HallowWeekend MusicWatch: Scary and Shakespearean Sounds

Resonance Ensemble sings Shakespeare this weekend.

The rest may be silence at Oregon Shakespeare Festival after its season ends this weekend, but there’s musical Bardyness afoot on Oregon stages this weekend.

Resonance Ensemble, 7:30 pm Saturday, Agnes Flanagan Chapel, Lewis & Clark College, and 2 pm Sunday, First Presbyterian Church, Portland: The choral pick of the week, this concert includes readings and scenes from Shakespeare’s plays and music inspired by them by composers such as England’s Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughan Williams (including his popular “Serenade to Music”), the great American art song writer Ned Rorem and other living composers including Emma Lou Diemer, Steven Sametz, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, 20th century Swiss composer Frank Martin, Verdi, Strauss, Berlioz and more. And speaking of Resonance, you can hear their very Halloweeny performance of Portland composer Duncan Neilson’s “The Monster” from last year on the Played in Oregon show produced by Portland’s all classical radio 89.9 KQAC, which airs this Sunday at 1 pm in Portland and Thursday at 5 pm and Saturday at 3 pm on Eugene’s KWAX radio. It’s also available on demand for the next two weeks via the station’s website.

Alban Gerhardt performs with the
Oregon Symphony in Portland and Salem.

Oregon Symphony, 7:30 pm Saturday, October 27 and 8 pm Monday, October 29, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, and 8 pm Sunday, October 28, Smith Auditorium, Willamette University, Salem: The orchestra plays a suite from one of the 20th century’s most powerfully dramatic ballet scores, Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The highly recommended Portland program also includes a most welcome performance of a late 20th century masterpiece, “Asyla,” by one of today’s most lauded composers, Englishman (and part time LA resident) Thomas Ades (which will be denied Salem listeners in favor of Alfven’s insipid “Swedish Rhapsody,” played in Portland last month), and Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme,” starring the OSO’s new artist in residence and frequent guest Alban Gerhardt, who’ll also play solo and give master classes at various locations around Portland this weekend. “Asyla” has nothing to do with Shakespeare, but Ades’s 2004 opera, “The Tempest,” which is currently playing at the Metropolitan Opera, certainly does.

Cascadia Concert Opera, 7:30 pm Friday, October 26, Ragozzino Hall, Lane Community College, Eugene: the company performs a concert version of Otto Nicolai’s Falstaffian comic opera, “The Merry Wives of Windsor.”

And if that’s not enough Shakespeare in sound, you can head over to Beaverton’s Village Church next Friday or Sunday, November 2 and 4, to catch the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s potent dramatic take on the Capulets and Montagues (his “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture”), plus Portland composer Tomas Svoboda’s “Overture of the Season” and Brahms’s “Symphony #4.”

Chamber Choices

Chamber Music Amici, Monday, October 29 Wildish Theater, Springfield: Speaking of Brahms, this cohort of excellent musicians (including present and former University of Oregon faculty members) play one his early classics, “Piano Quartet #1,” and a string trio by his friend, the Austrian composer Heinrich von Herzogenberg.

Seventh Species, 8 pm Saturday, October 27, Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, Portland: the long-running composers collective presents music by some of Oregon’s most prolific composers, including Eugene’s Paul Safar, Portland’s Jack Gabel, Jeff Winslow, Gary Noland and more.

Classical Revolution PDX rehearses
Saturday’s Halloween show

Halloween Horrors

Classical Revolution PDX, 8 pm Saturday, October 27, Alberta Rose Theater, Portland: for their Halloween show, the local musicians who normally frequent clubs and coffeehouses seize a bigger stage to perform scarifying music by Shostakovich ( “String Quartet #3” and some piano preludes), Schubert, Saint Saens, Portland composer Beth Karp (excerpts from her original score to the silent film, “The Golem,” parts of which will be projected), and more — including aerialists, spoken word artists and other Thrilling surprises.

Filmusik, 7 pm Friday and Saturday, Hollywood Theatre, Portland: This live performance (with voice actors dubbing dialogue in English Saturday and Spanish Friday and sound effect artists) of Portland composer Galen Huckins’ original score to a cheesy ’80s Turkish remake of “Star Wars” isn’t a Halloween show per se, but the tacky  fluorescent red Wookie costumes are pretty scary.


Vagabond Opera, Chervona, 9 pm Wednesday, October 31, Star Theater, Portland: The accordion and cello-fueled alt classical outfit featuring former opera tenor Eric Stern joins the Balkan/Russian ensemble in original music that includes cabaret, classical, and klezmer influences from old and new Europe, and the enchanted evening will include abundant costumes, fire rituals, belly dancers, Butoh performers, a Day of the Dead altar, tarot readings and more.

Mood Area 52, Wednesday, October 31, Bijou Theater, Eugene: The veteran tango-centric band (cello, accordion, guitar, bass, drums, cornet, toy piano) annually pays an All-Hallow’s tribute to F.W. Murnau’s classic vampirish silent film “Nosferatu” with an original score that changes every time, preceded by a screening of George Melies’ silent classic (featured in last year’s “Hugo”) “The Voyage to the Moon,” with another MA52 original score.

One Response.

  1. bob priest says:

    yeah, no Ades for salem oddiences – let ’em gag on alfven!

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