August 8, 2016
Pianist, Nadia Shpachenko
I've lived in southern California for six years now and even though I love classical music, I haven't attended a recital once since moving here. Somehow I thought living 50 miles from the heart of LA was still an "acceptable distance" and I'd drive there for events if I wanted to. Turns out I never wanted to that badly. I've lived in The Valley and all the way down in Orange County, but two weeks ago I moved into a small apartment in West LA, appropriately hipster with cement floors and a gorgeous view of a liquor store and freeway. This year I've decided to really take advantage of all the art, music and food I've missed living outside the sprawl.
The LACMA holds concerts and recitals, free and open to the public, every Sunday. Now that I no longer need to suffer through a 2 hour commute to get to the museum, I decided I'd check it out. Their concerts are streamed live on their podcast, and I could hear the host as he introduced each piece. I was the live studio audience.
The program was well thought out. Each contemporary composition was inspired by a famous Romantic composer. She would play through the original inspiration and seamlessly lead into the new. The performance was sensibly titled, "Quotations and Homages". I'm terrible at the piano, so I would never attempt to review her technique, but she was expressive and returned the appreciation to her audience's multiple standing ovations.
My favorite was "Igor to Please", and not just for the title. The piece was composed by Tom Flaherty and inspired by Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring". Written for piano and electronics, it was chaotic and really fun to listen to. Since this was a solo recital, the other instruments were played as a recording. I'd love to hear this one live :) You can listen to the podcast below or on their website. Enjoy!