As previously reported in this space, Soka University in Aliso Viejo will unveil the new Soka Performing Arts Center on Sept. 17. The big hall’s acoustics come courtesy of Yasuhisa Toyota, the gentleman responsible for Disney Hall’s wonderful acoustics.
I finally discovered what Carl St.Clair and the Pacific Symphony will perform for the occasion:
A Short Ride in a Fast Machine (John Adams)
Piano Concerto No. 2 (Rachmaninoff, Horacio Gutiérrez, soloist)
Suite from Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev)
Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloe (Ravel)
When I first saw the program, I didn’t like it much. It seemed to me that it failed to rise to the festive occasion, and, what’s more, consisted of quite a few works that are oft-heard.
Upon further rumination, however, I can see this program’s merits, not the least of which being that it will serve as a fair demonstration of the hall’s acoustical merits — with the muscle and brilliance of Prokofiev, the clarity and delicacy of the Ravel, the sumptuousness of the Rachmaninoff, with a soloist to see how that works, and a nice, peppy modern work, not too difficult for the hoi polloi, if that’s the word I want.
It’s a nice gamut, I think, even if I do have to sit through the Rachmaninoff again.