Jane Hamilton, author of 'The Book of Ruth' and 'A Map of the World', and soprano Stacy Tappan joins concertmasterMargaret Batjer and The LA Chamber Orchestra for the 2nd in a three-part series known as Westside Connections; a performance that merges the artistic disciplines of both words and music.
It begins with a piece written by novelist Jane Hamilton as she speaks to the audience as Agathe von Siebold, (a woman whom Brahms was infatuated with) reincarnated as a music teacher. Jane Hamilton is a brilliant writer known for her "compassionate portrayals of characters" (Laura Moriarty) so it comes as no surprise that the audience is easily captivated by Hamilton's portrayal of Agathe in these two literary pieces. The only disappointment is that she doesn't plan on publishing them.
To accompany Jane Hamilton, the concert includes Tenebrae (Version 1) and String Sextet No. 2 in G major, Op 36.
Tenebrae, composed by Osvaldo Golijov, was written for the listener to experience two different perspectives. "If one chooses to listen to it "from afar", the music would probably offer a "beautiful" surface but, from a metaphorically closer distance, one could hear that, beneath that surface, the music is full of pain" (Osvaldo Golijov). This multilayered piece performed was version 1 which includes the soprano (performed by Stacey Tappan) and clarinet (performed by Joshua Ranz) as well as Joel Pargman (violin), Jennifer Munday (violin), Victoria Miskolczy (viola), and Giovanna M. Clayton (cello). From the very beginning, there's a feeling of a deep undercurrent that's only overshadowed by the added soprano and clarinet who at first bring about an alternative to the steady "pain" that is still present. Tappan (soprano) andRanz (clarinet) create a rising struggle for dominance while inadvertently harmonizing. Throughout the piece the feeling of staying on the surface or giving into the underbelly until the very end where you realize that at some point there is no longer the allure of the exterior or the curiosity beneath the surface but a blend that leaves you slightly unsettled and breathless in the most amazing way.
Anyone who is a fan of Johannes Brahms is no stranger to his piece, String Sextet No. 2 in G major, Op 36. Broken into four movements: Allegro von Troppo, Scherzo-Allegro non Troppo-Presto giocoso, Adagio, and Poco allegro, Brahms sends us through a musical journey through his love life (or rather lack thereof) with Agathe von Siebold. Performed by concertmasterMargaret Batjer (violin), Susan Rishik (violin), Roland Kato (viola), Robert Brophy (viola), Andrew Shulman (cello), and Trevor Handy (cello), there was no question if they were enjoying themselves. It was clear on their faces as well as how beautifully they played. They took a piece of musical history and put their own spin on it, creating a more animated ambience.
Westside Connections will have its third installment on April 15th, 2013 with guest author Mona Simpson to go along with Janacek's String Quartet No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata" and Beethoven's Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47, "Kreutzer"
Westside Connections 3
Monday, April 15, 2013
The Broad Stage
1310 11th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310 434 3200
Photo Credit: Kevin Horan and Michael Burke