Harmonious Sonnets

​Review of John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet at Cornish College of Arts' Music Series


Whizz boom bang ba dum, chhh… bop bop! If you’re into jazz, this is for you!

Imagine walking into a forest and hearing nothing but birds, then someone else who was listening wrote all those noises down all on pages and pages of music. Now imagine an insane jazz quintet using those ideas to create amazing music! It is hard to express in words how I feel about John Hollenbeck’s music. Sophistication wrapped in harmonious sonnets.

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American Music and Glittering Ties

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In a scene dominated by rap’s broken rhythms and pop’s electric drone, classical pieces feel full. However, George Gershwin’s depth extends beyond that inherent to his genre. Maybe it’s his breadth of style (he incorporates both jazz and classical technique). Perhaps it’s that his music is so distinctly American (his initial title for Rhapsody in Blue was American Rhapsody).

I didn’t care about the reason as the first chords rang at Seattle Symphony’s Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess Friday evening—I was too far gone. Gershwin’s music wraps you up like a fluffy blanket. Even at its darkest moments, it’s warm and slightly familiar.

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Mozart, Kirov, and You!


A couple weeks back, we held a little ol' party for our organizations called The Teeny Awards. Ahhh, we remember it well. The lights, the music, the outrageously awesome outfits. Anywho, just recently, Seattle Symphony contacted us so they could throw a party of their own for the TeenTix members they love so much! Here's what they had to say:

Thank you Teen Tix members for awarding us not one, but TWO 2013 Teeny Awards! We are thrilled. Moved. Astounded. Excited. Amazed. INSPIRED! The SSO loves Teen Tix as much as Beethoven loved his pianos, as much as Mozart loved his powdered wig. (Seriously. That is a lot of love.) You are the boldest listeners in Benaroya Hall and the future of our art form. To show our appreciation for this honor, we invite you to join us for a special concert and event. MOZART’S SYMPHONY NO. 29 Saturday, October 19, at 8pm Stilian Kirov, conductor Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola Jordan Anderson, double bass Maria Mannisto, soprano Seattle Symphony MOZART: Divertimento for Strings in D major, K. 136/125a DITTERSDORF: Sinfonia concertante for Viola and Double Bass MOZART: Exultate, jubilate, K. 165 MOZART: Symphony No. 29 in A major, K. 201/186a Meet us before the concert at the Teen Tix check-in table at the entrance to the Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby to pick up your ticket and a surprise gift. After the concert, join us for an EXCLUSIVE reception in our backstage Green Room featuring a Q&A with Seattle Symphony Associate Conductor Stillian Kirov! Tickets are just $5 for TeenTix members (duh) and $5 for your guests (of any age!) too! Want to come? Great! You need to RSVP to [email protected] by 5 PM on Wednesday, October 16th. Please include your full name, phone number, and the number of people you are RSVPing for (max. 1 ticket + 1 guest ticket per TeenTix member). And, FYI for those guests: the post-show reception is TEENS ONLY. Parents can come with you to the show, but only teens are invited to the reception. Sorry, folks. Thems the rules.

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Modern and Timeless

Review of The One and Only Tommy Dorsey Orchestra at Seattle Symphony


Music from the renowned Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, what a hoot! This one and only historical big band takes jazz standards to a whole new level. On a technical level, this show is flawless. Every note, every phrase and every cut off is perfect, even down to the tone of the individual instruments. Trombonist Frank Woser has impeccable tone, vibrant and smooth. Frank plays Tommy Dorsey’s solos, and fills the performance with creativity and thoughtfulness. The solos are the main attraction in this carnival of sorts.

About a third of the way through the concert, Bryan Anthony comes in and sings a few numbers with the band. He is an excellent singer. Even though he is young, his Sinatra-like image makes his songs feel like period pieces. When he starts his first few songs it can get quite loud. It is very distracting and hard to hear the wonderful band, but it gets better after those first few songs. His performance definitely opens up in the latter half, allowing him to really shine like the gem that he is. His act goes further than his voice as well. He knows so much about the popular music back in the day and he shares some of the greats--his heroes--with the audience.

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The Cosmic Grandeur of Love

Review of Morlot Conducts Messiaen at Seattle Symphony by Galen C.

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“In Sanskrit, Turanga means the universe spinning through time, and Lîla means the cosmic play of love and death,” explained Seattle Symphony music director Ludovic Morlot, discussing Olivier Messiaen’s (“MESS-yohn”) Turangalîla-Symphonie. This may sound excessively grand, but it describes perfectly Seattle Symphony’s first-ever performance of this 20th century masterpiece.

Turangalîla is rarely performed, and the reasons are evident; it’s long and physically exhausting, requires an uncommonly large percussion section, features a solo piano and the rare ondes Martenot (“ohnd MAR-ten-oh;” more on that later), and as a contemporary piece, is hard to market to wider audiences. However, judging by an almost-full house and the instant standing ovation, Morlot, the Seattle Symphony, and guest soloists Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Cynthia Millar did not have much trouble with these obstacles.

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Living Emotion

Review of Morlot Conducts Mahler at Seattle Symphony by River V.

Daydreaming of what could be. It’s something we all do. Usually you wake up and forget it all together. How do you remember something you know you’re going to forget? You write it down, in paragraphs, in sentences, in phrases, etc. Gustav Mahler takes the phrases past word and into the linguistic expression of music. He turns words into a tone which we all know and understand but few truly speak. He turns this daydream into a nostalgic swirl of worldliness, vulnerability, and a childlike playfulness. He places this swirl into a cone of deep emotional expression and then lets you indulge. All of this work to turn a daydream into an ice cream cone of creation, so that the feeling never fades.

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Bellingham’s Candysound takes Sound Off! Semifinal One

Review of Sound Off! Semifinal 1, February 13th, 2010, by Jordan B. Showcasing the local music scene of the future, maybe even the present, Sound Off! began back in 2002 at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, designed for age 21 and under artists to have a place to get their name out. Many artists such as 2003 runner ups the Schoolyard Heroes and 2007's 2nd place winner, Natalie Portman's Shaved Head, have enjoyed some success from the competition's raising awareness of the bands. Tonight's winner, Candysound, received a spot in the upcoming finals on March 6th.

Sound Off! Semifinal #1 winners Candysound. Photo by adamsayswhatt

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