Weekend MusicWatch

A selection of this weekend's Oregon musical highlights.

Remember, if you know about other upcoming musical events that ArtsWatch readers might enjoy, please note them in the comments field below.

“Mozart vs. Clementi”
May 8
Portland Piano Company
PSU School of Music faculty and students recreate the famous keyboard duel between two of the late 18th century’s most renowned musicians.

Marc Ribot
May 8 & 9
Creative Music Guild, St. Anne’s Chapel, Marylhurst University, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the great improvising guitarist’s solo and group concerts.

“Earthly Delights”
Vox Resonat, Central Lutheran Church, 18th and Potter, Eugene.
May 9
The early music vocal ensemble sings a program of English, German, French and Spanish songs celebrating the arrival of spring and composed by Renaissance masters Thomas Weelkes, Leonhard Lechner,  Jacques Arcadelt, Nicholas Gombert, Juan del Encina, Pedro de Escobar, and others.

Percussion and flute combine in Saturday's Portland Percussion Group concert.

Percussion and flute combine in Saturday’s Portland Percussion Group concert.

Portland Percussion Group
May 9, 2 p.m.
The Old Church, 1422 S.W. 11th Ave. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of this recommended concert featuring new music by Oregon composers and a couple of classics, including a Steve Reich masterpiece.

Sax And The Symphony
May 9–11
Oregon Symphony with James Carter, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland.
The orchestra brings in one of jazz’s greatest living saxmen in a highly recommended concert of 20th century American music. One of America’s leading composers, Roberto Sierra, wrote his 2002 Concerto for Saxophones for Carter, who’ll display his usual mastery on both tenor and soprano saxes. The splendid program also boasts another strong contemporary American work, Christopher Rouse’s Concerto for Orchestra, and a pair of familiar 20th century US classics: Samuel Barber’s poignant “Adagio” for strings, and the Symphonic Dances Leonard Bernstein drew from his immortal West Side Story score.

“Mostly Mozart”
May 9
Oregon Mozart Players, Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene.
The chamber orchestra plays glorious music by its namesake (Overture to The Magic Flute, Symphony No. 35, “Haffner”) and, with help from soprano Julie Miller, Mozart’s famed concert aria “You Ask That I Forget You?” (“Ch’io mi scordi de the”) and French romantic composer Ernest Chausson’s Poem of Love and the Sea.

“We The People: Music of Colonial America”
May 9
Musica Maestrale, First Christian Church, SW Park and SW Columbia, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the early music ensemble’s enlightening concert of American colonial music.

Recorder Orchestra of Oregon
May 9
St. David of Wales Church, 2800 SE Hawthorne, Portland.
In this free debut concert, recorders ranging in size from six inches to seven FEET intone a tango, Baroque battle tune, an English ballad, and mountain music by composers ranging from Banchieri to Vaughan Williams.

Classical Performers of Holland
May 9
St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1716 NW Davis St, Portland.
Three young award-winning Dutch performers (violinist Svenja Staats, pianist Florian Verweij, tenor Sander de Jong) perform music by J.S. Bach, Schubert, Quilter, Liszt, and more.

“Universal Harmony”
May 10
Oregon Bach Collegium, United Lutheran Church, 2230 Washington Street, Eugene.
The historically informed ensemble plays a pair of J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, one of his lovely flute sonatas, and a violin sonata by the fine French Baroque composer Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre.

Uday Bhawalkar
May 10
Dhvani, Christ United Methodist Church,12755 NW Dogwood St., Portland.
Accompanied by Pratap Awad on phakwaj percussion and local Indian music guru Michael Stirling on tanpura drone, the veteran Dhrupad singer performs traditional music in one of North India’s most ancient forms.

“After Life”
May 11
Music of Remembrance. Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall, Seattle
Oregon music usually keeps us busy enough, but sometimes we must direct readers’ attention northward, especially for the premiere of a new work by companies more forward-looking than most of our own. That’s the case in Music of Remembrance’s new one-act opera by Tom Cipullo (whose recent Vietnam-themed opera, Glory Denied, drew strong acclaim) with libretto by David Mason, which pits estranged (and, here, deceased) friends Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso in a posthumous debate about the responsibility of artists to address the world’s evils. Seattle Symphony musicians back soprano Catherine Cook and baritone Robert Orth. The rest of the show is also worth the trip, as it includes the great French composer Darius Milhaud’s 1936 Suite for Violin Clarinet and Piano, 1938 Music for a Farce by Paul Bowles (yes, THAT Paul Bowles, who was one of America’s most promising composers before turning to Tangier and fiction writing) and more.

Alexander Elliott
May 12
Whitsell Auditorium, Portland Art Museum
The Portland Opera Resident Artist, accompanied by Chorus Master Nicholas Fox sings an attractive program of mostly American music by Leonard Bernstein, Ned Rorem, William Bolcom, and more.


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Want to learn more about contemporary Oregon classical music? Check out Oregon ComposersWatch.

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