Archive for June, 2012

Alba – Day 12 + 13

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Day 12

Saturday means market day in Alba. Nearly one hundred small booths and tents line the streets selling everything from clothing to cookware. I decided to use this opportunity to seek out a pair of Italian style clothes (as I did the same thing while I was in China, three years ago) After an extensive search, I did find what I was looking for. About ninety percent of the market is geared toward women, so it was fairly difficult to find men’s clothing, but I did nevertheless. At 3pm we met at Chiesa di San Giuseppe to hear ‘Music Master’ Sylvano Bussotti speak. The lecture proved very trying for the 81 year old man as his thoughts seemed to constantly stray and overlap. Questions were left unanswered and instead replied with an unrelated story. It was hard to tell if the gentleman was simply too old to be ‘all there’ or if he was actually thinking on a level so far above us that he was hard to understand. In any case, the early evening concert was a ‘young artist’s lab’ featuring performances by many of the students from St. Mary’s College as well as Earlham College. Gounod’s Petite Symphony and a piece by Dvorak led nicely into the evening concert, which opened with ‘Phrase a trois’ by Sylvano Bussotti (a piece for string trio) followed by two Vaughn Williams pieces featuring the Romanian State Philharmonic Orchestra and St. Mary’s Chamber singers. It was an amazingly beautiful concert, to say the least.

Day 13

There was a morning concert at Chiesa di San Giuseppe this morning, featuring solo violin and piano. Pieces by Grieg, Svendson, Prokofiev, and Kreisler were played. The performance could have been better, but also left us all with the vibe that this older violinist was once a much better performer. The early evening concert featured another student concert playing a few Klezmer tunes and pieces by Albrechtsberger, Beethoven, Mozart, and Copland. Immediately following was the evening concert with the Romanian State Philharmonic Orchestra playing pieces by Italian composers Sinigaglia and Colonna as well as Dvorak’s amazing eighth symphony. It was a great performance to wrap up an amazing festival with amazing performers from around the world.

Day 11

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Today, I awoke to prep for the normal meeting at La Brasilera. I decided to take a video of the walk from our hotel room to the café for pure memory sake. The nice ten minute walk through the main street of town to ‘The Flagship’ would serve for a nice reminder of the town itself. At the composition lecture, Giacomo Platini played a couple of his pieces that definitely had a stronger ‘20th century’ vibe about them. He also discussed his fascination with computer music and synthesized effects in recording. The afternoon concert today was a compilation of guest composer’s pieces. Gibson, McKinley and Farmer were on the docket as well as a John Adams piece. All were pieces for solo violin with piano accompaniment. Later, the evening concert featured our first orchestra pieces. Put on by the Romanian State Philharmonic Orchestra, the repertoire included Shostakovich, Chachaturian, Adashi, Bloch, and Prokofiev.

Day 10

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Today, we had the usual morning trend of meeting at the flagship and traveling to the cafeteria for lunch. After lunch, we had our composition lecture today with Judah Adashi. We got to hear a beautiful solo marimba piece as well as his orchestra piece which is to be performed later in the week. Both were amazing works followed by some keen tips and insight into his process. Later, I went shopping with a few people from St. Mary’s College and bought a local brand of strawberry jam for my grandmother. I wanted to buy a pair of clothes for myself, but when the store we went to was showing prices on shirts around 70 Euros AT THE CHEAPEST, we bailed on that whole idea. The afternoon concert was put on by the Trio des Alpes performing two lengthier pieces by Dvorak and Ravel. After dinner at Duchessa (a pizza place in town), we attended the evening concert featuring the WienerKammer Symphony Ensemble performing Mozart, Haydn, and Schubert. The usual thunderous applause called for two encore performances.