Saturday, October 7, 2017

Many Choices for the Second Weekend in October

As might be guessed, a week in which a choice needs to be made on the Tuesday will lead to a weekend in which even more choices will need to be made. Indeed, this will be the case for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Furthermore, one of the options for Friday will mark the beginning of a short series of concerts. So let’s launch into the specifics without any jokes about Friday the Thirteenth:

Friday, October 13, 7 p.m., 405 Shrader: It has been almost a year since this site reported an event in the Concerts at 405 Shrader series. These are known as Aperitif Concerts, since 7 p.m. marks the aperitif hour (at least as far as the concert organizers are concerned). The space itself is small, and frequently the demand for entry is high.

That previous report concerned a performance by the Vinifera Trio, which brings pianist Ian Scarfe together with violinist Rachel Patrick and clarinetist Matthew Boyles. This group will return to Shrader with an ambitious program entitled An Evening in Vienna. What makes the program ambitious is that it will play only music by the three composers of the Second Viennese School, all illustrative of the radical break they made with nineteenth-century traditions.

The leader of this group was Arnold Schoenberg, and his music will frame the entire program. At the beginning Scarfe will play his set of six little piano pieces, none of which last longer than a minute and a half and all of which explore the possibilities of departing from organization around a central tonality. At the other end the program will conclude with Schoenberg’s Opus 47, his “Phantasy” for violin and piano, which is representative of his so-called twelve-tone technique.

The remainder of the program will present works by Schoenberg’s two closest students, Alban Berg and Anton Webern. The overall program will have a nested structure. Thus, the opening Schoenberg selection will be followed by Berg’s Opus 5 set of five pieces for clarinet and piano; and the concluding Schoenberg piece will be preceded by the Adagio movement from Berg’s chamber concerto for violin, piano, and orchestra. Berg prepared his own arrangement of this movement for a trio of violin, clarinet, and piano. Between the Berg selections will be two of Webern’s ventures into the twelve-tone approach. James Pytko will join the trio for a performance of the Opus 22 quartet scored for violin, clarinet, tenor saxophone, and piano, after which Scarfe will give a solo performance of the Opus 27 work entitled simply “Variations.”

As was the case with last year’s Vinifera appearance, it is almost certain that this event will fill the modest accommodations of 405 Shrader. The only way to guarantee a seat will be to arrange for a reservation through electronic mail. Admission is solely by donation with a recommended amount of $20 per person. As might be guessed, 405 Shrader is the address of the venue, located at the corner of Oak Street near the Panhandle. [updated 10/11. 9:50 a.m.: It was announced yesterday that there will be a second performance of this concert on Saturday, October 14, also at 7 p.m.; reservations will be required through the same electronic mail address.]

Scarfe has planned several other concerts between now and the end of the year. Many of these will involve Vinifera. However, one will be a major solo recital; and another will involve collaborating with a duo. Here is a quick summary in chronological order:
  • Friday, October 20, 7 p.m., Cow Hollow: This will be Scarfe’s next event arranged through groupmuse. Vinifera will present a one-hour program of more conventional works for violin, clarinet, and piano taking place as a private house concert on Fillmore Street. In addition, Patrick will change to viola for a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 498 “Kegelstatt” trio. She will also play Johannes Brahms’ Opus 78 violin sonata with Scarfe. Finally the trio will reprise the arrangement made for them of George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.” Admission will require a $10 minimum donation for the performers. Specifics are maintained on the groupmuse Web page through which reservations must be made. Those who attend will be invited to bring a bottle of wine or snacks to share with other guests.
  • Friday, November 10, 8 p.m., Old First Presbyterian Church: Scarfe will join the RossoRose Duo of pianist Amy Zanrosso and violinist Alisa Rose in an Old First Concerts (O1C) program entitled Nocturnes: Nightfall Illuminated. The Old First Presbyterian Church is located at 1751 Sacramento Street on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue. If purchased in advance online from an O1C event page, general admission will be $23 with a discounted rate of $18 for seniors aged 65 or older. Tickets for full-time students showing valid identification will be $5; and children aged twelve and under will still be admitted for free. There is also a discount available for those parking at the Old First Parking Garage at 1725 Sacramento Street, just up the street from the church.
  • Saturday, November 18, 7:30 p.m., Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church: Vinifera will give another performance of Mozart’s K. 498. The program will also include Béla Bartók’s “Contrasts,” a trio by Eric Ewazen, and an arrangement of the of bagatelles that György Ligeti had composed for wind quintet. Specific details about tickets and reservations have not yet been announced.
  • Friday, December 8, 7 p.m., 405 Shrader: This will be a celebration of Christmas on steroids. Scarfe will give a solo performance of Olivier Messiaen’s suite Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus (twenty contemplations on the infant Jesus). A performance of this suite in its entirety requires about two hours. Since the aperitif hour lasts only an hour, Scarfe will perform selected movements. Again, demand is likely to be high, so arranging for a reservation through electronic mail is strongly advised.
Now back to the weekend options:

Friday, October 13, 7:30 pm., Center for New Music (C4NM): This will be the next C4NM event involving a partnership between an ensemble and the Guerrilla Composer Guild (GCC). The ensemble will be the Siroko Duo of flutists Victoria Hauk and Jessie Nucho. Three GCC composers will receive world premieres of their works. They will be Nick Benavides (one of the GCC co-founders), Emily Shisko, and Michael Kropf.

C4NM is located at 55 Taylor Street, about half a block north of the Golden Gate Theater, where Golden Gate Avenue meets Market Street. General admission for this concert will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members and students. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini event page.

Friday, October 13, 7:30 p.m., Herbst Theatre: At exactly the same time the San Francisco Performances (SFP) Shenson Chamber Series will begin with the return of the JACK Quartet, whose members are violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell. They made an indelible debut last season in SFP’s PIVOT series; and this time they will be performing with cellist Joshua Roman, who first performed for SFP in the Young Masters Series in 2012. The five of them will play a quintet written specifically for them by Jefferson Friedman. They will also join forces to perform Roman’s composition “Tornado,” which received its world premiere this past summer at the Music Academy of the West. The program will also include John Zorn’s “Ouroboros,” Amy Williams’ “Richer Textures,” and Ari Streisfeld’s arrangements of three five-part madrigals by Carlo Gesualdo.

The entrance to Herbst is the the main entrance to the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue, located on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. The venue is excellent for public transportation, since that corner has Muni bus stops for both north-south and east-west travel. Ticket prices are $65 for premium seating in the Orchestra and the front and center of the Dress Circle, $55 for the Side Boxes, the center rear of the Dress Circle, and the remainder of the Orchestra, and $40 for the remainder of the Dress Circle and the Balcony. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a City Box Office event page.

Because this is the first concert of a series, subscriptions are still available for $250, $205, and $140. Subscriptions may be purchased online in advance through a City Box Office event page. Orders may also be placed by calling the SFP subscriber hotline at 415-677-0325, which is open for receiving calls between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Friday, October 13, 7:30 p.m., Red Poppy Art House: Also at exactly the same time, Fred Frith will give a solo guitar recital. For this occasion he will be playing a prepared electric guitar. The Red Poppy is located in the Mission at 2698 Folsom Street. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Because the Red Poppy is a small space, it is almost always a good idea to be there when the doors open. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25, and tickets will be sold only at the door.

Saturday, October 14, 8 p.m., C4NM: Soprano Amy Foote has prepared a program entitled The Voice and The Machine. She will perform with alto Melinda Becker, tenor David Katz, and baritone Sid Chen. They will perform in different combinations and with cello (Helen Newby) and live electronics (Aaron Gervais). The program will consist of five pieces, each of which investigates the relationship between our technological culture and our humanness. The participating composers will be Dennis Aman (world premiere), Gervais (one world premiere and one West Coast premiere), Laura Steenberge, and Isaac Schankler. General admission for this concert will be $20 with a $15 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini event page.

Saturday, October 14, 8:30 p.m., The Lab: Night Rounds will be an evening of live film and music performances, each of which will involve a collaboration between a composer and a film maker. The four works to be presented will involve the following teams:
  • Danny Paul Grody (music) and Bill Basquin (film)
  • Steve Dye (film) and Dania Luck (music, performing as Person L.)
  • John Davis (music/film) and Laurie Varga (music/film)
  • Jorge Bachmann (music, performing as rudiobello) and Anna Geyer (film)
The Lab is located in the Mission at 2948 16th Street. The venue is on the south side of the street, a short walk east of the corner of Mission Street. This location is particularly good for those using public transportation, since that corner provides bus stops for both north-south and east-west travel as well as a BART station. General admission will be $15, and members of The Lab will be admitted at no charge. Doors will open at 8 p.m.; and, because demand tends to be high, advance registration is highly recommended. Members can register through their login Web page, while others can use the guest registration Web page.

Sunday, October 15, 2 p.m., C4NM: In the spirit of Night Rounds, Emma Logan will curate a duo recital that will being Japanese painter Ippei Matsui together with composer Aki Tsuyuko playing both piano and electronics. Matsui will “accompany” Tsuyuko’s performances with the spontaneous creation of drawings, which will be given “live” projection. General admission for this concert will be $20 with a $15 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini event page.

Sunday, October 15, 4 p.m., Church of the Advent of Christ the King: Resident choir Schola Adventus, under the leadership of Music Director Paul Ellison, will present music for a solemn evensong entitled Music From Our Anglo-Catholic Heritage. The program was prepared in honor of the 125th birthday of Herbert Howells on October 17. There will also be music by Hubert Parry. The Church of the Advent of Christ the King is located at 261 Fell Street, between Franklin Street and Gough Street. The entry is diagonally across the street from the SFJAZZ Center. This is an inclusive parish of the Episcopal Church in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. Those wishing further information may call 415-431-0454. Those driving will be able to use the parking lot adjacent to the church whose entrance is on Hickory Street.

Sunday, October 15, 4 p.m., Calvary Presbyterian Church: Director Megan Solomon will led the San Francisco Bach Choir in a program entitled Luther’s Music Tapestry: Weaving a New Tradition. The concept will be the exploration of how a few of Luther’s most familiar hymns were given musical settings by a wide diversity of composers over the course of music history. This will provide a rare opportunity to listen to Calvary’s magnificent and history organ, which will be played by John Walko. Piano accompaniment will be provided by Steven Bailey.

Sunday, October 15, 4 p.m., Old First Presbyterian Church: A third event at that same time will be an Old First Concerts recital by the trio of cellist Krisanthy Desby, pianist Miles Graber, and clarinetist Tom Rose. The program will explore contributions to the clarinet trio repertoire by familiar composers, such as Ludwig van Beethoven and Mikhail Glinka, and less familiar ones, such as Robert Muczynski and Paul Juon. Ticket prices for Old First Concerts events are all the same and need not be repeated, but the event page from which they may be purchased in advance is unique.

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