Last is Richard Strauss Ein Heldenleben

By June 11, 2014Uncategorized

Think of it as the house that cabernet built. The Mondavi Center brings the most prestigious personality in California wines together with an upwardly mobile university. The center is also the most important new performing arts facility to open in Northern California since the San Francisco Symphony dedicated Davies Hall in 1980.

But the comparisons to Davies Hall have been a source of anxiety for those associated with the center. After all, Davies Hall initially proved to be an acoustic dud until the hall got a makeover in 1992.

canada goose Besides, the comparison is misleading. Davies is used for symphonic music, but the Mondavi Center is a multi use space. The December lineup features the dance show Urban Tap, the Celtic band Altan, the rock musical Rent, a string quartet concert, a Latino holiday extravaganza and Handel Messiah, all in 11 days. canada goose

So, how is canada goose warranty uk the new hall, with its much ballyhooed adjustable features, panning out? Here a diary of the center first two canada goose vest uk weeks:

September 24

Canada Goose Online The building isn open yet, but the UC Davis Symphony gives the main hall a trial, with acoustic designer Ron McKay on hand. Everyone is a little nervous, and a great deal of money and prestige are riding on the new hall sound. (Later, conductor D. Kern Holoman will recall, first reaction was one of utter relief. My second reaction was amazement, little by little giving way to childish glee. 28 Canada Goose Online

Holoman orchestra plays a concert for construction workers who worked on the hall. The press is barred from the event.

October 3

canada goose coats on sale The inaugural gala occurs, with the San Francisco Symphony and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and with the orchestra shell in place. The gala is a media blitz, with music critics coming up from the Bay Area. canada goose coats on sale

The program is unconventional. First up is a canada goose outlet new piece by Tilson Thomas named Legend, with the orchestra contrabassoonist as soloist. (Typically, a dedication features a famous violinist or pianist.) Next is Bela Bart Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. Last is Richard Strauss Ein Heldenleben, a blockbuster with more than 100 musicians onstage, but not a signature work. But UC Davis wanted Northern California top tier orchestra, and this is the program Tilson Thomas is taking on tour to canada goose parka uk Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. The Mondavi Center publicists suggest it question on everyone mind will be: How did it sound? With permission, I recording a few moments of music from my canada goose langford uk seat in the Orchestra Terrace for a morning after radio story. During the encore Prelude to Act III from Wagner Lohengrin sound, particularly the brass, is so big that I hastily reduce the recording volume.

canada goose black friday sale Tilson Thomas, speaking from the stage, tells the audience that the Mondavi Center is a new instrument. Backstage, he offers further praise. canada goose black friday sale

canada goose coats Around midnight, at Capital Public Radio studios, I transfer my digital recording into the computer. It sounds unbelievably good, especially considering I used a hand held mono microphone from the seats. Producer Paul Conley teases, you sure you didn pull that music from a CD? several days, the assessments come in. The San Francisco Chronicle Steven Winn writes, orchestra sounded clean and transparent, with a slightly dry sound. everyone waiting for Robert Commanday verdict. Commanday is the dean of Bay Area critics, with more than 50 years perspective on music in Northern California. He covered music for the Chronicle for nearly 30 years; musicians pay attention to what he says. But he doesn mince words, and his criticism cuts deep. Commanday calls the conductor for programming his own piece first, and jabs Ein Heldenleben as of [Strauss tone poems, as vulgar a work as anything accepted in the regular repertory. Commanday description of the Mondavi Center is sweetness and light. excellent auditorium ingenious theater design [UC Davis] has really done it, capping its canada goose uk price 50 year transformation from a small ag campus to a major university. UC Davis is now the unquestioned cultural center for the region. canada goose coats

And what about the man who donated $10 million to name the building? Robert Mondavi expresses delight with the hall and also with the sheer volume of publicity that the center and his family name have received.

With the Mondavi name attached to canada goose leeds uk a highly visible structure that will be visited by tens of thousands of people annually, and viewed from the freeway by millions, that recognition will be reinforced for decades to come. Mondavi, whose sense of marketing is perhaps the equal of his skill at winemaking, describes his $10 million gift as of the best investments I ever made. 4

buy canada goose jacket cheap The dedication concert for the main canada goose outlet black friday sale auditorium, Jackson Hall, takes place. The hall is named after Davis resident Barbara Jackson and her late husband a history canada goose black friday deals 2019 professor. Jackson made her $5 million gift in March of 2001, a critical time when the fund drive for the (then unnamed) center appeared to be in danger of running out of gas. At the dedication concert, canada goose factory outlet montreal Jackson, surrounded by family in a box seat, receives a standing ovation. buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose clearance The concert is the audio opposite of the gala. Mezzo Lorraine Hunt Lieberson sings moody, frequently pianissimo material, accompanied with restraint by pianist Robert Tweten. canada goose clearance

cheap canada goose uk There a minor faux pas. The stage crew waits until Hunt Lieberson is onstage before retracting the acoustic draperies overhead. Hunt Lieberson hears the hum and pauses until the noise ends. It only 40 seconds, but that a long time when 1,200 people are watching. Suffice it to say the crew is learning how to make the best moves with the adjustable features. cheap canada goose uk

The concert is an acid test in terms of outside noise. The mezzo pauses repeatedly for dramatic effect, letting the resonance of her voice fade in the upper reaches of the auditorium. But we never hear the nearby freeway, passing trains or aircraft flying overhead. From my seat, I bag a field recording of an encore (the spiritual River and I have no difficulty picking up sufficient sound.

October 5

The Mondavi Center afternoon open house is today. Director Brian McCurdy, a Canadian and proud of it, has a French Canadian band giving a free performance outside, alternating with another group featuring a huge earth harp, and a dance group on ropes that does vertical choreography down the exterior of the building.

Come evening, the French Canadian Cirque Eloize performs in Jackson Hall, with acrobats, contortionists, pole climbers and complex lighting and water effects. The sound is amplified; the sound dampening draperies are deployed. The Cirque Eloize stage crew, accustomed to venues, jacks up the volume too high. Some complain that spoken dialog is distorted.

Canada Goose online McCurdy has Cirque Eloize turn down the sound for Sunday matinee. I in the back row, and everything sounds fine. Canada Goose online

canada goose uk shop October 6 canada goose uk shop

An evening concert with the Alexander String Quartet and UC Davis canada goose outlet in new york pianist Lara Downes dedicates the center Studio Theater, a 200 seat space that also used for rehearsals. The Studio Theater acquits itself well acoustically. It be home to many artistically adventurous events likely to appeal to SN readers.

October 8

The Mondavi Center experiences its first cancellation: Le Ballet National du Senegal. Following a Monday night gig at California State University Humboldt, a vehicle carrying the company costumes and musical instruments runs off the highway near Willits. The dancers are unhurt, but there no way to make it to Davis in time for Tuesday night Mondavi Center date. The Mondavi Center eats about $33,000 in ticket refunds.

October 9

The dancers make it to Davis in time for today student matinee. It a short program; Le Ballet makes a go of it with undamaged costumes and instruments. The 800 odd school kids in the audience are incredibly enthusiastic.

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