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Upcoming concerts SF Bay area

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  • Upcoming concerts SF Bay area

    I don't know if there is a proper thread for upcoming somewhat local events, or if this is off topic and everyone who needs to know already knows everything about all the upcoming concerts, but just in case there are people like me who are the last to hear:

    This Sunday March 28, 2010:

    1) Grace Cathedral 3pm Organ recital Benjamin Bachmann -free (note earlier time)

    2) Davies Symphony Hall Ruffati 6pm Organ recital - US Debut of Iveta Apkalna

    May 2, 2010:

    3) Davies Symphony Hall Ruffati 6pm Cameron Carpenter

    I had never heard of Iveta Apkalna, but considering she is playing one of only three organ concerts this season at Davies, and the other two are Cameron Carpenter and Paul Jacobs (the latter already took place), I already have tickets!

  • #2
    Re: Upcoming concerts SF Bay area

    Iveta Apkalna was spectacular, virtuosic, charming, and beautiful besides. I think we will be hearing more of her in the future. This was my first real visit to the San Francisco Symphony hall for an organ recital, and I have to say I liked the acoustics a lot. It was interesting to compare the Skinner in Grace Cathedral (5-6 seconds reverb) to the Ruffatti in Davies symphony hall (very little) back to back - the clarity of sound in the symphony hall was incredible, and I didn't miss the reverb at all. It's making me rethink this whole idea of an organ needing to have a reverberant chamber.

    Iveta played the instrument pedal to the metal, mainly changing volume and color with registration (and registration assistant) rather than swell pedal, all with incredible control and clarity (course there was what sounded like an extra note squeak, but that is nearly unavoidable - and Cameron is going to have to really do something spectacular to get her performance out of my head - something better than transcriptions of Raiders of the Lost Ark themes to compete in May. Not that competition is what it is about, but let's be honest, musicians like to entertain.

    Musically, she served as a semi-ambassador of Latvian composers, and at least one of the pieces was impressively fresh and unusually beautiful sounding.

    Anyone else go?


    • #3
      Cameron Carpenter Concert - was: Upcoming concerts SF Bay area

      I just got back from the Cameron Carpenter concert in San Francisco. In my last post I said something about Cameron having to do something spectacular to impress....well, he did.

      The first remarkable thing he did had nothing to do with music. I was dumbfounded to reach the top of the stairs in the hall lobby and be greeted by a handshake and "Hi, I'm Cameron Carpenter". It was all I could do to smile and say "Nice to meet you". I mean, I have never had something like this happen and he obviously was having a great time surprising people.

      Then the concert proper was unlike any you've ever seen (except on YouTube perhaps). We had great seats front right with perfect view of pedal and keyboards. All pieces were announced by him either before or after and chosen after his familiarization with this particular organ. The first piece was Debussy's "Afternoon of a Fawn". Used expression pedals almost constantly and fine tuned stops in a way Virgil Fox would have approved. Another piece was an Etude by Chopin (not the usual (Revolutionary?) one). I was happily surprised by the transcriptions - and also surprised that one of my favorites of the evening was the Chopin (even though I don't really like Chopin on the piano). Of course no concert could be complete without a couple of Bach pieces (E minor and G major Prelude and Fugue), a "shocking" Marcel Dupre piece, and three improvisations.

      I think he blew every cobweb out of the Ruffatti pipes on every rank including the mutations.

      Cameron was extremely generous - 4 encores to standing ovations which was good because I don't think it would have been good to end on the improvisations.

      He then signed Revolutionary DVD/CD's afterward (one now proudly mine!). He has a brand new DVD coming out in June called LIVE which sounds like it will be amazing. Says he had complete artistic control and even allowed to do his own artwork if I understand correctly. Should be interesting.

      I have never seen anyone play like this. Count me as his newest fan.