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Weekend MusicWatch: Winter Fests and Spacy Sounds

By Brett Campbell
January 29, 2015

Oregon summers teem with arts festivals, but it actually makes more sense to concentrate our indoor entertainment during the season of inclement weather. Like Fertile Ground in theater, Chamber Music Northwest and Cantores in Ecclesia are doing just that — and naturally, the weather has turned almost summery! But despite our musical climate change, there’s no reason you can’t spend the daylight hours enjoying our unseasonably sunny spell, and take it inside for a little night music afterwards. In fact, it’s almost deflating how little classical music is onstage this weekend. What else could be going on?

Blake Applegate leads Cantores in Ecclesia.

Blake Applegate leads Cantores in Ecclesia.

Cantores in Ecclesia, Mark Williams, Saturday-Monday, St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland.

The top-notch Portland church choir brings superb English organist and conductor Mark Williams (who also directs its summer William Byrd Festival) back across the pond for a series of sacred music concerts and recitals. Saturday’s performance includes music by 20th century British composers Lennox Berkeley and Herbert Howells. Sunday morning’s offers works by Zoltán Kodály, Anton Bruckner, and Edvard Grieg, while that afternoon’s concert features another 20th century Brit, Charles Villiers Stanford. Monday’s Candlemas features a Mass by 20th century French composer Maurice Durufle, and the mini festival also includes Gregorian chant by Cantores and organ solos by Williams.


The Dover Quartet performs at Chamber Music Northwest.

The Dover Quartet performs at Chamber Music Northwest.

Chamber Music Northwest, Thursday-Sunday, Disjecta, Lincoln Hall, Kaul Auditorium, Portland.

Read Jana Hanchett’s ArtsWatch preview of this year’s CMNW winter festival.


ViVoce, Saturday and Sunday, St Michael’s & All Angels Episcopal Church, Portland.

The Portland Revels female vocal ensemble’s programs beguilingly blend Western classical and folk music, Eastern European folk, and storytelling. This show includes “Grace Before Sleep,” a poem by Sara Teasdale set to music by Susan LaBarr, commissioned by the Marian Singers of St Mary’s Academy of Portland; American folk tunes like “Shenandoah” and less familiar Shape Note tunes, a Renaissance masterpiece by Tomas Luis de Victoria, and more.


45th Parallel, Saturday, Alberta Rose Theatre, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview of this laudably locally oriented concert featuring a wide range of mostly Northwest music by composers Kenji Bunch and ArtsWatch contributor Jeff Winslow, jazz, pop-turned-classical (featuring The Julians vocal ensemble), and more.

Bach Cantata Choir performs  Sunday.

Bach Cantata Choir performs Sunday.

Bach Cantata Choir, Sunday, Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, Portland.

In this free concert, some excellent solo singers join the choir in music by J.S. Bach (the appropriately titled “Gloria” from his mighty b minor Mass), a Handel Trio Sonata, and another “Gloria” from the underrated Venetian Baroque composer Antonio Lotti’s Missa Sapientiae, which Bach copied and had performed at his own church in Leipzig.


Oregon Mozart Players, Saturday, Beall Concert Hall, Eugene.

Read my Eugene Weekly preview of the chamber orchestra’s Young Soloist Competition concert.


Oregon Symphony, Pacific Youth Choir, Friday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.

Accompanied by a screening of the 2009 film, the band and choir perform renowned film and video game composer Michael Giacchino’s score to the rebooted Star Trek saga.

Bill Frisell, Friday, Aladdin Theater, Portland.

In this PDXJazz concert, accompanied by his veteran band, one of American music’s most inventive and imaginative figures, whose guitar wizardry banishes the boundaries between jazz, folk, and pop music, reimagines the Mad Men era music that inspired him: the country, surf, blues, and early rock & roll of the late 1950s through the mid-’60s.


Rachel Kudo, Friday, Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene; Saturday, Portland Piano Company, Sunday, George Fox University, Newberg.

Read my Willamette Week preview of the piano prodigy’s Portland performance. In Eugene, she’ll play music by Beethoven, Chopin, and Samuel Barber.


Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Friday,  Millrace Building 4, University of Oregon.

Oregon Composers Forum Chamber Orchestra, Saturday, Aasen-Hull Hall, University of Oregon.

Read Gary Ferrington’s ArtsWatch preview of these closing Music Today Festival concerts.


Phil and Gayle Neuman, Saturday, Beaverton City Library.

Music in Small Spaces brings the longtime Portland instrument makers and early music experts to play and discuss the music and instruments of the 16th century — the sounds Shakespeare might have known.


Oregon Bach Collegium, Monday, Collier House, University of Oregon.

Early music specialists  violinists Jannie Wei and Wyatt True, cellist Marc Vanscheeuwijck, and harpsichordist Margret Gries play 17th century Italian music by Uccellini, Buonamente, Caldara, Castello, Fontana, Legrenzi, and Corelli.


Oregon Wind Ensemble, Sunday, Beall Concert Hall, Eugene.

The band plays music by 20th century American composers David Del Tredici, Morton Gould, Don Grantham and more.


 Patricia McCarty and Cary Lewis, Monday, Beall Concert Hall, Eugene.

The award winning New England violist and versatile Portland pianist play music by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and David Avshalomov, a composer whose father was the longtime director of Portland Youth Philharmonic.


Paul Barnes, Tuesday, Beall Concert Hall, Eugene.

The Liszt expert and renowned pianist Paul Barnes discusses the great composer/pianist and plays his mighty b minor sonata.


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