Vanessa

About Vanessa Dinning

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So far Vanessa Dinning has created 165 blog entries.

REVIEW:
Takács Quartet underplays early Beethoven, but hits the right notes in late quartet

San Diego Union-Tribune
Christian Hertzog
December 10, 2016

Takács Quartet underplays early Beethoven, but hits the right notes in late quartet

“Beethoven’s birthday is Dec. 16, but he had an early celebration Friday evening at Sherwood Auditorium. There the Takács Quartet presented an all-Beethoven program as the opening concert of the La Jolla Music Society’s Revelle Chamber Music Series.

Beethoven wrote 16 string quartets, every one is a masterpiece. The Takács Quartet chose one piece from each of the three periods usually assigned to his output.

Beethoven’s “String Quartet in A Major, Opus 18, No. 5” is from his early period, emulating the Viennese Classical style of Haydn and Mozart. Many string quartets treat the first movement as a rollicking yet lilting dance, but the Takács Quartet was more understated. Every note was in place, played perfectly, with little exaggeration.”

 

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REVIEW:
Takács Quartet underplays early Beethoven, but hits the right notes in late quartet
2016-12-12T10:42:11+00:00

REVIEW:
Pianist Hélène Grimaud’s Astonishing Artistry

SanDiegotory.com
Ken Herman
December 2, 2016

Pianist Hélène Grimaud’s Astonishing Artistry

“Of budding young piano virtuosos there is surely no shortage. The number of promising performers who understand how to program creatively, however, remains distressingly small. Hélène Grimaud’s stunning Thursday (Dec. 1) recital for the La Jolla Music Society could easily serve as a master class in insightful programming.

Her recital’s lengthy first half offered eight shorter works by different composers all related to the theme of water. Performed with minimal breaks and no applause between each work, Grimaud took us on an engaging journey, fueled by her astounding technique and daring musical insight. From recent composers such as Luciano Berio and Toru Takemitsu to the expected Impressionists Debussy and Ravel to Isaac Albéniz and Leo? Janá?ek, Grimaud exalted in their stylistic contrasts and invited her listeners to discover unexpected connections.”

 

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REVIEW:
Pianist Hélène Grimaud’s Astonishing Artistry
2016-12-05T09:59:24+00:00

ARTICLE:
Fierce, Musically Driven Twyla Tharp Dance Comes to Spreckels

SanDiegoStory.com
Kris Eitland
October 20, 2016

Fierce, Musically Driven Twyla Tharp Dance Comes to Spreckels

“Twyla Tharp fans are in for a tantalizing night, as she sends a fierce band of dancers to the Spreckels Theatre Oct. 22, as part of her 50th Anniversary Tour.

“We are fierce because she is so versatile and has done it all,” says Ron Todorowski who has danced with Twyla Tharp Dance since 2002. “All of my experience with her is beneficial, because she knows how to tell a story without speaking. She’s the most disciplined artist I know.

“Twyla gets up before the sun and works six days a week. If you show up for rehearsal on time, you’re late.””

 

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ARTICLE:
Fierce, Musically Driven Twyla Tharp Dance Comes to Spreckels
2016-10-20T11:18:34+00:00

ARTICLE:
Twyla Tharp reflects on 50-year career and looks ahead to future

San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
October 20, 2016

Twyla Tharp reflects on 50-year career and looks ahead to future

“Twyla Tharp last year celebrated her 50th anniversary as an award-winning choreographer. She is a tireless force in a world of dance that she has indelibly impacted, both as a performer and deft architect of movement.

During that time, she has choreographed more than 160 works, collaborated with everyone from Mikhail Baryshnikov to David Byrne of Talking Heads, and won a Tony Award and two Emmy Awards. She also has received 19 honorary doctorates, as well as a 2004 National Medal of the Arts and a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor.

How, then, does this 75-year-old legend regard her formidable body of work?

Tharp, an Indiana native who moved to the San Bernardino area when she was 8, laughed.

“I don’t! I just don’t,” she said, speaking from her New York dance studio. ”

 

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ARTICLE:
Twyla Tharp reflects on 50-year career and looks ahead to future
2016-10-20T11:16:30+00:00

REVIEW:
Maisky meets Bach’s cello challenge with aplomb

San Diego Jewish World
Eileen Wingard
August 26, 2016

Maisky meets Bach’s cello challenge with aplomb

“LA JOLLA, California — Mischa Maisky’s cello was crafted by Domenico Montagnana in Venice, in 1720, the same year that Bach composed his six solo cello suites in Anhalt-Coethen. During two consecutive evenings at Sherwood Hall, as part of Summerfest, sponsored by the La Jolla Music Society, Latvian-born cellist, Maisky, showcased all six suites.

These are among the most challenging works in the cello repertoire. Bach incorporates chords and contrapuntal writing for the melodic instrument, as if he wanted to stretch its capacity and turn it into a harmonic instrument like the organ, for which Bach wrote extensively, while employed as a church organist and choir director. As Kappelmeister of the orchestra of Prince Leopold’s court in Anhalt-Coethen, the Baroque composer began writing more secular music for orchestral instruments. In these six suites and in the solo sonatas and partitas for violin, he seems to want to expand the stringed instruments’ chordal capacity.”

 

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REVIEW:
Maisky meets Bach’s cello challenge with aplomb
2016-08-30T10:36:39+00:00

REVIEW:
Violinist Shaham makes SummerFest finale magic

San Diego Union-Tribune
Christian Hertzog
August 27, 2016

Violinist Shaham makes SummerFest finale magic
Auditorium adds acoustic finesse to Music Society’s last event at venue

“When Gil Shaham and Cho-Liang Lin play in the last desks of the first violins, that’s a special orchestra.

When Shaham takes a chair in the very last stand after astonishing the audience with a glorious account of Prokofiev’s “Violin Concerto No. 2”? Well, that’s SummerFest.

Friday’s concert was the finale to the 30th edition of SummerFest, as well as the final performance in Sherwood Auditorium. Come 2018, the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, a few blocks over on Fay Avenue, will host La Jolla Music Society events.

The only things music fans might miss about Sherwood are the ocean views outside and the modern art by masters inside. The acoustics there can drain the life out of a string orchestra.

For once, though, Sherwood’s dry venue enhanced an orchestral work. Prokofiev’s use of instruments was untraditional — heavy on winds (especially clarinets) and brass, coupled with unusual textures and doublings in the string section.

Timbres that would be softened in a symphony hall popped out. Bass pizzicati sounded like tuned drums. Flute and clarinet solos stood out in distinct relief from the strings. Muted trumpets had more edge, low horns more sharpness.”

 

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REVIEW:
Violinist Shaham makes SummerFest finale magic
2016-08-29T10:32:03+00:00

REVIEW:
Shaham Shines in Prokofiev Concerto for SummerFest Grand Finale

SanDiegoStory.com
Ken Herman
August 28, 2016

Shaham Shines in Prokofiev Concerto for SummerFest Grand Finale

“In accord with the longstanding La Jolla SummerFest tradition, Friday’s (August 26) grand finale performance featured a chamber orchestra, conducted this season by James Conlon with violinist Gil Shaham as soloist. Sadly, the orchestra’s lukewarm traversal of Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major that opened the program hardly matched the high spirits of the festival’s sold-out Sherwood Auditorium audience.

Those who champion this youthful Schubert symphony praise its plethora of melodic invention and naïve charm, but I find it structurally simplistic and tedious. Conlon chose bold tempos for the faster movements, and his direction displayed laudable attention to detail, but the orchestra’s response sounded more dutiful than enthusiastic. Not surprisingly, their ensemble seldom locked in to provide that bright, well-tuned finish that makes works from the Classical era shimmer.

After intermission, it only took one melting, gorgeous opening solo phrase from Gil Shaham in Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor to change that picture entirely. Completed in 1935, when Prokofiev was at the pinnacle of his artistic development and just before he returned to the Soviet Union and succumbed to Stalin’s banal musical restrictions, this mighty concerto unfolds a rich, dense web of thematic development.”

 

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REVIEW:
Shaham Shines in Prokofiev Concerto for SummerFest Grand Finale
2016-08-29T10:21:38+00:00

REVIEW:
The Passionate Chamber Music of Liszt and Tchaikovsky

SanDiegoStory.com
Ken Herman
August 25, 2016

The Passionate Chamber Music of Liszt and Tchaikovsky

“Pianist Marc-André Hamelin, featured in Wednesday’s (August 24) La Jolla SummerFest concert, is no stranger to San Diego audiences. In January of this year, he gave winning accounts of piano concertos by Ravel and Gershwin with the San Diego Symphony, and this marked his third visit to La Jolla, by my counting. Not surprisingly, Sherwood Auditorium was filled, and I sensed an air of anticipation for this program, which presented Hamelin in three roles: composer, piano soloist, and ensemble pianist.”

 

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REVIEW:
The Passionate Chamber Music of Liszt and Tchaikovsky
2016-08-26T10:24:21+00:00

REVIEW:
Hamelin honored with heroic embrace at SummerFest

San Diego Union-Tribune
Christian Hertzog
August 25, 2016

Hamelin honored with heroic embrace at SummerFest
Pianist joins cellist Mischa Maisky and violinist Paul Huang for ‘a spectacular performance’ of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Piano Trio’

“If you love the music of Alkan or Godowsky, you’re probably a fan of pianist Marc-André Hamelin.

Don’t recognize those composers? You’re not alone. Their piano music is so devilishly difficult that only the rare virtuoso tackles it.

Hamelin is that Superpianoman. No scale is too quick, no fingering too contorted, no counterpoint too dense to deter him. His colossal performances of Alkan and Godowsky have probably done more than any other pianist today to resurrect their music.”

 

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REVIEW:
Hamelin honored with heroic embrace at SummerFest
2016-08-26T10:22:57+00:00

ARTICLE & VIDEO:
Enjoy “The Star Spangled Banner” as performed on a 300-year-old violin

Cut 4 at NLB.com
Gemma Kaneko
August 23, 2016

Enjoy “The Star Spangled Banner” as performed on a 300-year-old violin

“he U.S. national anthem has enjoyed many different renditions over its 200-plus years of its existence, performed by Whitney Houston, Taylor Swift and Andrew McCutchen’s mom alike. But perhaps no version has been as relaxing as Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin’s — the music director of La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest and a world-renowned violinist. His instrument of choice? The “Titian” Stradivarius, made in 1715.

Lin, who also founded the Taipei International Music Festival, played the Star Spangled Banner before Monday’s Cubs-Padres game, which Chicago won, 5-1. Watch and enjoy by clicking play on the video above. ”

 

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ARTICLE & VIDEO:
Enjoy “The Star Spangled Banner” as performed on a 300-year-old violin
2016-08-24T11:17:14+00:00