Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Concerts at the Cadillac Announces its Next Chamber Music Offering

Those who follow the Concerts at the Cadillac series at the Cadillac Hotel know that, while jazz is the primary offering, there are occasional ventures into chamber music, often presenting composers that were aware of, if not influenced, by jazz practices. One of the composers who actually described some of his work as jazz was the Czech Bohuslav Martinů. For example, he called his “La revue de cuisine” (kitchen revue, a farce about fidelity and temptation among kitchen utensils) a jazz ballet, which he scored for clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, violin, cello, and piano. (However, his score did not call for improvisation.)

Like many adventurous artists, Martinů recognized the need to flee Europe in response to the advances of Adolf Hitler’s forces. Indeed, his avant-garde reputation had led to his having been blacklisted (and sentenced in absentia) by the Nazis as early as 1939. He left for the United States on January 8, 1941 and subsequently settled in New York. Fortunately, his connections kept him active as a composer; and one of the results was a quartet for oboe, violin, cello, and piano, a relatively short piece lasting about fifteen minutes.

This piece will be performed in the lobby of the Cadillac Hotel by oboist David Fitzpatrick, violinist Steve Tjoa, cellist Jorge Maresch, and pianist Lisa Maresch. The latter will also accompany Fitzpatrick in two short duo compositions, a 1951 sonatina by Malcolm Arnold and Francis Poulenc’s 1962 sonata. In addition Tjoa will be featured in a performance of “La fille aux cheveux de lin” (the girl with the flaxen hair), the eighth selection from Claude Debussy’s first book of preludes for solo piano, in an arrangement for violin and piano, probably by Arthur Hartmann, who prepared the arrangement that Jascha Heifetz used to play. As always, the piano for this recital will be the Patricia Walkup Memorial Piano, a fully-restored 1884 Steinway Model D Concert Grand.

Like all Concerts at the Cadillac events, this recital will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will take place on Friday, February 3. The Cadillac Hotel is located at 380 Eddy Street, on the northeast corner of Leavenworth Street.  The purpose of the Concerts at the Cadillac series is to provide high-quality music to the residents of the hotel and the Tenderloin District; but all are invited to visit the venue that calls itself “The House of Welcome Since 1907.”

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