The fall flood of fab jazz continues on Oregon stages this week, along with recommended classical music from medieval to modern and more — including an eruption of German romanticism from Mahler, Liszt, Brahms, Schubert and more. Please add your recommendations in the comments section below.
Frode Gjerstad Trio
Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth, Portland.
This Creative Music Guild show actually features a different incarnation of the Norwegian alto saxophonist’s usual threesome, this time featuring the renowned Chicago cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, the one-time student of Morton Feldman and Pauline Oliveros with whom Gjerstad has played often in a duo format. He’s also performed with avant jazz musicians like William Parker, Derek Bailey, Evan Parker and many other exploratory improvisers, so this looks like a must-see for fans of out there jazz.
Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center, Eugene.
Danail Rachev leads the orchestra in Gustav Mahler’s tragic 1904 sixth symphony, which seems to contain a whole galaxy of emotions — he’d actually married and celebrated the arrival of two children just before writing the symphony, mostly on a pastoral vacation — before he brings the big hammer down at the end.
The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., Portland.
Both NPR and Downbeat magazine declared the saxophonist’s album Bird Calls the top jazz album of 2015, at last freeing Mahanthappa from the shadow of his even more famous sometime collaborator and fellow Indian American jazz master Vijay Iyer. As the album title suggests, Mahanthappa draws heavily on Charlie Parker’s legacy, but this is no retro bop tribute, as it also embraces his many other influences, from pop and funk to hip hop and of course Indian traditional music.
Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St.(corner of SW 3rd Ave. & Clay), Portland.
The pop/folk singer, who vaulted to fame thanks to jazz record label Blue Note, leans a little closer to jazz on her newly released Day Breaks album.
Liszt Week 2016
University of Oregon School of Music and Dance, Eugene.
A complete traversal of the composer’s monumental piano cycle Years of Pilgrimage (Années de Pèlerinage Troisième Année), performed by UO piano students and live streamed at 7:30 pm each night. Images depicting the works of art that inspired most of these piano pieces will be projected throughout the recital. UO prof Alexandre Dossin concludes the week of Lisztomania with a recital featuring the big b minor sonata on Oct. 22.
First Presbyterian Church, 1200 SW Alder, Portland.
In this free concert, the Lake Grove Presbyterian Church organist plays music by J.S. Bach, Dietrich Buxtehude, and contemporary German composer Hans-André Stamm on the magnificent Jaeckel pipe organ.
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene.
In this free, historically contextualized lunchtime event, faculty members and graduate students in the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance perform medieval music in a multimedia environment with religious painting, sculptures and other devotional objects.
October 21, St Luke’s ~ San Lucas Episcopal Church, 426 E 4th Plain Blvd, Vancouver, WA, October 22, Central Lutheran Church, 1857 Potter Street, Eugene, October 23, The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Avenue, Portland.
A quartet of Portland’s finest classical singers joins a pair of pianists to perform Brahms’s light-hearted Romantic classic, Love Song Waltzes. Written for amateur musicians, these mega-pop hits of their day made Brahms a star and a lot more money than his symphonies, and remained popular ever since. Better still, the vocal quartet will sing contemporary songs written by Cascadia Composers Lisa Marsh, Theresa Koon and ArtsWatch contributor Jeff Winslow.
Leaven Community Center, 5431 NE 20th Ave @ Killingsworth, Portland.
The final concert in the inaugural year of this quarterly Creative Music Guild series features “ quiet, spacious compositions that give substantial freedom to the musicians in determining aspects of the final, performed pieces,” says series creator Matt Hannafin. This one features music by Michael Pisaro (in which, Hannafin says, “each performer plays just two stones, and the whole arrangement is accompanied by a parallel arrangement of 45 time-based cells of ambient “pink noises” created by Pisaro, whose durations match those of the different time-based cells being performed by the percussionists), Audra Wolowiec with Jesse Mejía and CHOIR, (see the semaphore entry below), Antoine Beuger, Derek Ecklund’s “Columbia River Sound Map and Tim Westcott’s “A Land of Falling Waters”.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the orchestra’s performance of contemporary American sounds and a Romantic classic by Richard Strauss, with guest percussionist Colin Currie.