Weekly MusicWatch

ArtsWatch's guide to the week's Oregon music highlights

Shakespearean sounds, Baroque music, even a Grammies tribute by a new music ensemble highlight this week’s Oregon music action.

Marie Black
February 4
Classic Pianos, 3003 SE Milwaukie Ave. Portland
Read my Willamette Week preview of the latest improvised performance in the monthly Cadence Festival of the Unknown.

February 4
Whitsell Auditorium, Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave.
This documentary in the Northwest Film Center’s Reel Music Festival shows the Spanish theatre troupe La Fura Dels Baus’ rehearsals and opening night presentation of Verdi’s Aida in Verona’s 2,000 year-old amphitheater —the biggest opera venue in the world — staged 100 years after its original performance there.

Oregon Guitar Quartet
February 5, Lincoln Recital Hall, Portland State University, and February 7, First Presbyterian Church, 12th & Alder, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the foursome’s CD release concerts.

Oregon Guitar Quartet releases its new CD at two Portland concerts this weekend.

Oregon Guitar Quartet releases its new CD at two Portland concerts this weekend.

“The Food of Love: Shakespeare’s Music”
February 5
Oregon Bach Collegium, Eugene Public Library
In this free First Friday event, Shakespeare himself (or a reasonable facsimile played by Geoff Ridden) hosts a performance of music written and performed during his lifetime, played here by Delgani Quartet violinist Wyatt True, University of Oregon cellist Marc Vanscheeuwijck  and harpsichordist Margret Gries.

Oregon Mozart Players
Feb. 6
Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene.
Another day, another Shakespeare show, this one featuring actor Karsten Topelmann (directed by University of Oregon theater faculty member John Schmor), who joins the Eugene chamber orchestra in a series of monologues interpolated with 13 short musical excerpts from Shostakovich’s 1932 Hamlet theater music score. Soprano Mary Dunleavy also joins the orchestra in arias from Verdi’s opera Othello, and the band plays Mendelssohn’s sparkling music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Oregon Symphony
February 6-8
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland
The orchestra plays one of the most popular and exhilarating of all symphonic creations, Gustav Holst’s glorious The Planets (once again properly portraying the correct number of planets, thanks to Pluto’s recent demotion, though its accuracy may prove fleeting), Stravinsky’s crackling Fireworks, and, with help from rising star pianist Natasha Paremski, the jazzy, eruptive Four Parables for Piano and Orchestra by the wild card Michigan composer Paul Schoenfield, a former Chamber Music Northwest performer whose music directly descends from the smart fusion of classical and American popular music pioneered by George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein. Note that the lobby performance preceding Sunday’s matinee performance features members of Portland Youth Philharmonic’s Camerata PYP performing Portland composer eminence Tomas Svoboda’s Folk Concertino for Seven Instruments (which the ensemble premiered last week) and American composer Walter Piston’s perky, Stravinskian Divertimento for Nine Instruments.

Andrei Andreev
Feb. 6
First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street, Eugene
The young Russian-Kyrgyz pianist, now studying at the UO, plays Romantic music by Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert and Rachmaninov.

Koenigsberg and McWhorter lead Beta Collide's Grammy tribute Feb. 6.

Koenigsberg and McWhorter lead Beta Collide’s Grammy tribute Feb. 6.

Beta Collide
Feb. 6
Aasen-Hull Hall, University of Oregon
The new music ensemble led by UO faculty members Brian McWhorter and Toby Koenigsberg plays arrangements of this year’s Grammy music nominees, including Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, contemporary classical nominees, and more.

“Through the Looking-Glass”
February 6
Rimksy-Korsakoffe House, 707 SE 12th Ave, Portland.
Composer Charles Copeland tells us he’s written piano music to accompany Lewis Carroll’s classic and will perform the complete piece with voice actors Ryan Scott and Lisa Lipton. Approximate duration is three and a half hours.

Música Eugenia
February 6
Atrium Building Courtyard, 99 W. 10th Avenue, Eugene
In a free afternoon show, the new trio (singer Alice Davenport and lutenists Raleigh Williams and Bradley Wycoff) plays English Renaissance and Baroque music by Dowland, Purcell, and more.

Dennis Plies and Colleen Adent
Feb. 6
West Hills Covenant Church, 5815 SW Hillcrest Ct. Portland
Marimbist and pianist play music by Brahms, Palestrina, Piazzolla, Gershwin, Mendelssohn and more.

Hideki Yamaya & Mara Winter
February 8
Curiosity Crossing, 403 SE Caruthers St., No. 102 Portland
Read my Willamette Week preview of the early music concert featuring Musica Maestrale’s fretboard virtuoso and the Seattle baroque flutist.

Bach Cantata Choir
Feb. 8
Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, 1907 NE 45th Ave. Portland
The choir sings great Baroque music by JS Bach, Zelenka and Schutz, and oboist Paul Pitkin joins BCC’s orchestra to play Italian baroque composer Alessandro Marcello’s greatest hit.

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