The lone voice of the piano unveiled Sergei Rachmaninoff‘s Piano Concerto No. 2, starting with a series of powerful, brooding chords. With each play, a heightened sense of foreboding, and the tension quickly escalated into a breaking point that erupted into scaled musical statement that reverberated throughout the concerto.
The passion, whether uttered through powerful arpeggios or sweet romantic melodies, came rolling like waves unrelentingly, leaving one breathless with the distilled essence of love—both the pleasure of love anticipated and the pain of love unfulfilled.
The performance, performed by pianist Boris Giltburg, Pacific Symphony and guest conductor Ben Gernon, was a pursuit of the Romantic conception of the sublime. The state of being, a Romantic ideal, believes that the most memorable experience is not made up of pleasure alone, but also suffering.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
May 31—June 2 2018
Sergei Prokofiev Russian Overture Op. 72
Sergei Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2
Igor Stravinsky Petrushka (1947 version)
Stepping into Tom Clark’s apartment is like entering into a museum of music memorabilia. An Exposicion de la Habana ’68 poster, printed in art nouveau style, hangs on the wall. A large bookshelf holds his impressive record (thousands) collection. Displayed on the bookshelf are four thumb-high Beatles figurines, a 1954 Roy Roger & Dale Evans Double R Bar Ranch lunchbox, Hank Williams record (Luke the Drifter), Pan Am toy airplane and a Remo drumhead autographed by the rock ‘n’ roll band, The Crickets. He owns over a hundred guitars (six on display in the living room, 30 in his bedroom closet and the rest in storage) and 67 vintage cowboy shirts.
That is a heap load of stuff. Clark (48), a musician with his own band Tom Clark and the High Action Boys, attributes this tendency to his father, who was an antique toy collector and salesman. To his friends, Tom is known as the Clark-ivist, like the archivist. An archivist is not a collector — someone who accumulates things. An archivist is someone who preserves, organizes and curates his collection.Continue reading →
Tall, lanky and thin as a pencil, Antonio “Sunny” Balzano is the beloved owner of Sunny’s Bar in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Dating back to 1850s, the bar passed from his great grandfather to his grandfather to his father to his uncle and then Sunny. After taking over in 1994, Sunny unintentionally transformed the tiny bar into something trendy.
How? He and his friends — artists, musicians — simply hung out at the bar, drinking and having a grand time.
Grand, is one of Sunny’s favorite phrases.
Gentle and sweet, Sunny speaks with an Irish accent (even though he is Italian). “I love it” sounded like “I lurve it.” He attributes his accent to his early days as an aspiring actor and love for theatricality.
Alex Gabriel McKanze is not your typical tour guide. Born and raised in the Paris suburbs, he identifies himself as Italian American with French culture (the American side, since it does really exist, is German, British and Cherokee). He speaks five languages fluently, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, as well as a little Portuguese and Latin.
As a freelance tour guide for Great New York Tours, he’s a walking encyclopedia. Even with a hangover, he can tell you that Henry Hudson discovered the Hudson River in 1609 (adding snidely, “Because the Native Americans obviously never saw it before”).
A 22-year-old with great ambition, McKanze speaks of his love for the “rhythm” of the city. To him, New York is work work work, and he loves it. He doesn’t know where his music will take him, but he is more than okay with that. He just wants to play.
I love it [Jazz]. It’s always new and it’s endless combination. And it’s also because you catch a moment that’s unique. Every time it’s different. I do not play the same song twice.