Performance Dates in Latvia
Eric Salzman’s Brecht Suite, Accord, and tangos of the rediscovered composer Oscar Strok (arranged by Salzman) are included in a program of Latvian ballads that is currently touring in Latvia. Performed with Laila Salins as vocalist and a string trio that includes members of Quartet Undertango. This program is a collaboration between the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York and the Music and Art Support Foundation in Riga, Latvia. Read the article from the Latvian Times
Friday, August 27, 8pm
The Clay Castle Manor
Saturday, August 28, 10:30pm
3rd International Argentinian Tango Festival (Tango SunFestival)
Sunday, August 29, 4pm
Saturday, September 4, 6pm
Friday, September 7th, 8pm
Aizkraukle Cultural Center
Thursday, September 9th, 8pm
Friday, September 10, 7pm
Saturday, September 11, 5pm
Dobeles Cultural Center
Sunday, September 12th, 5pm
The projected performance of Cassandra (text by Eva Salzman) by Kristin Norderval scheduled for this summer as part of the Vox Clamans Festival has been postponed until next season with the new date to be announced.
The projected performance of Accord/Discord—including Accord, for solo accordionist, Brecht Suite, and arrangements of Latvian and Argentine tangos—scheduled for performance at the Music Festival of the Hamptons this summer has also been postponed with a new date to be announced.
Review of the New York Premiere of Salzman’s Brecht Suite
The New York premiere of Salzman’s Brecht Suite—music from the Theatre du Trident French-language production of the Santa Barbara version of Brecht’s La Bonne Ame de Setchouan—had its New York premiere on December 2, 3 and 4, 2009, at the cell theatre, produced by the cell with the Center for Contemporary Opera (CCO). The performers were mezzo Laila Salins, virtuoso accordionist Bill Schimmel, Machiko Ozawa and Marc Levine, violins, and Leo Grinhauz, cello.
Schimmel also played Salzman’s Accord: Solo for Schimmel. Other works on the program included Schimmel’s version of the Poet & Peasant Overture, a set of Latvian songs performed by Ms. Salins (who is Latvian-American), and a rousing set of tangos by Osvaldo Pugliese as arranged by Schimmel. Harry Rolnick (of ConcertoNet.com) had this to say:
“Mr. Salzman redeemed himself triplefold with the music for Brecht’s “Good Woman of Sichuan.” Mr. Salzman, as critic, musicologist and composer, is virtually synonymous with “music theater,” and when he found Brecht’s second working of the drama in Los Angeles, he was ecstatic. No music had been written for it (Kurt Weill was on the outs with Brecht), so Mr. Salzman took it in his own hands, resulting in a Quebec performance. The five excerpts here were splendid, with a typical Salzman surprise. The middle three songs did have that biting Weill-type melody. Ms. Salins didn’t have to do a Lotte Lenya: her own drama was fascinating enough. But the first purely instrumental work was eerily different. It had the resonance of 18th Century modal American church music, or like Virgil Thomson’s film music of America. What was it doing here? Not until the final song did we find out. The same music was used as background for a Weill-like ersatz anthem, performed beautifully by all five musicians.”
The entire program was recorded and should be available on a CCO CD and excerpts will be posted on YouTube. There are also plans for the program to tour abroad.
Performances of Salzman’s Brecht Suite and Accord
On December 2nd, 3rd and 4th, Salzman’s Brecht Suite of music from a French-language production of the Brecht Good Person of Szechuan, and Salzman’s solo accordion work, Accord, will be performed at the cell theatre on 23rd Street in New York’s Chelsea district. The Brecht Suite will be performed by Laila Salins, mezzo, William Schimmel, accordion (the same two who performed it last June at the Southampton Cultural Center) with Machiko Osawa and Marc Levin, violins, and Leo Grinhauz, cello.
Accord is a solo piece written for Schimmel which not only requires him to play classical, pop and virtuoso accordion but also to stroll, sing, laugh and even break down crying. The program also includes a solo piece by Schimmel, a set of Latvian drinking songs and tangos, and a set of tangos by Osvaldo Pugliese—perhaps the greatest of all the classic Argentine tangeros. The concert is at 8:00pm and is part of the Center for Contemporary Opera’s 2009–2010 season. Read the full press release (PDF).