Arts & Events

AROUND AND ABOUT MUSIC AND THEATER: Unusual Recital of Kunqu Chinese Opera on UC Campus

Ken Bullock
Friday February 17, 2017 - 10:50:00 AM

Kunqu--or just Kun or Wu--opera is one of the oldest forms of Chinese Opera, a great influence on the more famous Jingju or "Peking" Opera, famous for its melodic form ... -more-

American Bach Soloists Perform French Baroque Music

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday February 17, 2017 - 11:01:00 AM

Led by their Music Director Jeffrey Thomas, American Bach Soloists gave a series of concerts featuring French Baroque music throughout the Bay Area February 10-13, 2017. I attended their Saturday, February 11 performance at Berkeley’s First Presbyterian Church. In the 17th and early 18th century, French music was centered at the royal courts of King Louis XIII and Louis XIV. Under Louis XIII, an ensemble of the finest string players was created in 1626, called Les vingt-quatre Violons du Roi (The 24 Violins of the King). Occasionally, this group of violins, violas, and cellos combined forces with the royal wind and brass ensemble, La Grande Écurie, so-named because wind and brass music was mostly played for the hunt and dressage, thus emanating from the royal stables. Later, Louis XIV added more string players to the initial 24 strings, and this larger group was called La grande bande. -more-

A Semi-Staged Gospel According to the Other Mary at Davies

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Thursday February 23, 2017 - 05:04:00 PM

There is tremendous hubris at work in John Adams. He reaches for the heavens, yet inevitably remains earthbound. In The Gospel According to the Other Mary, which was performed in a semi-staged setting by San Francisco Symphony February 16-18, a musical passage here or there may momentarily soar, yet vast stretches of music never get off the ground. -more-