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California Philharmonic’s Endless Summer on the green begins: Beatles, Beethoven & Beach Boys

By Sandra Plazinic

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 The California Philharmonic opened its summer season on a hot Saturday, June 29th, 2013 on the green of the Santa Anita Race track in Arcadia, California.

In it’s second season Victor Vener, maestro and music director, welcomed the audience with a trumpeter leading right into a colorful program by educating young and old about the music and it’s origin. “ Beethoven’s behavior was certainly misunderstood during his time. He was suffering from hearing loss early in his career as a musician and music teacher. Nevertheless he wrote a lot of profound music, “ following with,” although he started just like Mozart and Hayden he ended revolutionizing music by painting his feelings into melodies he composed. He also loved to walk in the woods outside of the city of Vienna, where he listened to many different types of birds which he emulates in this Symphony”. This is certainly not the only interesting part of Beethoven’s Symphony No.6 in F Major, Op.68. The lovely thunderstorm is very recognizable and probably the high light of this lesser known piece of music.

After the classical intro the listeners were able to get refreshments at the food stands during intermission, while others brought their own pick-nick basket, sipping on some wine or nibbling on cheese and crackers. The venue is definitely more majestic than the Arboretum and the constant changing light including a spectacular sunset combined with breath taking views of the San Gabriel Mountains worth the trip to this landmark in Arcadia on any week-end. You may have to get used to the slight odor residing at the racetrack but it didn’t seem to interrupt the kids playing on the green, or the adults munching on their snacks bringing a certain country charm to the occasion.

When Vener performed the songs Good Vibrations and California Girls from the Beach Boys while some of the listeners seemed to loosen up a bit by getting up to dance.

The orchestra transitioned easily from classical into rock music. Still, little did anybody in the audience know the treat they were going to witness in just moments: a band called The Fab Four.

The highlight of the evening started with the introduction of the Fab Four, probably the best cover band of the Beatles of this time. It wasn’t just the uncanny, note- for note renditions of hits like I want to hold your hand, or Twist and Shout. it was the immense talent of each of the four musicians delivering the very well known songs and in persona, creating the ultimate tribute experience to this popular band called the Beatles. Performers Ron Mc Neil (John Lennon), Andy Sarraf (Paul McCartney), Gavin Pring (George Harrison) and Erik Fidel (Ringo Starr) are able to convey the exact sound and character with amazing precision. Thanks to the performers impeccable vocal styling and attention to detail one felt like catapulted back to the 60is mod era watching a live concert of the Beatles. Amazing was also the orchestration Vener brought with the Cal Philharmonic accompanying all Beatles songs. As Vener mentioned earlier, most of the orchestration was lost after the recordings of hits like: I saw her standing there

Yesterday, Imagine, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps but were absolutely identical in sound to the originals at this performance.

 In a second set the Fab Four changed into more colorful outfits performing I am the Walrus and Penny Lane leading the audience from Mod to Psychedelic era of the 60is.

The evening closed with the song Live and Let Die, also known as the title song in one of the older James Bond films.

Soon the crowed that had camped out on the green made their way jolly through the food section and back to their vehicles reminiscing about the music heard and the stories told. It was clearly an amazing way kicking off this summer season sponsored by Westfield Santa Anita, Walt Disney Concert Hall. Pasadena Entertainment, Rusnak, Nordstrom, Smith Brothers restaurant, Breeders Cup, LA Weekly, Pasadena Weekly, Arcadia Weekly, KPCC, AM870, Hollywood Piano Company, AB Adcraft, MN&Co, Code4world.com and Dog Haus.

More week-ends on the green to come or concerts at Disney Hall include:

July 13, 2013 Andrew Llyoyd Webber Meets Puccini

July 27, 2013 Dance Fever (Strauss, Prokofiev, Salome, Michael Jackson, Abba, Elvis)

Aug. 10, 2013 Rodgers, Hammerstein& Gershwin

Aug. 24, 2013 Les Miz & Bernstien

Published on Jul 01, 2013

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