Ensemble champions local talent and new compositional breeds, tempered by tradition
In our 21st-century world, Angelenos are further than ever from the farm, and words like “graft” and “hybrid” may evoke images of cigar-wielding politicos and Toyotas rather than something in the horticultural realm. But given Pacific Serenade‘s long history of nurturing and cultivating home-grown music, a program titled to suggest mixing and melding seems right at home. There is indeed something of the musical geneticist about Mark Carlson, the founder and artistic director who has led this intrepid organization through 26 years, hundreds of performances, and more than 100 commissions. PacSer’s concerts honor the past and embody the now, pairing tradition and newness with integrity and grace rather than the irony (or worse, blatant marketing) too often found in lesser organizations. The result is consistently high quality concerts, a devoted fan base, and a steady stream of meaty premieres.The three concerts that start this weekend begin with the foreboding tones of Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden‘, performed by the string quartet comprised of Roger Wilkie (violin), Miwako Watanabe (violin), David Walther (viola) and David Speltz (cello). They’ll be joined by bass-baritone Michael Dean for selections from Hugo Wolf, followed by a new set of four songs by guitarist/composer Justin Morell. For more information about the songs and their source texts, written by Lucretius (died c. 50 BC), click hereto visit the composer’s blog.