My Personal Highlights from Season Five
Ryan Rhen (PhD Candidate, Mechanical Science & Engineering) shares his personal favorite performances from the upcoming Stanford Live season.
1. The Complete Piano Etudes by Philip Glass, Thursday September 29, 7:30pm, Bing Concert Hall
Pianist Andrew Chubb recorded the first 10 (of 20) of the Philip Glass Piano Ètudes, and they're GREAT. The earlier of these ètudes are like case studies in minimalist composition. Of those, No. 6 my favorite. The sweeping climax at about 1:00 pushed me back in my seat when I first heard it!
2. Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, Friday September 30, 7:30pm, Bing Concert Hall
Although Wynton no longer performs classical music, his “Carnaval” album was hugely important in my personal musical development. When I was in middle and high school, all I wanted to do was to play theme and variations solos and “Carnaval” was my gold standard. It’s hard not to be mesmerized by the virtuosity on display!
More relevant to what may transpire on the Bing stage, “Vitoria Suite” is just one of many instances showcasing the grand artistic visions that Wynton and the JLCO are able to deliver – a fusion of Spanish flamenco, Basque music, and jazz and blues stylings that at once unifies these musical heritages while also delivering a new understanding of each.
3. Jazz 100: The Music of Dizzy, Ella, Mongo, & Monk, Thursday October 6, 7:30pm, Bing Concert Hall
Danilo Pérez paid tribute to Thelonious Monk on this 1996 album with a mix of Monk’s originals, Monk tunes with Latin jazz infusions, and some of Pérez’s own Monk-inspired original tunes.
4. St. Lawrence String Quartet, Sunday October 30, 2:30pm, Bing Concert Hall
SLSQ will be performing John Adams’ “John’s Book of Alleged Dances” on this concert. Beyond being a great title for a piece of music, it’s a lot of fun to listen to also! Adams says that the dances are “alleged” because the steps have not yet been invented. I have a special affinity for these types of works (similarly, Erik Satie’s “Sports et Divertissements”) that have a dry wit in their presentation. With movement titles like “Dogjam,” “Alligator Escalator,” and “Rag the Bone,” you can almost already hear the sardonicism in your imagination.
5. A Chanticleer Christmas, Wednesday December 14, 7:30pm, Memorial Church
This album is probably the closest we can get to the live experience of this performance, given that the title of the show and the album are the same. :D Also, since it was written in 1964, Franz Biebl’s “Ave Maria” has become very popular, not only as a choral work, but also arranged for various instrumentations. I came to know it as a 9th grade student in my district’s honor band. As soon as I heard it, I wanted to find the original work, and gosh, it’s pretty. I don’t know if we’ll hear this work performed live in December, but it is on the album…