Classical cover: Schubert’s ‘Erlkonig’

I love a good cover song. The term usually applies to a pop or rock song — some of my favorites in that category include DEVO’s “Satisfaction,” Cake’s “I Will Survive” and The Clash’s “Brand New Cadillac.”

But broadly speaking, classical music is filled with cover songs, if we think of transcriptions, arrangements and paraphrases as such. At any rate, here’s one of my favorite classical covers: First, the original Schubert song, “Erlkönig,” sung by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (English subtitles included); and then Heinrich Ernst’s violin transcription of same, played by Hilary Hahn.

Video: Yekwon Sunwoo plays Mozart

I had the pleasure of talking the other day to Van Cliburn gold medalist Yekwon Sunwoo (article to come). Here he is playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 during the semifinal round of the competition. It’s beautifully done. He’ll perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Pacific Symphony on Sept. 9.

Monster of a movie: Kaufman and Pacific take on ‘Jurassic Park’

By TIMOTHY MANGAN

Richard Kaufman, Principal Pops Conductor of Pacific Symphony, answered the door of his classic Encino ranch house the other day in his bare feet and khaki shorts. When he’s not conducting symphony orchestras around the world in live performances of film scores with the movie screened synchronously, Kaufman, 69, works in a home office equipped with a large desk, on which sits a giant computer monitor to watch the film he’s working on and the score to same.

The room is filled with papers and scores and mementos, including a framed photograph of Kaufman, a veteran of the Hollywood studios, coaching Jack Nicholson on the violin for his starring role in “The Witches of Eastwick.” (Those are Kaufman’s hands you see playing the piano in the scene in which Susan Sarandon’s cello bursts into flames.)

His current project is “Jurassic Park,” which he’ll conduct for the first time Saturday (Aug. 19) with Pacific Symphony at Pacific Amphitheatre. To demonstrate his duties, he flips on the movie to the scene where a T-Rex is chasing a jeep — pure mayhem — and conducts the score, which he has marked up with brightly colored highlighters. Meters and tempos change suddenly. A click track sets the pace. Both he and the orchestra will listen to it on headphones during the performance.

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The state of music criticism

Music critic G.B. Shaw

Three recent articles on the state of arts journalism in general and music criticism in particular. These are perceptive pieces, one and all, and not quick reads. The first article takes off from my appointment here at Pacific Symphony to consider a broader perspective.

Van Cliburn winner to visit Pacific Symphony

This year’s gold medalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Yekwon Sunwoo, the first Korean to take the top prize, will perform with Carl St.Clair and Pacific Symphony on Sept. 9 at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa. His vehicle will be Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Here he is in the quarterfinals of the Van Cliburn playing the last section of Ravel’s “La Valse.”