INFOGRAPHIC - Program Notes for Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins
Pacific Symphony led by Maestro Carl St.Clair and featuring German chanteuse, Ute Lemper, performs Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins Nov. 8-10, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa, CA.
For tickets, visit pacificsymphony.org
On Nov. 18, 1881, impresario Rodolphe Salis opened the first modern cabaret Le Chat Noir in the Montmartre district of Paris. The iconic image of a scraggly black cat by Théophile Steinlen came to represent the exciting nightlife of the cabaret scene ever since.
On Nov. 8, 2012, Pacific Symphony opens its own Le Chat Noir in the lobby of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall to immerse patrons into the origins of the art form. As you get ready to hear the music of the French cabaret scene from the ’20s through the ’50s in the concert hall, enjoy the sounds of late 19th-century Paris and learn about the birth of this engaging genre.
The concert, “Come to the Cabaret,” led by Maestro Carl St.Clair and featuring German chanteuse, Ute Lemper, includes Kurt Weill’s social satire, “The Seven Deadly Sins,” Gershwin’s “An American in Paris,” and Lemper singing a hybrid arrangement of Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm/Naughty Baby” and songs made famous by legendary French singer Édith Piaf. Nov. 8-10, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The lobby transforms into a “piano bar” from 7-8 p.m and during intermission.
Tomorrow, before dawn, I’ll be leaving Gui Yang and China headed homeward. During the past two weeks my life has been enriched and my hopes for a future filled with human harmony and kindness have been bolstered. I realized that music provides the surest, most immediate and truest path toward oneness and common purpose. And, that the great composers—Mahler, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and others—with their masterworks, having originated in the heavens, have delivered us keys to places of the heart not otherwise reached.
So, I say ??—Zai Jian, China—with great thankfulness for this wonderful experience, and with deepest gratitude to all the musicians of the Beijing Symphony and Gui Yang Symphony who have been so accepting and open to me and my musical ideas, feelings and interpretations.
You have extended me generous kindness, have renewed my hopes, and have given me a most rewarding musical experience. Xie Xie! Thank you!
—Pacific Symphony Music Director Carl St. Clair on tour in China
Gui Yang Concert Hall
All in all, it was a rewarding and wonderful day of music making, complete with 7 cups of black tea and 4 very sweaty black long sleeved cotton shirts. At the end of hour 5 of rehearsal, many hearts were filled via a new musical journey Gustav Mahler began for us 123 years ago.
It is a day like today which makes being away from Susan and my loving family, all of my dear friends back home in Orange County and with Pacific Symphony a lot easier.
—Pacific Symphony Music Director Carl St.Clair on tour in China
Something has been very surprising during my visit to Beijing and Gui Yang. As it turns out, I have been speaking and communicating with the players in several languages other than English. Of course, most of the players speak some English, but many of the players, because they have studied in Austria or Germany, speak fluent German. When I speak to the first oboist in the Gui Yang Symphony, I speak to him in Spanish. He is recently from Spain and knows little English and, like me, no Chinese. The concertmaster, principal bass, 2nd cellist, first flutist and several others, studied in Vienna, Salzburg, Mannheim and Weimar, and speak German very well.
This has been a great help in the flow of rehearsals. After I make a comment, whether in English or German, there then come the quiet whispers of translation for the Chinese-speaking musicians. There is one American in the orchestra. Patrick is a horn player from Cincinnati and studied at Temple University. He is good friends with David Chang and Elliot Moreau, members of Pacific Symphony. By the way guys, he says “hello.” It is all a very interesting process, fascinating and indicative of how music can bring people of all walks of life together in common purpose and one of heart.
—Pacific Symphony’s Music Director Carl St.Clair on tour in China
It is a great honor for me to be here in Gui Yang in that our performance on Friday evening will mark the first time the music of Gustav Mahler will be heard in this city or province. It is also the orchestra’s first encounter with the great master. For five hours today we rehearsed to meet the challenges Mahler composed in his first symphony, the “Titan.”
Mahler was 27 years old when he conducted the premiere of his symphony in Budapest. It just so happens that the average age of the Gui Yang Symphony is 27. We are all very excited and are taking to heart the great opportunity to bring the orchestra’s audience and this great composer together for the first time. Come Friday, we’ll all meet and embrace one another in the hopes that we will have created a long lasting and intimate new relationship.
Happy Halloween! Have a fun and safe night and listen to some spooky music. :-)
Anyone know any good walking themes?
“We had a wonderful experience at the concert…We were let off by our taxi outside of a beautiful city park in the darkness of night. We walked through the park and discovered the Forbidden City Concert Hall.
“It is a concert hall that hosts various classical music events, and the concert of the Beijing Symphony was part of a classical series presented by a private promoter. Inside the hall were photographs of famous conductors like Leonard Bernstein and Sir Georg Solti who had performed in the early days of the reopening of western culture in the city.
“Carl’s concert was very warmly received by the audience and, most interestingly, the orchestra cheered him when he asked them to stand. It was a very touching moment. The program included the overture to Beethoven’s Egmont, Wolfgang Erich Korngold’s Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6.
“The orchestra is comprised of 95% Chinese nationals, and a handful of European and American musicians. During the rehearsals, Carl spoke in German, Spanish, and French. The symphony was founded in 1977 just a year before the Pacific Symphony. We met a violist, Ming Pak, who had actually been a member of the Pacific Symphony in the mid 1990s.”
—John Forsyte (Pacific Symphony’s president, on tour in China with Music Director Carl St.Clair)
“What can one say about the Great Wall that hasn’t already been said? The wall is now believed to be 5,500 miles long. We had an amazing climb with hordes of tourists, but still felt the enormity and majesty of this great world heritage site. Throughout the climb there were souvenir stands. Given the strenuous nature of climbing to these spots it’s impressive that the vendors are up there every day!
Funny, but we were treated to a repeating recording of Lara’s theme from Dr. Zhivago played on the piano as we climbed all the way to the top of the wall. Much of the wall is crumbling and not accessible.”
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