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So the LA Phil 2013-14 season is pretty awesome...

...like, refreshingly great and focused on modern and contemporary music.  You must check out the full season here.  Just a quick tally of the highlights:

  • 13 commissioned works
  • 11 world premieres
  • 4 U.S. premieres
  • 4 West Coast premieres
  • Revival of the Minimalist Jukebox Festival (including a new Death of Klinghoffer)
  • Salonen conducting Zappa

A little bit of commentary on this delightfully present- and forward-looking programming here, here, and here.  It almost makes me wish I lived in Los Angeles.

13 commissioned works, 11 world premieres, four U.S. premieres and four West Coast premieres during the season. Among the world premieres will be Frank Zappa's "200 Motels," a multidisciplinary work featuring 15 soloists, dancers, a rock band and symphony orchestra, and never performed in its entirety. Conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen will lead the performance on the 10th anniversary date, Oct. 23. - See more at: http://www.ocregister.com/entertainment/orchestra-497337-dudamel-new.html#sthash.bsQtHrS9.dpuf

Good Programs: Anna Clyne and Brahms

In an profile with San Francisco Classical Voice long-time Bay Area conductor Alasdair Neale was asked about a program he conducted with the Marin Symphony that paired Brahms' A German Requirem with Anna Clyne's Within Her Arms. Here's the exchange.

SFCV: How do you program your season? You tend to pair warhorses with new works in interesting ways. Your April program features the Brahms Requiem and a 21st-century work, Within Her Arms, by British composer Anna Clyne.

Neale: Musically, the two are separated by 150 years. What they have in common is both works were written in response to the composer’s mother’s death. They have this DNA connection. Both deal with the notion of consolation in the face of grief. Anna Clyne’s piece was written around 2006. It’s for a small string ensemble, so it’s quite different from the Brahms, which is a massive piece for chorus and large orchestra. It’s low-key and understated.

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