Classical Music Buzz > Robert D. Thomas/Class Act > PREVIEW AND LINKS: Music of Fran...

By Robert D. Thomas
Music Critic
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Louis Langree, conductor; Lise de la Salle, pianist
Ravel: Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess); Saint-Saéns: Piano Concerto No. 2; Beethoven: Symphony No. 2
Saturday, February 26, 8 p.m. • Alex Theatre (Glendale)
Sunday, February 27, 7 p.m. • Royce Hall (UCLA)

Peat-Fire Flame; Colyn Fisher, Violinist, Shauna Pickett- Gordon, Pianist, Scottish dancers
Saturday, February 26, 7:30 p.m. • Pasadena Presbyterian Church
Free Admission (freewill offering)

Music from France and Scotland (with a healthy dose of Germany added) make up the fare for two of this weekend’s concerts.

The French and German music comes courtesy of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra on Saturday and Sunday, when conductor Louis Langree leads the ensemble in Ravel's Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess), Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 and Saint-Saéns' Piano Concerto No. 2 G Minor, with 22-year-old pianist Lise de la Salle as soloist.

Langree is best known as music director of New York City’s Mostly Mozart Festival. I first heard de La Salle when Jorge Mester presented the then-17-year-old in concert with the Pasadena Symphony in 2006. Even then she demonstrated prodigious technique, which she put to good use in Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (a piece she has since recorded). Hearing how she has matured (and she certainly has, to judge by her recent recordings) should be one of the highlights of the evenings, in which de La Salle is making her LACO debut.

The idea that a Presbyterian church would present an evening of Scottish music should come as no surprise considering that the church’s roots trace back to theologian John Knox and others in Scotland. However, what Pasadena Presbyterian Church is offering Saturday night is something novel.

Peat-Fire Flame features traditional Scottish music and new music in the Scottish tradition, Jazzeltic (Jazz-influenced Celtic music), and improvisation. The concert is free (an offering will be taken); afterwards, there will be a “Ceilidh” — soup and desserts with an opportunity to learn and participate in Scottish dancing — for a $5 donation. Oh, by the way, no bagpipes and no Haggish.

(c) Copyright 2011, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.

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