I've posted a few videos from Salut Salon, a thoroughly-inventive and highly-talented string quartet of German women. Though excellent musicians, it's their quirky, almost acrobatic arrangements that get the most attention. So, here's one more, although it features just two of the performers, in what they call "La Dispute."
A couple of days ago, I got an email from my cousin Diana Leviton Gondek who lives back in Naperville, a western suburb of Chicago. I've mentioned here several times that Diana is an accomplished artist, most notably for the three fiberglass "horses" she made to honor fallen police that were displayed around the city, including outside Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's office, as well as being commissioned to do the artiwork for the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics, which got its start in Chicago. My own mentions aside, my favorite piece about Diana was when eShe magazine published in New Delhi, India, did a story which referred to Diana as "Famed America artist," which I told her likely came as a surprise to the estate of Jackson Pollock. However, it did allow me to make up business cards to refer to myself as "Cousin of Famed America Artist."
The point being that it didn't come as a surprise when she offhandedly noted that "The local paper did a nice little article about me and a show I was just in."
“The local paper did a nice little article about me…”
When I read that, my first reaction was, ‘Oh, how nice, the Napervile Gazette wrote a little feature on her." Even closer than eShe magazine. Then I clicked on the link and it was the freaking Chicago Tribune!!
Okay, yes, fairness, it is the “local paper.” But still. That’s carrying modesty much too far…
The article is extremely good, centered on a pandemic-focused art show in Chicago called "In the Same Boat - Or Are We?" But it singles out Diana and her work, in particular a mixed-media work of oil, colored pencil, acrylic and photography, called "Beach."
Yes, I'm utterly biased, but being as objective as I can be, it's wonderful And just because I'm biased doesn't mean I'm wrong. And given that it's mixed-media, I can only imagine the added layers of texture when one sees the work in person.
(I hope you appreciate that I used one of the few "painting" words I actually know, "texture," and hopefully did so properly.)
Okay, "Naperville artist" doesn't have the same panache as "Famed American Artist," but then the Chicago Tribune is merely the "local paper," after all, so I can understand their civic pride emphasizing one of their native daughters.
(Why the reporter's credit says "Naperville Sun," I'm not sure. Perhaps the Chicago Tribune has a complementary relationship with the paper, or for all I know they may even own it, and that's who the writer works for. But this was most definitely published in the Chicago Tribune.)
If you'd like to read the full article -- in the Chicago Tribune -- you can find it here. Lots more good material in it, about the interesting-sounding show, as well as the featured artist. Plus, when you're done, you can click over to the Sports section and read about the Cubs. But Diana comes first.
A few weeks back, I posted the video of an amazing, funny and joyous musical performance by a string quartet of four German women, Salut Salon. (If you missed it, check it out here.) I have another number from this wonderful group. What's impressive is that they're not just wildly inventive and energetic in their staging and performance -- not what you expect from string quartets... -- but they're truly excellent musicians.
This piece as you can see is "Korobushka -- Liebe Love Amour."
If just for the concept here alone, I would love this video.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has four "Dannys" in it -- Daniel Armstrong, bass; Danny Lai, viola; Daniel Katz, cello, and Daniel Gingrich, associate principal horn.
Bassist Armstrong wrote a duet arrangement of "Londonderry Air" (also and better-known as "Danny Boy") and performed both parts himself. But then he realized that all the CSO Danny Boys should participate, so he did a further jazz-influenced arrangement and they all got together for a Virtual Performance during sheltering-at-home.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is having another of their Virtual Recitals today. It's a pre-recorded performance from their homesd by CSO Assistant Concertmaster Yuan-Qing Yu and Principal Cello John Sharp. The recital will be followed by a live Q&A hosted by Scholar-in-Residence and Program Annotator Phillip Huscher, though registered may be required.
The event begins at 5 PM in Los Angeles and 7 PM in Chicago. I'll try to stream it below, but if that doesn't work you can reach the recital here.
This is a program --
Wieniawski L'école moderne, Op. 10, No. 7: La Cadenza
Wieniawski L'école moderne, Op. 10, No. 5: Alla saltarella
Bach Selections from Cello Suite No. 1
Bodorová Dža More [for solo violin]
A friend sent me a video of a female string quartet that was very entertaining, but there was no identification to it, just a standalone .mp4 file. I tracked them down, though -- they're the Salut Salon from Hamburg, Germany. The group began eight years ago, started by the two violinist, joined later by the cellist and pianist.
It's hard to describe them. They're classically trained and after watching several videos, excellent performers. But what sets them apart is their enthusiasm, energy, and sense of fun showmanship -- and, well, perhaps I'd say athleticism. Yes, really.
This video will make it more clear. It's the one my friend sent. My early reaction was, okay, it's cute but a bit schticky -- however then it built and eventually becomes seriously impressive and very entertaining. I don't think they're as funny as they think they are -- but they are as talented as I'm sure they know they are, and do a seriously impressive job choreographing their performance. Which isn't something you generally say about a classical string quartet.
This is their piece "Competitive Foursome."
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is presenting another "Virtual Recital," by one of their members today at 7 PM Chicago time, or 5 PM here in Los Angles. (8 PM on the East Coast.)
The Virtual Recital is with CSO Principal Percussion Cynthia Yeh. It was pre-recorded.
According to the CSO, "Yeh performs selections from Robert Honstein’s 2016 An Economy of Means, a work of dazzling virtuosity and ethereal soundscapes. 'With a few simple preparations—tin foil, a manila folder—and judicious usage of the vibraphone’s natural properties, I tried to build something vast and varied,' wrote the composer.
She follows this with Elden “Buster” Bailey’s effervescent Two Sticks in Search of a Waltz for xylophone and a vibraphone transcription of an arrangement of Antônio Carlos Jobim’s Brazilian bossa nova classic Chega de Saudade.
You can watch the concert at this link here on the CSO YouTube Channel However, it may stream on this player below.
A few weeks back, I posted a video from the Art Institute of Chicago in which they give the public short virtual Tours of exhibits, now that the museum is temporarily closed. That first one here was on their Essential Tour of the works of El Greco.
They've also now started doing short video studies of some of the more famous paintings in their collection. And the other day we posted here their "essential tour" for the renowned "Sunday on La Grande Jatte,"
So now, we return once again to the Culture Corner as part of our Home Education effort to provide some continuing education and refinement to these pages...
This is another of the famous paintings in the Art Institute -- and more than that, one of the most iconic in American art. Though if you gave its name, many people -- if not most -- probably wouldn't recognize it. Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks." But when you see the work, the response is usually, "Oooooh, yeah, I know that!" And likely know one of the many parodies of it.
What's nice, too, about this Essential Tour is that you get a chance to actually hear Edward Hopper.
A few weeks back, I posted a video from the Art Institute of Chicago in which they give the public short "virtual tours" of exhibits, now that the museum is temporarily closed. That first one here was on their display of the works of El Greco.
They've also now started doing short video studies of some of the more famous paintings in their collection. And so, for today, we have a 2-1/2 minute look into the renowned "Sunday on La Grande Jatte," which is especially well-known to lovers of musical theater as the inspiration of Stephen Sondheim's show, Sunday in the Park with George, with a book by James Lapine..
So now, we return to the Culture Corner as part of our Home Education effort to provide some refinement to these pages...
Since they can't make it to the concert hall, here are 28 members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at their homes, playing Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring"
Robert J. Elisberg is a two-time recipient of the Lucille Ball Award for comedy screenwriting. He's written for film, TV, the stage, and two best-selling novels, is a regular columnist for the Writers Guild of America and was for the Huffington Post. Among his other writing, he has a long-time column on technology (which he sometimes understands), and co-wrote a book on world travel. As a lyricist, he is a member of ASCAP, and has contributed to numerous publications.
Feedspot Badge of Honor