Weekend MusicWatch: Climate changing sounds

Stormy, spooky, crazy, naughty, saxy, dreamy, flashy, batty, brainy, catty, Lacy, gypsy sounds flood Oregon stages as global weirding continues.

The untimely, frightful weather (too late for Halloween, too early for the season) has already claimed one recommended concert (Thursday’s cancellation of Nik Caoile and Sarah Tiedemann’s enticing Portland flute and piano duo recital), and continued global weirding brings more stormy, spooky, crazy, naughty, saxy, dreamy, flashy, batty, brainy, catty, Lacy, gypsy, and other music available on Oregon stages this weekend and beyond as conditions temporarily improve.

Resonance Ensemble members and colleagues sing cabaret music Sunday.

Resonance Ensemble members and colleagues sing cabaret music Sunday.

“Dirty, Stupid Music: An Evening of Cabaret,” Resonance Ensemble, Sunday, Vie de Boheme, Portland.

Members of one of Oregon’s finest choirs and their colleagues (tenor Stephen Marc Beaudoin, Liz Bacon and Vakare Petroliunaite from the Julians vocal ensemble, Beth Madsen Bradford, and Joe Theissen and pianist David Saffert) take a walk on the wild side with sometimes snappy, sometimes naughty, sometimes poignant, sometimes politically charged cabaret music by historic classical and theater music masters (Schoenberg, Weill, Satie, Poulenc, Jacques Brel), along with some of the contemporary musical theater composers they influenced, William Bolcom, Jake Heggie, and more.

Portland Opera, Thursday and Saturday, Keller Auditorium, Portland.

Read Angela Allen’s ArtsWatch preview and Bob Hicks’s ArtsWatch review

Bonnie Miksch performed at last year's Crazy Jane concert and her music is also featured in this year's edition on Friday.

Bonnie Miksch performed at last year’s Crazy Jane concert and the Portland composer’s music is also featured in this year’s edition on Friday.

“Inner Nature,” Crazy Jane, Friday, Lincoln Recital Hall, Portland State University.

To benefit Environment Oregon, a contingent of XX (chromosome)-rated Cascadia Composers (who happen to number among the state’s finest) present original Oregon music for electronics, piano, strings, plastic instruments, woodwinds, narrator, brass, percussion, voice and Skeleton Piano.


Oregon Symphony, Friday, Salem, and Saturday and Monday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.

The orchestra plays Mahler’s mighty Symphony #5 and, with its cellist in residence Alban Gerhardt, Haydn’s vivacious Cello Concerto in C.


Salem Chamber Orchestra, Sunday, Hudson Hall, Willamette University, Salem.

Abetted by Willamette University’s theater department and women’s choir Voce Femminile, the orchestra begins its 30th anniversary season with a semi-staged production of Mendelssohn’s glorious musical version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Eugene Symphony, Thursday, Hult Center, Eugene.

Two of the greatest of all symphonies, Mozart’s magnificent 41st and final one, and Schubert’s poignant so-called “Unfinished.” Samuel Barber’s powerful American music masterpiece, his 75 year old Violin Concerto, stars soloist Searmi Park.

University of Oregon Symphony, Beall Concert Hall, Eugene.

While scores and scores of broadly appealing, contemporarily relevant orchestral works languish unplayed, look! In one night, Eugeneans get TWO chances to hear that same, wondrous but played-to-death 200-year old Schubert symphony, Brahms’s much-performed first piano concerto, and a token short American work by the excellent contemporary composer Michael Daugherty Flamingo.


Pacific University Philharmonic, Thursday and Friday, McCready Hall, Pacific University, Forest Grove.

Along with John Williams’s Star Wars music, the sextet from Richard Strauss’s Capriccio and Beethoven’s glorious Symphony #7, the orchestra purrforms Michael Schelle’s Vox Humana, and Mindaugas Piecaitis’s CATcerto virtually starring that ever popular soloist Nora the Piano Playing Cat, who will paw her own cat-enzas.

Trio con Brio Copenhagen, Sunday, Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon.

On its second Oregon visit in as many years, the Danish trio plays Romantic classics by Tchaikovsky and Brahms and contemporary Danish composer Per Norgaard’s glitteringly gripping Spell, which marries minimalism’s shifting patterns to a surprisingly, well, spellbinding harmonic richness. When they performed it last year in Portland, ArtsWatch’s Jeff Winslow wrote, “violin, cello, and piano each started off with a minimalist tap-tap-tap, but then rhythm kept shifting in ways intriguingly different from typical American minimalism. The harmonic palette was much richer too, unabashedly embracing the sweet and the pungent, instead of the standard issue that concentrates attention on rhythmic process. Rather than zoning out on slowly shifting patterns, we enjoyed one delightful surprise after another…. If Spell were a woman, I’d be moved to ask in all wide-eyed seriousness, where have you been all my life?”


VSO Chamber Series, Sunday, Kiggins Theatre, Vancouver, WA.

They should call this band the Rockin’ Docs or Club Meds, because most of its members (Dr. Thomas Hwang, violin; William Blayney, clarinet; Dr. Betsy Goy, cello; Dr. Igor Shakhman, clarinet; Dr. Michael C. Liu, Piano and Dr. Edward Sale, double bass) are actually physicians as well as experienced chamber musicians frequently seen around the Portland metro area, so if you’re going to have a medical emergency at a concert, this is the one. They’re playing gypsy/Roma influenced music by Ravel (his flashy Tzigane), Dvorak, Bartok, Claude Bolling, and lesser known 19th- and 20th-century composers.


“Bartok and the Brain,” Sunday, Lewis & Clark College Evans Music Center, Portland.

Bartok’s incomparable 20th century masterpiece, Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, provides the springboard for another of Oregon Health Sciences University neuroscientist Larry Sherman’s explorations of how music can get inside our heads and even influence the development of our brains. Pianists Susan Dewitt Smith (from Third Angle New Music) and Yoko Greeney join Oregon Symphony percussionists Jonathan Greeney and Sergio Carreno, and L&C percussionist Brett Paschal also performs.


Duo Chrysocolla, Friday, Beall Hall, Eugene.

Saxophonist Idit Shner and harpist Linda-Rose Hembreiker play new music they commissioned for their unusual instrumental combo, as well as playing older ones by French classical composer Jacques Ibert and American jazz master Yusef Lateef.


Miguel Zenón Quartet, Friday, Jimmy Mak’s, Portland.

Read Claire Sykes’s ArtsWatch preview.


Syrinx Effect + 2, Get Smashing Love Power, Doug Haning and his Neo-Pagan Jazz Bastards, Friday, The Waypost.

Seattle duo plays music of the late great soprano saxophonist composer Steve Lacy, while Portland’s GSLP perpetrates its “free-bop party music.”


Bhob Rainey and Joda Clément, Saturday, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview


John Gross / Billy Mintz Duo, Wednesday, Revival Drum Shop, Portland.

The veteran Portland saxophonist and New York drummer team up for an evening of avant-jazz.


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