Boston Weekly Cultural & Artistic Picks 07/30 – 08/05/2012

Nélida Nassar  07.30.2012


The Pick of the Week:
Boston Chamber Music Celebrates Debussy’s 150th Anniversary

The summer season welcomes a festivals plethora around New England with the musical and artistic scene migrating to the Berkshires, thus leaving the capital cities such as Boston almost culturally barren.  This year, the Boston Chamber Music is filling this gap.  It is focusing its imaginative programming on Debussy 150th anniversary celebration.  A Prix de Rome recipient, Claude Achille Debussy was born on August 22, 1862.  Along with Maurice Ravel, he is considered one of the most prominent figures of the impressionist music movement.  His music is noted for its sensory component and for not often forming around one key or pitch, but composing enigmatic pieces with multiple key changes deftly revealed its complexities. Debussy’s work reflected the activities or turbulence in his own life.  In French literary circles, the style of this period was also known as symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.

For the anniversary’s celebration, the Boston Chamber Music assembled a repertoire of Debussy’s pieces with others from his fellow artists and composers Ernest Guiraud’s recitative orchestration, Maurice Ravel’s orchestral and instrumental effects and textures, Erik Satie’s phonometricity, César Franck’s ultra-Romantic, graceful modulations and expressive work, and Gabriel Fauré’s harmonic structures and coloristic meanings.  Together, they ushered in a new musical age, one shaped by Debussy’s deep and pervasive influence.

But it is Claude-Achille Debussy the father of musical modernism, the visionary that we hope to discover in this celebration. Ever since that languorous flute solo was first heard to create the reverie of a priapic deer in his Prélude à l’aprés-midi d’un faune in 1894, Debussy transformed European musical tradition.  Debussy’s investigations of color, form, texture and feeling ushered modernism without which the vast majority of 20th century music could not have been written.

Among the Debussy’s piano music pieces that the program proposes Reflets dans l’eauLa sénénade interrompue, La fille aux cheveux de lin are not their apparent real-world referents, but they are their own visions of new kinds of musical experience, harmony and time.  Debussy creates intense, mathematical and precise musical images and a new world of feelings not impressions. Let us join in celebrating the explorer and the visionary.

The Boston Chamber Music selected a program that demands a balance of passion and self-directed anger, a blend of wistfulness and contentment.  Debussy remains radical with the barely contained eroticism of his score that come seeping through the beguiling, dreamy surface in his plush, taut and boldly spacious music.

2012 Hamel Summer Series: Debussy’s 150th anniversary will take place every Saturday of the month of August at the Charles Mosesian Theatre at the Arsenal Center for the Arts. 


August 4, 2012
Ernest Guiraud: Romances sans paroles for Cello and Piano
Claude Debussy: Reflets dans l’eau, from Images I
Claude Debussy: La Fille aux cheveux de lin, from Préludes I
Claude Debussy: La Sérénade interrompue, from Préludes I
Claude Debussy: Piano Trio in G major
César Franck : Violin Sonata in A major
Sheryl Staples, violin; Julie Albers, cello; Jon Klibinoff, piano

August 11, 2012
Erik Satie: Choses vues à droite et à gauche, for Violin and Piano
Claude Debussy: Claire de lune
Claude Debussy: Cello Sonata
Erik Satie: Gnossienne, No. 1
Gabriel Fauré: Préludes, Op. 103, Nos. 1 and 2
Gabriel Fauré: Impromptu No. 3 in A-flat major, Op. 34
Gabriel Fauré: Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 45
Steven Copes, violin; Marcus Thompson, viola; Ronald Thomas, cello; 
Randall Hodgkinson, piano

August 18, 2012
Claude Debussy: Violin Sonata
Maurice Ravel: String Quartet in F major
Maurice Ravel: Violin Sonata
Claude Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10
Jennifer Frautschi, violin; Xiao-Dong Wang, violin; Dimitri Murrath, viola;
Ronald Thomas, cello; Mihae Lee, piano

August 25, 2012
Gabriel Fauré: Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 13
Debussy: Ibéria (arr. for Piano Four Hands)
Maurice Ravel : Piano Trio
Harumi Rhodes,violin; Ronald Thomas, cello; Mihae Lee, piano;
Benjamin Hochman, piano


Monday, July 30, 2012 

Friday, August 3, 2012 

Saturday, August 4, 2012    
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Harvard Film Archives
: Paramount Pictures Centennial and
Buñuel in Mexico Tribute Continue

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 to Sunday, August 5, 2012

Museum of Fine Arts
: UCLA Festival of Preservation

Monday, July 30, 2012 to Sunday, August 5, 2012
Kendall Square Cinema

Monday, July 30, 2012 to Sunday, August 5, 2012

Coolidge Corner Theatre

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Goethe Institute at Coolidge Corner Theatre

Monday, July 30, 2012 to Sunday, August 5, 2012
Fenway Regal Theatre

Friday, August 3, 2012
MIT Films


Monday, July 30, 2012
Boston Symphony Orchestra Tanglewood: Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Boston Symphony Orchestra Tanglewood: Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Concert
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Boston Symphony Orchestra: Tanglewood: Gerald Finley
Friday, August 3, 2012
Boston Symphony Orchestra: Tanglewood: Mozart and Ravel
Saturday, August 4, 2012 
Boston Symphony Orchestra: Tanglewood: Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Boston Symphony Orchestra: Tanglewood: Gandolfi, Saint-Saëns and Berlioz

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 
Museum of Fine Arts: Animal Hospital Ensemble

Thursday, August 2, 2012 
Museum of Fine Arts: Patty Larkin

Monday, July 30, 2012 
to Sunday, August 5, 2012
Friday, August 3, 2012 and Sunday August 5, 2012
Berklee College of Music: Summer Festival in the City

Concerts resume on August 19, 2012
Longy School of Music of Bard College

Thursday, August 2, 2012
Institute of Contemporary Art: Harborwalk Sounds: Hamish Napier Band

Friday, August 3, 2012
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Sunday, August 4, 2012

New England Conservatory: Sounds + Shakespeare
The Mark and Glenn Zaleski Quartet sets up tonight’s performance by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company.

Saturday, August 4, 2012
2012 Hamel Summer Series
Charles Mosesin Theatre: Debussy 150
Arsenal Center for the Arts.

No shows this week

Wednesday, August 3, 2012
Boston Landmark Orchestra


Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Institute of Contemporary First Fridays: Brazilian Street Party

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Flamenco Boston: Flamenco and Tapas
Bar Lola


Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Thursday, August 2, 2012

American Repertory Theatre – OBERON: Roller Disco The Musical

Friday, August 3, 2012

American Repertory Theatre – OBERON: Bye Bye Liver: The Boston Drinking Play
American Repertory Theatre – OBERON: AcousticElectronica: Presented by Touch Performance Art

Saturday, August 4, 2012
American Repertory Theatre – OBERON: The Donkey Show

Plays resume September 7, 2012 
Lyric Stage Company of Boston

Plays resume September 14, 2012
Huntington Theatre Company

Plays resume August 14, 2012
BCA Plaza Theatre

No shows this week
Fort Point Theatre Channel

No shows this week
Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston

Originally Published in Berkshire Fine Arts

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