Rogovoy Report 12/10/21
The cultural highlights for our region this weekend include chamber music, orchestral music, smooth jazz, improvisation … plus a whole lot more.
“32 Sounds,” an immersive “live cinema” documentary that explores the elemental phenomenon of sound, by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Green, takes place on Saturday at 8pm at MASS MoCA in North Adams. The film weaves together 32 audio experiences, crafting a cinematic poem that is a meditation on the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception of the world around us. “32 Sounds” features original music by JD Samson, performed live.
The Close Encounters With Music chamber series presents “The Roaring Twenties: Berlin, Paris, New York” a panorama of composers and styles that defined and shaped an era, on Sunday at 4pm at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington. In a performance that evokes the twenties of the last century — a time exemplified by Art Deco, Prohibition, the loosening of social restraints, Jazz, the Charleston and flappers – the audience will be treated to works by Gershwin, Kurt Weill, Alexander Zemlinsky, Hanns Eisler, Cole Porter, Poulenc, Schoenberg, and Erwin Schulhoff. The program, featuring mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson, will also re-introduce an important but often neglected group of diverse composers whose works were suppressed during the Nazi era, along with those whose voices were silenced altogether, and places them and their works in context within 20th century music. That’s Sunday at 4 at the Mahaiwe.
On Sunday at 3pm, violinist Yevgeny Kutik will play works by Shostakovich, Penderecki, Andrew Clearfield and others, as part of the Tanglewood Learning Institute’s Recital Series at the Linde Center for Music and Learning at Tanglewood in Lenox. Accompanying Kutik are pianist Anna Polonsky and double bassist Edwin Barker.
On Saturday and Sunday at the Fisher Center, Bard College’s musical forces combine for a holiday-season classic, Handel’s Messiah. Leon Botstein leads The Orchestra Now, soloists from the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program, the Bard Festival Chorale, and the Bard College Chamber Singers in a performance of one of the most popular oratorios of all time.
Woodstock native Lindsey Webster, a smooth-jazz vocalist who has six Top 10 hits to her credit, celebrates the release of her fifth, full-length studio album, A Woman Like Me, at the Falcon in Marlboro, N.Y., on Saturday at 7pm.
The Creative Music Studio presents “Operatic Orchestra,” an improvisational experimental performance featuring male soprano JU-EH and vocalist Ingrid Sertso, at Applehead Recording in Saugerties, N.Y., on Saturday at 7pm. Solo instrumentalists include percussionist Cyro Baptista, Bob Dylan bassist and bandleader Tony Garnier, guitarist Wendy Eisenberg, and conductor/pianist Billy Martin of Medeski Martin and Wood.
The Elephant in the Room, an autobiographical musical from writer/ actor/ musician Melanie Greenberg, continues its run at the Apple Tree Inn in Lenox this weekend. Greenberg’s one-woman musical recounts the tale of a nice Jewish girl who goes on a psychedelic odyssey though Pentecostal churches, psych wards, the Ivy League, and 12-step meetings, in brutally honest and often hilarious detail, while paying tribute to the show tunes that helped Greenberg survive the whole ordeal.
Irving Berlin's White Christmas The Musical continues its run at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield with four performances this weekend, tonight through Sunday. And My Witch: The Margaret Hamilton Stories, about the actress who has scared generations of children and adults alike in her role as the Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz," concludes its run at Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill this weekend, with performances tonight through Sunday.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com