Saturday, January 31, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Ravel - Piano Concerto in G major - Argerich, Dutoit
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It was a very good year. I mean really... Jimi Hendrix bought his first guitar - a White Single pickup Supro Ozark 1560 S.
Miles was in the studio recording Kind of Blue.
Ornette was killin' em with controversy at New York's Five Spot.
Bonanza, Hawaiian Eye, and The Twilight Zone all premiered on TV.
And The Academy Award for Best Picture went to Gigi.
The Year was 1959.
In the world of Classical Music, conductor Charles Dutoit was just completing his studies and meets a teenage Martha Argerich who has just won 1st Prize at The International Competition in Geneva. The two hit it off and on January 19, 1959 Dutoit led Argerich and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne in the Ravel Piano Concerto in G major. This spectacular performance was their joint debut together and a glimpse of the greatness to come.
The 50th Anniversary Celebration of this Great Moment in Classical Music History comes January 26 & 27.
Charles DuToit, branch - Martha Argerich piano - Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
Jean BALISSAT: Sinfonietta
Maurice RAVEL: Concerto for piano in g major
Richard STRAUSS: Le Bourgeois gentilhomme
26.01.2009 - 27.01.2009
Monday at 20: 30 p.m. on Tuesday at 8 pm
The OCL ticketing: 021 345 00 25 / www.ocl.ch
Book your ticket now
For me this is one of the most exciting events in the world for this week. If there was any way I could be there, I'd be there. I sure hope some of you are able to take in this historic event.
For a fine meal while in Lausanne you just may want to stop in to the Hotel de Ville where Phillipe Rochat might offer you his delicious:
Bresse Chicken in Cocotte with Vegetables and Truffle Mousseline
Then, no trip to Lausanne would be complete without stopping in at
Le Château de Beaulieu et Musée de l'Art Brut.
Located on the northwestern side of town, this château dates from 1756 and was once occupied by Madame de Staël. The museum displays what the artist Jean Dubuffet called art brut in the 1940s. This curious mélange of artwork was collected by the painter from prisoners, the mentally ill, and the criminally insane. It's like a bizarre twilight zone of art, often dubbed "psychopathological," especially the art by schizophrenics. Dubuffet despised the pretentiousness of the avant-garde art scene around him, and as a form of protest decided to begin this collection of the works of "nonartists," many of whom he found superior to the more established artists of his day.
Now wouldn't all that make for a fun and exciting trip!
For those of you not en route to Lausanne... listening to this fine recording in honor of the anniversary will be a delight.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
If you've got to go, I'd make careful sorties to specific events. I'd expect to have to be really patient. I would dress very warmly. Personally, I'm going to stay in and watch things unfold on the TV. For those of you flocking to this city here are some diversions that might make your visit even that much more special.
If there are any vacancies at the every award under the sun winning Inn at Little Washington, perhaps a night or two there would make all the racing around D.C. proper a bit more palatable. If you can't get a reservation for a room you can still try for a reservation at the restaurant. There you can meet Patrick O'Connell, the man Robert Mondavi dubbed " The Pope of American Cuisine", and sample some of his wares.
(Photo courtesy of AlbertHerring )
Some First Course Selections
A Tin of Sin: American Ossetra Caviar with a Crab and Cucumber Rillette
Poached Pullet Egg in Oxtail Consomme with Porcini Mushrooms and Shaved Burgundy Truffle
A Marriage of Hot and Cold Foie Gras with Ice Wine Jelly and Grilled Black Mission Figs
Some Second Course Selections
Macaroni and Cheese with Virginia Country Ham, Aged Gouda and Shaved Black Burgundy Truffle
Minced Squab with Virginia Peanuts and Shiitake Mushrooms in Hoisin Sauce with Spears of Belgian Endive
A Fricasse of Maine Lobster with Potato Gnocchi and Curried Walnuts
Some Main Course Selections
Pepper Crusted Tuna Pretending to be a Filet Mignon, Capped with Seared Duck Foie Gras on Charred Onions with a Burgundy Butter Sauce
Medallions of Rabbit Loin Wrapped in House Cured Pancetta Surrounding a Lilliputian Rabbit Rib Roast Resting on a Pillow of Rutabaga Purée
Veal Sweetbreads Braised in Ruby Port on Pappardelle Pasta with Huckleberries and Country Ham
Some Dessert Selections
Our Warm Custard Bread Pudding Accented with Solera Vinegar and Pickled Cranberries
Ferdinand Point's Classic "Marjolaine" Cake:Layers of Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue with Raspberries
A Chocolate Mint Fantasy: Our Mint Ice Cream Festooned with Chocolate Streamers
For a Selection of Today’s Cheeses Just Ask for Faira the Cow
Visiting this spectacular Inn has always been a pleasure. The setting, food, service, and wine list are a cut above. What an appropriate place to celebrate this historic Inauguration.
In a more modern vein and in contrast to the Inn, you could always pray for a seat at Jose Andres' rather surrealistic Mini Bar. Where you can pick between these offerings:
PASSION FRUIT “TEQUILA SUNRISE” / TUMBLEWEED OF BEET / APPLE CRISPS / “MOJITO” / OLIVE OIL BON BON / “CORNBREAD” / COTTON CANDY FOIE GRAS / “BAGELS & LOX” / CURRIED CHICKEN WING / CONCH FRITTER
Flavors & Textures
SALMON-PINEAPPLE “RAVIOLI” WITH CRISPY QUINOA / DECONSTRUCTED GLASS OF WHITE WINE / ZUCCHINI IN TEXTURES / “SUN DRIED” TOMATO SALAD / CAESAR SALAD / EGG 63° WITH CAVIAR / CORN ON THE COB / “GUACAMOLE” / SMOKED OYSTER AND APPLES / NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER / BREADED CIGALA WITH SEA ASPARAGUS / “PHILLY CHEESESTEAK”
JAPANESE BABY PEACHES WITH YOGURT / PISTACHIO-BEETS AND MIXED BERRIES / THAI DESSERT
SWEET ENDING :
MATCHABALL / SAFFRON GUMDROP IN EDIBLE WRAPPER / MARACUYA MARSHMALLOW / PIÑA COLADA.
Getting a reservation at this tiny establishment may be impossible, but it is worth a try. Other favorites of mine include Ellen & Todd Gray's Equinox, where the Obama's dined last night, and Marcel's. You may also want to get out of downtown and head over to Frank Ruta's ("personal lunch and dinner chef to the Reagan and Bush families and executive Sous Chef" at the White House.) Palena in Cleveland Park or to Black's in Bethesda. Both are conveniently located on the Red Line. Both are always very good.
As my dear readers are no doubt aware, D.C. is filled with great cultural institutions. The National Symphony Orchestra being one. Emmanual Krivine leads the NSO with pianist Yundi Li in Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major January 22 - 24 at The Kennedy Center. What a nice distraction from all the Inaugural mayhem that searching Adagio assai will provide. With all the talk of Jay Z and basketball courts, wouldn't it be nice if the entire Obama Family showed up for this concert in the President's Box. I believe tickets are still available.
There also happen to be any number of wonderful museums and galleries that may serve as a pleasant distraction for you. My favorites include I. M. Pei's National Gallery of Art East Wing with its Calder mobile filled atrium, and the Phillips Collection where " Edward Burtynsky's awe-inspiring vistas create unsettling beauty out of scarred, industrial landscapes."
The current exhibit at the Touchstone Gallery titled My Space on 7th, features 88 local artists and is quite nice. Stop in there to see Aline Pilar's interesting sculpture. Take time to visit with Elyse Harrison at Gallery Neptune in Bethesda where things are always hopping. Like many tall trees in the winter landscape, Gallery Neptune's elevated gallery walls reveal nests in January. "A Logic of Their Own Making", a striking new exhibit features artist Carol Barsha, whose capable hand first and foremost celebrates the power of drawing. Working with oil, charcoal and ink, the gallery is filled with large powerful images of bird nests on paper. Gallery Neptune is located in the heart of downtown Bethesda, Maryland, a short walk from the Bethesda metro on the red line. Get a sneak preview of “A Logic of Their Own Making” at http://www.galleryneptune.com/en/196/
Or, take a hike... up to Baltimore's Gallery Imperato where you'll enjoy their Guns and Chandeliers Exhibit made up of Oil paintings by Shannon Cannings and Resin paintings by Jessica Dunegan.
With todays Washington Post headline " Mall Area Is Flush With Portable Facilities" , nothing is going to get me downtown. Not even the Inaugural Jello Wrestling Brawl at the Rock & Roll Hotel on Wednesday.
Me... I'm gonna stay in. Maybe I'll take advantage of the collaboration between Google and Madrid's Prado Museum and zoom in on some of their famous masterpieces. Regardless dear readers, I hope I've provided you with some interesting ideas as to how you might survive and enjoy the Inaugural Week.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Welcome back dear readers. I'm hoping that some of you will be able to take in the World Premiers of Arvo Part's work I mentioned in the previous post. These concerts are very unique. His music is not performed often enough. And how often do you have the opportunity to attend a World Premier? I can't tell you how lucky I feel to have been able to attend The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra concert here. Conductor Tõnu Kaljuste led these brilliant ensembles in works by Arvo Part, Erkki-Sven Tuur, and Vivaldi. I recommended the encore from this performance, "May Jesus, Thee Be Praised" from Tonu Korvits's "Kreek's Notebook" as the perfect Christmas music.
Now, for those of you in the LA area, you have been doubly blessed. Not only can you tickle your ears, you can tickle your palete. Anne Willan, founder of the prestigious Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne will be signing copies of her book The Country Cooking of France, for which she won, not one, but two 2008 James Beard Foundation Awards (for best international cookbook and best cookbook photography)! Thurdsday January 15 you'll want to head on over to Algabar where from 7:00 - 10:00 you'll be able to chat, read and even nibble. Look forward to meeting gregarious hosts Gail Baral and Robert Wain who will no doubt greet you with one of their exotic teas. Stick around for a delicious tasting of selected dishes from Anne's stunning book, which is a collection of classic French recipes beautifully photographed by France Ruffenach. I know I would. Here's what you might expect:
Soupe Au Pistou
If after this glorious fete you are still in the mood for a little something, why not head over to the Catalina Bar & Grill where sax player Kenny Garrett will be leading his Quartet? I can't imagine a hipper nightcap.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009, 8:00 PM
Sunday, January 11, 2009, 2:00 PM
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano
Mozart: Overture to Der Schauspieldirektor
Pärt: Symphony No. 4, “Los Angeles” (World Premiere, LAPA commission)
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1
Monday, January 12 @ 7:30 p.m.
Lauren Flanigan, Wendy Whelan, Albert Evans, and Sébastien Marcovici perform in an all-Pärt evening featuring the U.S. premiere of the operatic monologue L’Abbe Agathon, with visual concept created by Sophie Calle. Christopher Wheeldon’s Liturgy, set to Fratres, and After the Rain pas de deux, set to Spiegel im Spiegel, will also be performed. The staged premiere of L’Abbe Agathon is commissioned by American Opera Projects and Works & Process.
In honor of the 25 year anniversary ECM New Series will be releasing Arvo Part's In Principio March 3rd. This recording, destined for your collection, contains four world premiers as well as new versions of "Da Pacem Domine", and of "Mein Weg".
To check out a performance of "Da Pacem Domine" follow this link:
For those of you on the Coasts I hope you will not miss these terribly special concerts. Hearing this music live is a moving experience.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Elliott Carter - Allegro scorrevole
Schumann - Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 54
Ravel - Ma Mere l'Oye (Mother Goose)
Ravel - Rhapsodie Espagnol, for orchestra
Paul Griffiths wrote about the piece by Elliott Carter:
Allegro Scorrevole, as its title suggests, consists primarily of a continuous flow of soft, rapid passages that move over the entire range of the sound spectrum, and here and there form into thematic material. Against this is a lyrical idea also developed throughout, sometimes slowing down to hesitantly separated notes and at other times tightly joined together to form intensely expressive lines. The fleeting, evanescent character of the score was suggested by these lines from the Latin poem, Bulla (Bubble) by the English Jacobean poet, Richard Crashaw – The bubble speaks, as it floats through the air:
Sum venti ingenium breve
Flos sum, scilicet, aeris
Sum blandum, petulans, vagum,
Pulchrum, purpureum, et decens,
Comptum, floridulum, et recens.
I am the brief nature of the wind
To be sure, I am the flower of air
I am charming, wanton, inconstant,
Beautiful, gleaming, and noble,
Ornate, somewhat blooming, and fresh.
Allegro Scorrevole was commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Music Director, and is dedicated to it and to Oliver Knussen. It was composed during the summer of 1995 in Southbury, Connecticut. Elliott Carter, 1995"
Carter, Griffiths continues "adopts the viewpoint of a bubble floating above human affairs, observing, ... the games people play, the tragedies they endure, and the life that goes on fizzing through them."
You will not want to miss seeing what fools these mortals be! This will certainly prove to be a fascinating opportunity to hear an interesting work by one of the few great living composers. Happy Birthday Elliott!
Jerusalem Artichoke Creme with Venison Tartare and Imperial Caviar
Braised Veal Cheeks
Piedmontese Hazelnut Tart
Espresso + Petits Fours
I enjoyed this lovely meal, in this stylish room, served by these angels. If I'd had more time I might have indulged myself in an intermediate course of:
Lobster in Wild Herb Fond
My last night in Berlin I splurged and went to a restaurant that some consider its best. You will probably want to try the very elegant Margaux. There I had:
Grilled Scallop on Potatoe Puree with a Drizzle of Pesto Oil
Pheasant Parfait served with a Little Square of Cooked Apple, a Roast Chestnut, a Round of Gingerbread, and Bacon Wrapped Chicory
Lobster from Bretone with a Jerusalem Artichoke Marmalade, Lemon Froth, and a Seaweed Crisp
Turbot with Goose Liver topped with little Mussels Frites
Inspirations of Dark Chocolate
Everything was spectacular at Margaux. Ambiance, food, service, and one of the best wine lists I've seen in a long time.
Now that we've surveyed the dining scene, there are a number of other events this week that will appeal. Global Around Town Berlin Correspondent Gabe Shalom insists that the place to be Tuesday night is the New Year's Reception hosted by Create Berlin at the Temporary Kunsthalle. It is there that you will find the "20 Years Since the Fall of the Wall - Freespace" Exhibit. The exhibit is of 20 interdisciplinary design projects from Berlin's contemporary design scene; a mixture of both established names and companies and up and coming designers. This exhibit, first shown in London in September as part of the Tent Design Festival, is not to be missed. Get your tickets now.
On Wednesday you can choose between a performance of Puccini's Tosca by the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Herbert Blomstedt leading Leif Ove Andsnes and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin in a Mozart Piano Concerto and Bruckner's 3rd.
Thursday brings a performance of Mozart's The Magic Flute by Komische Oper Berlin.
Friday you will not want to miss Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen performed by the Deutsche Oper. My taxi driver told me I had to go! Also, the Elliott Carter concert is repeated. And you just might want to head to the Konzerthaus where Eliahu Inbal leads violinist Dmitri Sitkovetsky and the Konzertausorchester Berlin in the Stravinsky Violin Concerto and Bruckner's 2nd. Did I say Berlin would prove to be an embarassment of riches?!?!?!?!?!
You can wind things down Saturday with a performance of La Boheme at Komische Oper Berlin if you like. A number of the previously mentioned concerts are repeated again on Saturday. And if you're still into celebrating Elliott Carter's birthday, head to the Philharmonie where Zubin Mehta leads Murray Perahia and the Berlin Philharmonic in:
Elliott Carter - 3 Illusions for Orchestra
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, op. 58
Richard Strauss - Sinfonia Domestica, op. 53
Amazing! What a town!Then of course there are many museums worthy of your attention. So many in fact that you will not have time for them all. While in Berlin I visited the 3 B's: The Bauhaus Archive/Museum for Design, The Berggruen Museum - Picasso and his Times, and The Brucke-Museum Berlin.