Weekend Music Watch: Back in the swing

Oregon's classical music scene swings back to full tempo this weekend

Friends of Chamber Music brings the Takacs Quartet to  Portland State University performs Monday and Tuesday. Photo: Patrick Ryan.

Friends of Chamber Music brings the Takacs Quartet to Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall Monday and Tuesday. Photo: Patrick Ryan.

The state’s symphony orchestras hit the stage this weekend for the first time in 2013.  On Friday and Sunday, the Beaverton Symphony gets operatic with music by Wagner, Verdi and more, including arias sung by Lindsey Cafferky McMahon, Brennen Guillory, and Alexis Hamilton. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra goes all Hamlet on us, with orchestral evocations by Shostakovich, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and more. And pop goes the Oregon Symphony on Saturday with a Ray Charles tribute fronted by former Tower of Power singer Ellis Hall, and Sunday with the legendary Norman Leyden wielding his clarinet in swing classics by Ellington and more.

The chamber music schedule is heating up too. On Sunday at Eugene’s United Lutheran Church, the Oregon Bach Collegium plays Italian Baroque music by the two most famous Scarlattis, Corelli, and Europe’s greatest hit of the time, Geminiani’s “La Folia,” variations, recently covered by Portland Baroque Orchestra. That’s the opening volley in a veritable assault of early music coming to Eugene in the next month.

The biggest names in Oregon classical music this week, though, are the astonishing Takacs Quartet. Certainly their previous performances that I’ve seen in Portland support the notion that they’re perhaps the finest chamber ensemble in the world. With help from guest violist Erika Eckert, they’ll play music of Brahms, Haydn and Schubert (including both of Brahms’s gorgeous Viola Quintets) in different programs on Monday and Tuesday at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall.

Choral music fans have a good choice at Northeast Portland’s St. Michael’s & All Angels Church on Saturday and Sunday with performances of Stravinsky, Byrd and early American, English and Romanian folk music from Portland Revels’ women’s vocal ensemble, ViVoce. The group’s shows often interpolates storytelling, this time with Sarah Hauser and Nathan Markiewicz.

New music fans have a lot to look forward to this spring, but this weekend, the best bet is Saturday at Southeast Portland’s YU Contemporary Gallery. Southern California electronic music composer, scholar and musician Curtis Roads’s eight-channel surround sound composition that uses techniques of spatialization and diffusion.

Oregon’s major jazz event, the PDX Jazz Festival, gets underway next month with a stellar lineup, but in the meantime, check out the new Cadence Fest Sunday through Tuesday at Ivories Jazz Lounge in Portland’s Pearl District. It celebrates the move of the celebrated jazz magazine to Portland, as I explained this week in Willamette Week.

One Response.

  1. classic music is always feels you great, it something that you always try to remember.

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