier to enjoy the afternoon’s concert. I’ve decided to let the musicologists discuss the connection. It is enough for me to honor Felix Mendelssohn for his work in reviving Bach’s music.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Choral, Orchestral


Music of Jubilation: Symphony Silicon Valley Finale

Tatsuya Shimono

Conductor Tatsuya Shimono led the 2018-19 season finale of Symphony Silicon Valley on Saturday, June 1, at the California Theatre. The program featured choral music by Dvorak and Beethoven, featuring guest soloists and the gifted Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale, whose Music Director is Elena Sharkova. Besides the rarely performed 1891Te Deum of Antonin Dvorak, the powerful draw came in the form of Beethoven’s mighty 1824 Ninth Symphony, the “Choral.” Among the pedestals of Western Music, this last symphony of Beethoven casts a perpetual spell over performers and auditors alike, compelling us to examine the very foundations of the musical art.

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Archived in these categories: Choral, Classical Era, Orchestral, Romantic Era


Monterey Peninsula Voices


Sean Boulware

The audience trickled in to the hustle and bustle of the dynamite combo warming up for the Monterey Peninsula Voices program on Sunday, May 12, at the Santa Catalina High School auditorium. Under the direction of Dr. Sean Boulware, just the warm up was an exciting predictor of what was to come. These 100+ voices in their terrific themed tee shirts showed unflagging enthusiasm and delight to be part of this group. As a Road Trip theme might be imagined, Boulware has chosen a wealth of location songs stretching from I Left My Heart in San Franciscoto Boy From New York City with stops in between along Route 66. John Lett and Robin Jepsen soloed more than ably in Tuxedo Junction. As with many of these familiar songs the recording artist who made it famous is often more remembered than the actual composer. Erskine Hawkins wrote this piece made popular by numerous big bands as well as soloists. Hard to imagine Lynard Skynard being responsible for Sweet Home Alabama, but with the killer guitar work of Noah Reeves, the singers brought it home. Another popular song, Georgia On My Mind, is mostly remembered for the Ray Charles version. Phil Price not only soloed, but also provided his own guitar accompaniment. Next up, the tenors and basses gave a hearty treatment of Westward Ho! from the 1935 film of the same name. Actually moving eastward, Diane Ehlers gave Glen Campbell a run for his money with her version of By The Time I Get To Phoenix supported with a prerecorded backup.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Choral, Vocal


Camerata Singers — Wrapped in Song

John Koza

Talk about musical comfort food for the soul, Camerata Singers, under the direction of John Koza, Artistic Director and Conductor, presented Wrapped In SongAudience members were virtually wrapped in a cocoon of not only familiar choral works but also some newer versions of familiar texts. The multi talented George Peterson demonstrated his more than nimble fingers accompanying Dan Forrest’s The Music of Living to start off the program. This accompaniment is a definite “wake-up” call for the singers to maintain balance. The more familiar The Eyes of All Wait Upon Me by Jean Berger followed in a gentler mood. Eric Whitacre used the poetry of Octavio Paz for his setting of A Boy and a Girl. Such poignancy of the image of young love savoring their togetherness stretched out on the grass, stretched out on a beach, until stretched out underground keenly touched the audience’s heart. The delightful premise and novelty of Anders Edenroth’s I sing, You Sing, features the alto section. Koza explained the set up of SATB music with the sopranos getting the melody, basses the foundation and usual root of chord, tenors the color and altos “whatever is left” harmonically. This alto section more than held their own getting to sing more than the three or four notes often assigned to the section.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Choral


I Cantori di Carmel: Expressions of the Heart

Cyril Deaconoff

Expressions of the Heart is a most apt title for the evening’s program from I Cantori di Carmel. All Saints’ Church in Carmel, provided the beautiful acoustics for an eclectic program ranging from Bach to contemporary Russian composer Georgy Sviridov. As Conductor Cyril Deaconoff pointed out, this selection of choral works is sung from the heart to the heart of the listener. I Cantori program notes are known for rich descriptions – definitely an appreciated mini history lesson without sitting through graduate classes! 

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Choral