Weekend MusicWatch: Sacred and Secular Sounds

Whether you like your music sacred or secular, solemn or sassy, sincere or cynical, orchestral or chamber, contemporary or classic, indoors or out, this weekend’s Oregon music calendar has it.

Holcombe Waller, Friday and Saturday, Imago Theater, Portland.

We previewed the music in the Portland singer-songwriter’s ambitious multimedia Wayfinders project when FearNoMusic gave it a test run last November. Waller spent the intervening months honing the science-fiction themed show’s nonmusical elements during development residencies at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Seattle’s wonderful dance incubator and performance space, On the Boards and Portland’s Imago Theater.

Along with the songs, this production features costumes and other theatrical components, film projections, and more the last Oregon opportunity to see it before Waller takes it (including 800 pounds of cargo) to Brooklyn Academy of Music and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art this fall.

WAYFINDERS – MCA Chicago Development Residency (In-Progress, Excerpt 1: “Back to the Ocean”) from Holcombe Waller on Vimeo.

Re:Percussion Duo, Saturday afternoon, Community Music Center, Portland. Read my Willamette Week preview of this striking concert of new percussion music by young Northwest composers.

McCulley-Falconer Duo, Wednesday, Portland Piano Company. Two of the ambitious young musicians to emerge from Classical Revolution PDX’s creative hothouse team up to play music for saxophone and piano by contemporary composers James Matheson, Jay Schwartz, Ryo Noda, Colin Stetson, Gavin Bryars and more.

Trio Tritticali, Tuesday, Performance Works NW, Portland. The New York-based string trio includes Seattle-bred cellist/composer Loren Kiyoshi Dempster, who composed the cello and electronic score for the dance work 2125 Stanley Street, which he co-created with Dahlia Nayar and Margaret Sunghe Pae. It will be performed along with a set by the trio, whose music embraces influences from jazz to tango to Middle Eastern sounds.

David Salminen, Sunday, Portland Piano Company. The solo pianist and composer plays a set of improvisations inspired by water.

The Cosmological Constant: Dark Energy – David Salminen in concert, March 24, 2012 from DAVID SALMINEN on Vimeo.

Marlise Stroebe, Wednesday, The Old Church, Portland. At this free noonday concert, the pianist pays tribute to the great jazz popularizer and pianist Marian McPartland, and adds music by Bach family, Debussy, Mozart, Lili Boulanger and Astor Piazzolla.

Angela Carlson and Becky Jeffers, noon Friday, St. James Lutheran Church, Portland. Continuing the French connection he Oregon State University music faculty members play Debussy’s enchanting Petite Suite and premiere a new piece commissioned by the church’s noon, donation-only series, which has a commendable history of spawning new music.

Northwest Oboe Seminar Recital, Saturday, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Portland. Participants in the annual double reed gathering give an evening recital.

Trombone Shorty, Friday, The Shedd, Eugene; Saturday, Oregon Zoo, Portland; Tuesday, Britt Festival Pavilion, Jacksonville. Read my Eugene Weekly preview of the New Orleans funk/jazz trombone titan.


Britt Festival, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville. If you want to spice your Shakespeare festivities with classical music, this would be an excellent weekend to head south and catch the orghcestra under the stars.

Storm Large repeats her Weilly, sinful Oregon Symphony performance with the Britt Festival Orchestra.

Storm Large repeats her Weilly, sinful Oregon Symphony performance with the Britt Festival Orchestra.

Friday’s all-20th century program includes the overture to Kander & Ebb’s cynical musical Chicago, a pair of familiar American classics the beautiful four dance episodes from Aaron Copland’s ballet Rodeo, and George Gerwshin’s Radpsody in Blue, with pianist Julio Elizalde, and Storm Large reprising her performance (first with the Oregon Symphony, since with other bands) as soloist in Kurt Weill’s wry The Seven Deadly Sins, with vocal assistance from the great Hudson Shad Quartet. Saturday’s pops concert features the energetic young Time for Three, a virtuoso string trio who cover everyone from Bach and Brahms to the Beatles and Kanye West, and really know how to summer classical series (and new music director Teddy Abrams’s first season) closes with American composer Leonard Bernstein’s jazzy Prelude, Fugue and Riffs, Mahler’s first symphony, and music by Weber and Wagner.

Time for Three's Zachary De Pue, Ranaan Meyer, and Nicolas Kendall Photo: Jim Leisy

Time for Three’s Zachary De Pue, Ranaan Meyer, and Nicolas Kendall
Photo: Jim Leisy

Sunriver Festival, Friday, Tower Theatre, Bend, Monday and Wednesday, Historic Great Hall Sunriver Resort. The Central Oregon Mastersingers join the band for a Shakespearean set of music by Berlioz, Vaughan Williams, Henry Purcell’s magical The Fairy’s Queen, and Mendelssohn’s equally bewitching A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Monday’s piano recital by this year’s Van Cliburn Competition winner, Sean Chen, includes music by J.S. Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Wagner, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and an American classic, the brash young Aaron Copland’s ferocious Piano Variations, which electrified American classical music in the 1920s. Chen joins the orchestra Wednesday for Saint-Saens’s second piano concerto, and that program also includes Beethoven’s fifth symphony and contemporary American composer Christopher Theofanidis’s popular trippy Visions and Miracles.

William Byrd Festival, Friday-Sunday, Holy Rosary Church, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, and St. Stephen’s Church, Portland. The annual summer Byrding takes wing with religious services featuring music from the great Renaissance English composer’s Gradualia at Friday’s Mass, his ethereal Mass for Five Voices at Saturday’s Mass service, his magnificent Mass for Three Voices at Sunday’s Mass, and his Great Service at Sunday’s Evensong all sung by the fine choir Cantores in Ecclesia. English organ master and festival director Mark Williams gives a solo recital Sunday afternoon featuring a splendid lineup of music by Byrd , Bach, Thomas Tallis and more, plus later sacred organ masterpieces by Franck, Vierne, Widor, and others.

Montavilla Jazz Festival, Friday and Saturday, Post5 Theatre, Portland. Read my Willamette Week preview of Oregon’s newest jazz festival.
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