Our two local big bands and their music directors will compete in the same space with performances of Bruckner symphonies over the next couple of weeks. Segerstrom Concert Hall (part of the recently rechristened Segerstrom Center for the Arts, formerly the Orange County Performing Arts Center) is the site of the battle.
First, Carl St.Clair and his Pacificers will perform Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony (Feb. 24-26). These concerts are part of the orchestra’s “Music Unwound” series (think “Beyond the Score” or “Keeping Score”), in which listeners are given a multidimensional look into the work. The present program, written and produced by music historian Joseph Horowitz, features a pair of actors, visuals, the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey singing Gregorian chant (by candlelight) and the Grammy winning organist Paul Jacobs (performing excerpts from the Ninth), in addition to a complete performance of the work by the orchestra.
Then, on March 5, the Los Angeles Philharmonic makes its annual journey Behind the Orange Curtain, this time with Gustavo Dudamel joining them for a performance of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony. It will be the first time we’ll hear the maestro in Bruckner. Also on the program are Takemitsu’s Requiem for Strings and Webern’s Five Pieces for Orchestra.
If that’s not enough late Romantic Germanic collosalism for you, Semyon Bychkov and the Vienna Philharmonic weigh in with Mahler’s Sixth Symphony on March 3. Leave your tapping toes at home.