In a weekend filled with many classical music possibilities, a great bet is Moment Musical’s “Sunday Serenade.” In Friday’s 7 section, I focus on pianist Alan Rea and flutist Janette Erickson, who over the years have played duets many times together. Here’s the extended version of that interview.
Question: You’ll be performing a little-played piece for flute and piano by Friedrich Kuhlau. Tell us about your radio experience that led you to this piece. It almost sounds like a bit of detective work.
Erickson: Alan and I had searched over the years of collaboration to find some worthwhile pieces that treated the flute and piano as a duet team, rather than a flute solo with very little thematic interest in the piano part. We love the trade-off of each playing the interesting material. So, always looking for another piece, one day I turned on the radio KVPR (FM 89.3) and heard a wonderful piece. I called in to find out the name and opus number: Kuhlau Grande Sonata, Op. 83, No. 3. We could not find this piece. I even looked while at the National Flute Convention and its Dayton C. Miller Collection. No one had it.
(Coincidentally, after we found the music, we later picked No. 2 after we played through the three Grande Sonatas a year later. We loved it the most!)
1. WATCH OUT FOR FLYING COWS
On Thursday on the Beehive I told you about opening night of “Spamalot.” Well, I attended the show last night — and while my review will come early next week, let’s just say I laughed so hard during the French Taunter scene that I almost choked on my Good Company water. (And there was even a gag directed at me, which I’m not going to share so as to ruin the moment, but let’s just say I’ve never been quite so personally surprised during a performance.) Check out my cover story in Friday’s 7. Also, Bee photographer Gary Kazanjian took a bunch of great photos, which he posted in an online gallery. “Spamalot” continues at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater through March 17. [Details]
I’ve already told you about “Master Class” at the Shaghoian Hall. And don’t forget it’s a big weekend for film fans with the Fresno Film Festival. With that said, I’m going to devote my picks this week exclusively to classical music opportunities, of which there are many!
1. SAN JOAQUIN CHORALE
The ensemble devotes a majority of pieces in its spring program to works written by late 20th-century composers. Among them: a lively original composition by local composer and accompanist Kevin Memley; and the world premiere of a popular Korean folk song arranged by Joungmin Sur, a Fresno State graduate student. Roy Klassen conducts. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, First Congregational Church.
1. EXPERIENCE ‘SCHEHEREZADE’
The Lively Arts Foundation is bringing in Alonzo King LINES Ballet, the acclaimed San Francisco contemporary ballet company. Here’s my story from Thursday’s Life section about the company’s 7:30 p.m. Friday performance at the Saroyan Theatre, where the reimagined Arabian-Nights tale “Scheherezade” will be staged.
1. BATTLE OF THE CHAMBER MUSIC GROUPS
Is it a scheduling coincidence? Or a stringed-instrument blood match? Whatever the reason, the result is a Sunday afternoon chock full of chamber-music possibilities. At 3 p.m. at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, Moment Musical offers a “Sunday Serenade” featuring a 100th birthday tribute to Alan Hovhaness with a performance of his “The Garden of Adonis” Suite for Flute and Harp, featuring Laura Porter, left, and Janette Erickson. And at 5 p.m. at Fresno State’s Wahlberg Recital Hall, the Orpheus chamber series welcomes two distinguished musical guests from Austria: the Duo Schorn/Mancinelli ensemble consisting of guitarist Christina Schorn and percussionist Ivan Mancinelli.
2. CLASSICAL MUSIC BONANZA
For lovers of chamber and piano music, the hard part at 3 p.m. Sunday will not being able to be in two places at once. The Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series kicks off the season with a performance by Russian pianist Elena Kuschnerova at the Fresno State Concert Hall. And the chamber group Moment Musical at the same time introduces its new season of “Sunday Serenades” with a concert at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Later today, I’ll be posting a Beehive Interview with Kuschnerova.