GSOplay at the Gothenburg Symphony

GSOplay is the Gothenburg Symphony’s online series of high definition performance videos. “We release approximately two to three videos per month and normally the performances are available for viewing up to 30 days after the release date,” the website says. Currently, the page features a nice range of repertoire, including the Symphony No. 5 by Sibelius, the “Symphonie fantastique” by Berlioz and the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Stenhammer.

Above, Kent Nagano conducts the orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3.

A visit to Pacific Symphony’s music library

You go in the artists’ entrance at Segerstrom Concert Hall, walk past the security guard behind the window (once you get the OK), enter the first door on the right and head down two flights of stairs. You’re in the basement now, walking down a long concrete hallway in low light when, on the right, you come upon this plaque.

It’s the library of Pacific Symphony. Step inside and it’s a cozy and quiet little place.

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Symphony in the Cities program announced

This summer’s Symphony in the Cities concerts, conducted by Carl St.Clair, will be held in Mission Viejo and Irvine on July 28 and July 29, respectively. Programming for these alfresco events has now been announced. The musical fare will include selections from American musicals, patriotic songs and marches, and operatic hits. Soprano Chelsea Chaves and tenor Nick Preston are the guests.

The concert begins with the arrival of the children (who will have been coached by St.Clair) to conduct John Philip Sousa’s “Hands Across the Sea” March, a tradition on these occasions.

A set from American musicals comes next, featuring music by Gershwin (from “Strike Up the Band” and “Girl Crazy”) and Lerner and Loewe (from “My Fair Lady”).

Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story” Suite (arranged by Jack Mason) and the Mambo from same transition to an operatic set that includes the Overture to “The Marriage of Figaro” and famous arias from Puccini (including “Nessun dorma”) and Verdi.

The event winds up with a medley saluting the armed forces, “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” in sing-along performances and, of course, “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Stravinsky conducts ‘Pulcinella’

Composer Igor Stravinsky conducts the Toronto Symphony in the ending of his own ballet “Pulcinella.” This is in 1967, very late in his life, the latest I’ve seen him conducting on film. He would have been about 85 here. Stravinsky is sometimes criticized for having been a poor conductor. Though there is a fair amount of sloppy playing here, he reveals himself as a lively podium presence, alert to rhythm, tempo and the trenchant cue.

The composer’s acknowledgement of the applause is also affecting.

California symphonic concerts in May

For those who enjoy a good browse, this is an entertaining list provided by the Association of California Symphony Orchestras. See what orchestras around the state are up to this month.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Counties: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, and Yuba

Alameda County

Sunday, May 6, at 5 PM
Berkeley Symphony
Joana Carneiro, music director
René Mandel, violin
Deanna Badizadegan, viola
Peter Wyrick, cello
Britt Day, piano
Bohuslav Martinu: Duo No. 1 for Violin and Cello, H.157
Rebecca Clarke: Sonata for Viola and Piano
Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25
Piedmont Center for the Arts, 801 Magnolia Ave., Piedmont
(510) 841-2800
http://www.berkeleysymphony.org

Friday, May 18, at 8 PM
Oakland Symphony
Michael Morgan, conductor
Liana Bérubé, violin
Bernstein: Serenade after Plato’s “Symposium” for Violin & Orchestra
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 ‘Pathétique’ in B minor, Op 74
Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland
(510) 444-0801
http://www.oaklandsymphony.org

Sunday, May 20, at 4 PM
Community Women’s Orchestra
Dana Sadava, conductor
Joan Tower: Made in America
Aaron Copland: music from Our Town
Dvorak: New World Symphony
Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, 1330 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland
(510) 463-031
http://www.communitywomensorchestra.org

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