Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ravel, Delage, Bach & Schneider concert

Scott Yoo conducted the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in a varied program on Friday night, the highlights of which were Four Hindu Poems by Delage and Carlos Drummond de Andrade Stories by Minnesota composer Maria Schneider (conducted by the composer), both featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw. The Delage songs were delicate and luminous, while the Stories were darkly humorous. Other pieces performed were Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Défunte, Bach's Ricercare (orchestrated by Webern), and Beethoven's Ghost Trio.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Jazzkickers concerts in Eagan

The Jazzkickers gave their annual Employee Giving Campaign concerts at the West Publishing facility in Eagan, MN this week. We played two one-hour sets, including four original compositions ("Snowy Samba" and "Kelly and Tucker" by Tim Wick, and "Beach Fatigue" and "Phrygian Around" by myself). Other songs were "Sea Journey", "Bags Groove", "How High the Moon", "Blue Bossa", "Summer Samba", "Moanin'", "Chitlins Con Carne", and "Autumn Leaves".

The Jazzkickers are: Carmin Pluntz (tenor sax), Gregory Bannister (tenor & suprano saxes, clarinet), Peter Jackson (elec gtr), Gary Berosik (dr), Steve Proper (bs gtr) and Tim Wick (keys). I played a Gibson Les Paul Robot guitar through a custom-built Savage Rohr amp. Many thanks to all who stopped by to listen, and you can find photos here. The Employee Giving Campaign raised over $1.3M in contributions prior to the company match, which is a record.

Shawn Colvin concert

On Wednesday night, Sandy and I saw Shawn Colvin at the Dakota Jazz Club, a very intimate venue. She played without a back up band, and did a good job of covering a wide range of songs from her 15 years or so of releasing albums. Her attractive voice and signature guitar style were in good shape, despite the fact that she looked tired and seemed to be coming down with a cold. Among the numbers she sang were "Fill Me Up", "Shotgun Down The Avalanche", "Cinnamon Road", "Polaroids", "Tuff Kid", "These Four Walls" and "Sunny Came Home". Her consistent song-writing and fresh approach to the studio, working with the likes of Larry Klein and John Leventhal, has earned her a well-deserved place in the pantheon of great popular musicians.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Vienna Mozart Orchestra

Last week in Vienna, I attended a concert of the Wiener Mozart Orchester in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein. This is a chamber ensemble of about 30 musicians who play selections from Mozart works while wearing period costume. Siegfried Andraschek was conducting, and the soloists were Isabell Bringmann (soprano), Sebastian Holocek (baritone), and Ines Miklin (violin).

Highlights included arias from Don Giovanni, the Marriage of Figaro, and the Magic Flute, where the singing was really outstanding. Other crowd-pleasers were Eine Kleine Nachmusik and Rondo alla Turca, as well as movements from Symphonies No. 25 and 40. The acoustics of the Musikverein are just awesome, and the audience were very informal and relaxed: a mix of locals and tourists.