Acclaimed stage actor Bryan Torfeh, a long-time member of England”™s famed Royal Shakespeare Company who grew up in Pacific Palisades, returns to his roots to appear with Chamber Music Palisades (CMP) to narrate the original version of Igor Stravinsky”™s virtuosic L”™Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier”™s Tale) on Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 8:00 P.M., at St. Matthews Parish in Pacific Palisades.
Torfeh – whose credits include Nicholas Nickleby in the U.K. and on Broadway and the American premiere of Tom Stoppard”™s Hapgood – adds his classically trained lilt to a program that also highlights two works by pillars of American music: Duo for flute and piano by Aaron Copland, and Then and Now and Forever by Morton Subotnick.
In addition, the concert features some of the Southland”™s finest chamber artists – Ida Levin, violin, Joshua Ranz, clarinet, Carolyn Beck, bassoon, Alex Iles, trombone, Jon Lewis, trumpet, Edward Atkatz, percussion, and Nico Abondolo, bass, who join CMP Co-Founders/Co-Artistic Directors Susan Greenberg, flute, and Delores Stevens on piano. KUSC”™s Alan Chapman will provide commentary for this one-night-only concert.
Stevens, who notes that Stravinsky emigrated to the United States and spent his final years in Beverly Hills, says, “This program provides an outstanding example of the tremendous musical variety that can be found on the American music scene.”
Greenberg also states, “Given the range of music we”™re performing, it takes a special group of artists to play these different styles.”
L”™Histoire du Soldat is a work that is rich with shifting rhythms and elements of jazz, waltz and ragtime. It is based on a Russian folktale about a solider who trades his violin to the devil for a book that predicts the future of the economy, but ultimately discovers he”™s sold his soul to the devil. The original version, approximately an hour in length, is written for a septet of violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone and percussion.
Copland composed Duo for flute and piano in 1971 for a commission in honor of flutist William Kincaid. Considered Copland”™s last important work, the duo has a lyrical and relaxed opening that develops into a pensive second movement and ends in a lively county dance.
Subotnick, one of the pioneers of electronic music and multi-media performance and an innovator in works involving instruments and other media, including interactive computer music systems, has also composed for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles and theatre. Then and Now and Forever was written as one continuous 15-minute long movement with several sections that return in subtle varied utterances.
Chamber Music Palisades was founded in 1997 by Pacific Palisades residents Greenberg and Stevens. They draw guest artists from their vast pool of talented colleagues in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Opera, plus other leading instrumentalists from the U.S. and Europe.Â
In addition to presenting established chamber works, to date Chamber Music Palisades has commissioned 11 compositions by such renowned composers as Paul Chihara, Jane Brockman, Henri Lazarof, Adrienne Albert, Maria Newman, Gernot Wolfgang and Joel McNeely.
Performance is on Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 8:00 p.m.
Tickets are $25; Students with ID will be admitted free.
St. Matthew”™s Parish
1031 Bienveneda in Pacific Palisades, CA 90272.
For tickets and information, please call 310-463-4388 visit their official site.
Chamber Music Palisades presents the music of Stravinsky, Copland and Subotnick
Guest Artists Joining CMP Co-Founders/Co-Artistic Directors
Susan Greenberg, Flute, and Delores Stevens on Piano, are:
Ida Levin, Violin,
Joshua Ranz, Clarinet,
Carolyn Beck, Bassoon,
Alex Iles, Trombone,
Jon Lewis, Trumpet,
Edward Atkatz, Percussion
Nico Abondolo, Bass
and, of course, Bryan Torfeh, Narrator
AARON COPLAND Duo for flute and piano
MORTON SUBOTNICK Then and Now and Forever
IGOR STRAVINSKY L”™Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier”™s Story)
Report by Pauline Adamek