April foolery

By Peter A. Klein

Here are some musical announcements and news for the week of April 1:

Ever the Revolutionary. The Italian early music ensemble Mess’ Uppa di Voce will bring some hitherto-unknown works of Claudio Monteverdi to Seattle, at 2:00 PM Saturday in Our Lady of Perpetual Amazement Church in Wallingford. The group’s director, Dr. Alfredo Fettucine recently discovered the manuscripts in an empty barrel in a Venetian wine cellar, where some of the composer’s more prudent friends had hidden them over 350 years ago.

The centerpiece of the program is the dramatic cantata Galileo liberato, in which the renowned Renaissance scientist is freed from Inquisition house arrest by opponents of Pope Urban VIII. He builds an aerial sailing ship and travels the solar system with his new benefactors, singing the ritornello aria, Eppur si muove (Still it moves).

Several companion pieces, dubbed the “Wine Barrel Madrigals” are also on the program:
· Odio tutti i ricchi e felici Medici (I hate all the rich and happy Medici)

· Dove, dov’ è sparito il mio cagnolino? (Where, where has my little dog gone?)
· Il mio amore non è una vergine (My love is not a virgin)
· L’orgogliosa Maria (Proud Mary)
· Baciami serva ubriaca! (Give me a kiss, drunken wench!)
· Voglio andare in Sicilia, dove capiscono l’amore (I want to go to Sicily, where they understand love)

But Siriusly, folks. The program for next year’s Glassbreaker VI festival of contemporary music has been announced. The major work will be Siriusklangen (Sounds of Sirius) by German avant-garde composer KarlHeinz Schnitzelpfeffer. It is scored for violin, piccolo, contrabass clarinet, prepared piano, and two antiphonal ensembles of large glass bowls and ultrasonic dog whistles. Audience members will be encouraged to bring their canine companions to the concert.

Only in Seattle. A coalition of local environmentalists and animal rights supporters announced that they will picket the next Seattle Opera production of Wagner’s Ring. The coalition objects to the fire that surrounds Brünhilde’s rock in Die Walküre and consumes the world in Götterdämmerung, saying that it unacceptably increases Seattle’s carbon footprint. They also decried Siegfreid’s “senseless murder” of Fafner the dragon, his “blatant exploitation of bear cubs and forest birds,” and his “wanton cruelty to little people.”

Sing hey, lackaday. The site of the Westminster church where the acclaimed Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields performs once had an even longer name. The records of a lovesick Medieval town clerk reveal that the area was originally called “The miller Martin’s fields by the stream where sits the cottage where dwelleth his lovely daughter, who alas can never be mine, for her father hath betrothed her to the scurvy slow-witted butcher’s son.”

Cutting their costs . The Secret Cabal of Reactionary Arts Managers (SCRAM) will give an online presentation entitled: “Should Musicians Actually Be Paid?—An Old Paradigm for the New Economy,” podcast from an undisclosed location. The talk will be preceded by a performance of the Prelude to Arrigo Boito’s opera Mefistofele, sung by a basso outsourced from a political re-education camp in southeastern China. Browse to http://www.scram.org on Walpurgis Night (April 30) just before midnight.

Da, da, da! Violinist Boris Kishkekvetchsky will teach a master class titled “How to Play With Big Russian Soul.” Says Kishkekvetchsky: “American conservatory teach you to play like robot. You need beeg Russian soul to make real music. I show you.” At UW’s Cain Hall beginning at 10:00 Sunday. Lecture and demonstration will take place in the morning. Participants will be expected to play and critique after an immense lunch of zakuski, piroshki and vodka (provided).

Pushing the Boundaries. Pianist Hiroku Wasituya has announced that for his upcoming concert on the UW Whirled Series, he will play Liszt’s complete Transcendental Etudes while simultaneously blogging and tweeting his impressions of the music. We’re told that this feat will involve use of the soloists’ elbows, toes and nose. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, this is all perfectly legal.

The preceding is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to persons or groups, living or dead, is strictly coincidental. Really. Special thanks to my friend Dorina Lanza for her help with the Italian.

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