Arts & Events

Christian Tetzlaff Interprets Bach’s Solo Violin Works

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday December 22, 2017 - 01:33:00 PM

On Sunday evening, December 17, Christian Tetzlaff returned to San Francisco’s Davies Hall to perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin. Appearing under the auspices of San Francisco Symphony, Christian Tetzlaff played the last four of the six Bach works for solo violin. In Tetzlaff’s view, there is a trajectory throughout these six works that moves from darkness and suffering into light and joy. The opening Sonata and its Partita, says Tetzlaff, offer a kind of overture. Omitting these in his recital, Tetzlaff maintains that the basic trajectory can be heard as he plays the second and third sets of sonatas and partitas in numerical order. -more-

Sherezade Panthaki Stars in Obscure Handel Oratorio

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday December 24, 2017 - 10:59:00 AM

Under the leadership of Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has consistently championed the music of George Friedrich Handel, bringing us this composer’s operas, oratorios, and instrumental music in live performances and recordings. Now, in four performances throughout the Bay Area, December 14-17, they have given us Handel’s 1744 oratorio Joseph and His Brethren. A work rarely performed these days, Joseph and His Brethren was extremely popular in Handel’s day, receiving ten performances in England, where it placed fourth, behind The Messiah, Samson, and Judas Maccabeas, in number of performances given in the composer’s lifetime. -more-

Mark Morris Revives THE HARD NUT

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday December 16, 2017 - 05:30:00 PM

On Friday evening, December 15, Mark Morris Dance Group opened their perennial Christmas favorite, The Hard Nut, for an extensive run through December 24 at Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. It’s been more than twenty-five years since Mark Morris premiered The Hard Nut, which of course is his quirky take on Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet The Nutcracker. Based on the story The Nutcracker and the Mouseking by E.T.A. Hoffman, this charming tale involves the Christmas Eve dreams of a young girl, often named Clara, although in Mark Morris’s The Hard Nut she is called Marie. -more-

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, December 17-24

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Sunday December 17, 2017 - 11:44:00 AM

December 19 is the last Berkeley City Council meeting before the winter recess. Jammed into the 498 page Agenda Packet is the City Manager’s report on the referral process item 36. This is the list of the work assigned by the City Council to the City Manager. While quite a number of referrals are in process or completed, there are referrals from 2014 that are still lingering unfinished. Also in the packet is the Police Review Commission’s (PRC) recommendation to repeal the September 12, 2017 pepper spray ordinance item 40 a. The City Manager rejects the PRC recommendation in 40 b. recommending the ordinance remain in place. Justification for retaining the policy includes the statement, “On August 27, hundreds [emphasis added] of masked extremists arrived on the scene of an otherwise peaceful event in Civic Center Park, accompanied by a flatbed truck loaded with weapons and shields…” -more-