Per­for­mance Santa Fe,

Pasatiempo - - RAN­DOM ACTS -

Ehnes, who has been gain­ing an in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion for smart, sen­si­tive mu­si­cian­ship: “He re­ally does com­bine com­plete tech­ni­cal mas­tery with deep, soul­ful play­ing of melodies, and this makes him per­fect for the Tchaikovsky Con­certo.” Il­lick will also con­duct a rel­a­tive rar­ity from Tchaikovsky’s cat­a­log: the Sym­phony No. 1, sub­ti­tled “Win­ter Dreams.” “It isn’t played as of­ten as his Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Sym­phonies, but it is the youth­ful mas­ter­piece of a ge­nius. It has won­der­ful melodies, it’s full of pas­sion, it’s some­times ex­u­ber­ant and some­times melan­choly, and it has a thrilling and rous­ing fi­nale.”

The scope of PSF’s of­fer­ings not­with­stand­ing, a fair amount of clas­si­cal mu­sic will still pa­rade through in the course of the sea­son. The or­ches­tra will con­vene again for the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s tra­di­tional per­for­mances on Christ­mas Eve (in which Il­lick will con­duct Prokofiev’s Fifth Sym­phony and the duo-pi­anists Greg An­der­son and El­iz­a­beth Roe will be fea­tured in an ar­range­ment of Brahms’ Dou­ble Con­certo, which was orig­i­nally crafted for vi­o­lin and cello) and on New Year’s Eve (Beethoven’s Third Sym­phony plus Schu­mann’s Piano Con­certo, fea­tur­ing Joyce Yang). The most high­brow recital will doubt­less be the one on Dec. 1, in which Gil Sha­ham plays Bach’s three Par­ti­tas for Unac­com­pa­nied Vi­olin, two of which — those in E ma­jor and D mi­nor — he also per­formed here when PSF (then SFCA) pre­sented him in 2011. (Cu­ri­ously, the Tchaikovsky Vi­olin Con­certo was also on the group’s or­ches­tral sea­son opener that year. His­tory re­peats it­self.) Fur­ther solo recitals will come from gui­tarist Ana Vi­dovic´ (April 15) and pi­anist Yuja Wang (May 9).

The most in­ter­est­ing recital of the sea­son is sched­uled for Feb. 20: an or­gan recital by Cameron Car­pen­ter. A num­ber of no­table or­gan­ists have per­formed in Santa Fe in re­cent years, drawn by the Fisk tracker-ac­tion or­gan at First Pres­by­te­rian Church, but Car­pen­ter will not be ap­pear­ing there. He will be play­ing at the Len­sic, and he will be bring­ing his own in­stru­ment with him, the “in­ter­na­tional tour­ing or­gan” he de­signed to his own spec­i­fi­ca­tions — span­ning five key­boards plus pedal work — and had con­structed by the Mas­sachusetts firm of Mar­shall & Ogle­tree. Pian­ists must con­stantly adapt to un­fa­mil­iar in­stru­ments while on tour, but the chal­lenge is even greater for or­gan­ists, who must se­lect from a pro­fu­sion of tim­bral re­sources to sup­port their in­ter­pre­ta­tions, re­sources that vary vastly from or­gan to or­gan. Car­pen­ter’s so­lu­tion is a por­ta­ble dig­i­tal in­stru­ment rather than a pipe or­gan. Back in, say, 1981 — the year Car­pen­ter was born — elec­tronic or­gans did not re­ally have a role to play in the con­text of the high art of or­gan play­ing. But the state of elec­tron­ics has ad­vanced just a bit in the en­su­ing decades. Dig­i­tal or­gans re­main a species dis­tinct from pipe or­gans, but the best of them now boast ex­tra­or­di­nary re­sources on which an at­tuned mu­si­cian might draw. What­ever your im­age of an or­gan recital­ist may be, it is prob­a­bly not what Car­pen­ter is — that is, un­less you have en­coun­tered him be­fore. Peo­ple may get all hot and both­ered about Yuja Wang’s scanty dresses, but it is Car­pen­ter who may walk on­stage wear­ing a black leather get-up or a sil­ver-lamé en­sem­ble along with jewel-stud­ded footwear. The shoes in­volve Swarovski crys­tals from Aus­tria, he in­sisted in an in­ter­view with New York City ra­dio sta­tion WQXR a few years ago. “I find that crys­tals on the shoes not only im­prove vis­i­bil­ity, but they’re very dif­fi­cult to im­i­tate with­out be­ing to­tally ob­vi­ous.” In any case, he pos­sesses ter­ri­fy­ing tech­nique that he looses on a breadth of ma­te­rial that might stretch in a sin­gle recital from Bach and Franck to ’60s pop songs and mu­sic from movies real or imag­ined. This con­cert may not prove to ev­ery­one’s taste, but one would miss it at one’s peril.

Some of the sea­son’s strong­est of­fer­ings in­volve dance. Stars of Amer­i­can Bal­let is now be­hind us, but still ahead, on Oct. 27, lies an ap­pear­ance by the Mark Mor­ris Dance Group. The com­pany will con­sist of 19 dancers bless­edly as­sisted by two pi­anists, a vi­o­lin­ist, and a cel­list — and, re­ally, hav­ing live mu­sic

in a dance per­for­mance makes such a dif­fer­ence. Three works are on the bill, set to scores by Bach, Hum­mel, and Lou Har­ri­son. The troupe, which Mor­ris founded in 1980, has man­aged to strad­dle the di­vide be­tween dance con­nois­seurs and “lay au­di­ences,” of­fer­ing much to ad­mire no mat­ter what the viewer’s back­ground. Color, vi­vac­ity, sub­tle hu­mor, and in­fec­tious ebul­lience are typ­i­cally prom­i­nent in Mor­ris’ ar­se­nal, along with the pro­found con­nec­tion his chore­og­ra­phy has with the mu­sic he em­ploys. At the end of the sea­son, on May 22, comes Savion Glover, the ac­claimed avant-garde tap-dancer; he’ll be joined by fel­low tap­per Mar­shall Davis Jr. and jazz drum­mer Jack DeJohnette.

A re­turn ap­pear­ance by the Jazz at Lin­coln Cen­ter Orches­tra with Wyn­ton Marsalis (Sept. 29) is self-rec­om­mend­ing for jazz afi­ciona­dos. Clas­si­cal-jazz cross­over ar­rives by way of the Har­lem String Quar­tet (Nov. 16), and the string trio Time for Three (Feb. 16) will bring a playlist that is likely to touch on those ar­eas plus rock, blue­grass, and hip-hop. The Cana­dian Brass (Jan. 26) can be counted on to bring one of its tech­ni­cally im­pres­sive “clas­si­cal lite” pro­grams. The world of mu­si­cal the­ater gets its mo­ment, too, when PSF mounts a cabaret stag­ing of Jac­ques Brel Is Alive and Well and Liv­ing in Paris (Oct. 9-10). This re­vue of some 25 songs by the Bel­gian song­writer has shown re­mark­able stay­ing power since be­ing un­veiled in 1968. Quite a few of its num­bers — in­clud­ing “Madeleine,” “Marathon,” and “Carousel” — are hard-wired into the mem­o­ries of peo­ple who came of age in those heady times, but younger view­ers have also proved sus­cep­ti­ble to the show’s time­less ap­peal, which rests on its anti-es­tab­lish­men­tar­ian ide­al­ism, its sense of un­var­nished re­al­ism, and its poignant take on la con­di­tion hu­maine.

Mark Mor­ris Dance Group

El­iz­a­beth Roe and Greg An­der­son

Cameron Car­pen­ter

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