Weekend MusicWatch: Season enders

Opera Theater Oregon's Giasone and the Argonauts takes flight this weekend.

Opera Theater Oregon’s Giasone and the Argonauts takes flight this weekend.

Many choirs, orchestras, ensembles and presenters offer their final events of the 2013-14 season this weekend, and some have clearly saved the best for last.

Giasone and the Argonauts, Friday and Saturday, Hollywood Theatre , Portland. Opera Theater Oregon returns with its latest mashup: a new live score, arranged by OTO’s Erica Melton from Francesco Cavalli’s rarely heard, very early Venetian Baroque opera, Il Giasone, to the camp classic 1963 film Jason and the Argonauts, whose famous special effects by Ray Harryhausen those of us of a certain age will still recall from childhood TV reruns; I had nightmares about the skeleton armies. Like the Filmusik productions (whose director, Galen Huckins, is tech director for this one too) at the Hollywood, this one replaces the original score with a live performance by Foley artists (creating sound effects) and 28 musicians, including a chamber ensemble plus 20 singers. OTO’s productions, with and without film, have been consistently fun, inventive and musically rewarding, so this is a top recommendation.

Astoria Music Festival Piano Quintet, Friday, The Historic Old Church, Portland. Read my Willamette Week preview of this recommended chamber music concert featuring some of the area’s top musicians performing infrequently played 20th century quintets.

Songs from Homomentum: The Musical are performed Friday at Portland's Alberta Rose Theatre.

Songs from Homomentum: The Musical are performed Friday at Portland’s Alberta Rose Theatre.

Homomentum Album Release Concert, Friday, Alberta Rose Theatre, Portland. Read my Willamette Week preview  of this groovy music and dance performance, or listen to this interview feature on Portland’s KBOO radio.

University Symphony and Singers, Oregon Wind Ensemble, Oregon Brass Quintet, Friday, Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon. The school’s spring concert features music from one of the most ravishing 20th century classical creations, second suite from his Ravel’s Daphnis & Chloe, plus a piece by UO music alumna Andrea Reinkemeyer, Oregon native Morten Lauridsen’s famous “O Magnum Mysterium” and more. That same afternoon at the UO’s Schnitzer art museum, student chamber music ensembles play music by Prokofiev, contemporary composer Michael Torke and more at a free lunchtime recital.

Sangeeta Kalanidhi Sri. Madurain T.N. Seshagopalan, Saturday, First Christian Church, Portland. In this Rasika concert, the renowned south Indian singer/ veena virtuoso sings ragas and other musical forms accmpanied by mridangam drum and violin.

Consonare Chorale, Saturday, First Congregational Church, Portland. In this family friendly concert, the chorus sings its usual wide range of music, this time covering everyone from leading choral composer Eric Whitacre, Pharrell, Eric Idle and more.

Glory Singers, Saturday, The Old Church, Portland. The choir sings tunes by Gershwin, gospel favorites, and more.

PSU Man Choir, Vox Femina & University Choir, Sunday, First Congregational Church of Christ, Portland. Portland State’s exuberant global rhythms concerts have been highlights of the choral season for the past few years, and this one includes Indian percussionists, music from India, Brazil, China, South Africa, The Philippines, and beyond, plus new Vox Femina choral director Joan Szymko and her music.

Portland Symphonic Choir, Sunday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland. The big choir sings a big piece: Verdi’s Requiem.

Conchords Chorale, Sunday, The Old Church, Portland. The choir performs music from Disney films.

Trinity Choir, Sunday, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland. The choir performs the music it’ll be showcasing during its upcoming residency in England, interspersed with organ voluntaries played by Christopher Keady.

Michael Stirling, Sunday, Mandala Sanctuary, Eugene. The Portland Indian music guru sings ragas with tabla and tanpura accompaniment.


Mak Grgic, Friday, Marylhurst University Wiegand Hall. The rising young Slovenian guitarist concludes Portland Classic Guitar’s recital season with a sweet mix of tunes by J.S. Bach, Granados, Albeniz, Bernstein, Ennio Morricone and others, most featured in famous films and recorded on his album Cinema Verismo.

Albert “Tootie” Heath, Friday, Jimmy Mak’s, Portland. Read my Willamette Week preview of the venerable jazz drummer’s rare Oregon appearance.

Maia Hoffman performs with members of FearNoMusic and other guests Sunday.

Maia Hoffman performs with members of FearNoMusic and other guests Sunday.

Maia Hoffman, Sunday, The Old Church, Portland. The young violist, who charmed the crowd at FearNoMusic’s Kenji Bunch concert last month, performed on NPR’s From the Top, and starred in other appearances around Portland, has been accepted to study at the prestigious Heifetz International Music Institute in Virginia. But the family’s resources have been strained by the fight against cancer being waged by her mother, local Suzuki violin teacher Catherine Whelan, so Hoffman is raising the money needed to attend via this fundraising concert, where she’ll be joined by her teacher, FearNoMusic/Oregon Symphony violist Joël Belgique, FNM pianist Monica Ohuchi. and other guest artists as she performs music by Vieuxtemps, Schumann, and a chamber arrangement of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #6.


Vancouver Symphony, Saturday and Sunday, Skyview Concert Hall, Vancouver. Guest pianists Orli Shaham and Igal Kesselman join the band in Mozart’s delightful two piano concerto, and the orchestra closes its 35th season with a major 20th century orchestral masterpiece, Shostakovich’s massive Symphony #7, written in December 1941 just after the Russian army had bloodily rebuffed the German invaders’ siege of Leningrad.

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