Weekend MusicWatch: Voices of Spring

Cappella Romana joins Portland Baroque Orchestra in Venetian music Saturday.

Cappella Romana joins Portland Baroque Orchestra in Venetian and Russian music Saturday.

Last week: new music from Marz. This week: old music from Venice, and more.


Eugene Symphony, Thursday, Hult Center, Eugene. After one of the most famous opening scenes in music — nothing less than what we’d now call the Big Bang —  Joseph Haydn unleashed his most colorful music to portray the events and even animals described in the Christian creation myth. The Eugene Symphony Chorus joins the orchestra for his grand oratorio, The Creation. Hear ArtsWatch‘s interview with Resonance Ensemble artistic director Katherine FitzGibbon, conducted back when the Oregon Symphony performed it a couple years ago.

Cappella Romana, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Saturday, Kridel Ballroom, Portland Art Museum. In this unusual concert that complements the museum’s current Venetian art exhibit, the state’s two great historically informed music institutions team up in choral music by one of the city’s greatest late Baroque composers, Baldassare Galuppi, instrumentals by his more famous older compatriot, Vivaldi, and Russian Orthodox choral works by Galuppi’s student, Dmitri Bortniansky.

Consonare Chorale, Saturday, First Congregational Church, Portland. The inventive choir teams up with the Brown Sisters gospel trio and their bucket-playing brother for a mix of spirituals, contemporary choral music by the acclaimed young Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds (popular on Portland stages lately), a taste of Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil, and more.

Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus, Saturday and Sunday, Kaul Auditorium, Reed College. The two PGMCs join forces with Portland’s new Gay/Straight Youth Alliance Chorus more than 200 voices all told in two video-augmented programs about coming out experiences of young LGBT people, a new work by legendary Broadway composer Steven Schwartz on the subject of anti-gay bullying, music from Portland composer (and former PGMC leader) David York, and more.


Tardis Ensemble, Friday, Jordan Schnitzer Museum, Eugene. This concert, rescheduled after last month’s snowpocalypse, features the great 20th century African American composer William Grant Still’s gorgeous 1960 Lyric Quartet, Brooke Joyce’s 2006 Sorrow Songs, which incorporate recorded voices of former slaves, and music by contemporary African American composers Frederick Tillis and Valerie Coleman (from Imani Winds). After the concert (part of the museum’s exhibition, Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power), UO musicology instructor Larry Wayte facilitates a discussion of race, identity, and the experience of African-American composers in Western classical music.

Sergey Antonov and Ilya Kazantsev, Friday, Liberty Theater, Astoria. The Russian cellist, a favorite at the Astoria Music Festival, returns with a fellow young major competition prize winner, pianist Kazantsev.

Zakir Hussain and the Masters of Percussion, Friday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland. Read my preview.

Allora Baroque Ensemble, Sunday, Portland Art Museum. The museum adds another musical perspective on Venice with this concert of chamber works by Vivaldi and lesser known but impressive Cavalli and Castello.


Oregon Symphony, Saturday and Sunday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland. Pianist Bertrand Chamayou joins the orchestra in Chopin’s second piano concerto, and the program includes one of the pinnacles of Romantic orchestral music, Brahms’s Symphony #4, plus Olivier Messiaen’s cinematic 1930 breakthrough, The Forgotten Offerings, which announced the great 20th century French composer’s colorful Catholic mysticism.

Hillsboro Symphony, Friday, Century High School Auditorium, Hillsboro. The orchestra plays music by French composers from Lully to Berlioz to Bizet, plus Gershwin’s An American in Paris.

Starlight Symphony, Sunday, Tualatin Presbyterian Church. The orchestra plays the most familiar music by Mozart, Beethoven’s less-familiar fourth symphony and Coriolan overture and Weber’s Clarinet Concerto featuring soloist Eric Tishkoff.


Postcard from MoroccoPortland Opera, Friday and Sunday, Newmark Theatre, Portland. Read Angela Allen’s ArtsWatch preview.

The Magic Flute, Sunday, Living Room Theaters, Portland. Filmed version of stage director Jens-Daniel Herzog’s 2012 Salzburg Festival production of Mozart’s immortal opera, featuring the historically informed performance pioneer Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s Concentus Musicus performing on period-instruments.

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