Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Saltarelli String Orchestra April Concert

April 26, 2013
Photo of the Orchestra by Sergio Rodriguez

Photo of the Orchestra by Sergio Rodriguez

It has been a while since I’ve written about the Saltarelli String Orchestra. We’re still rehearsing every Monday night and giving concerts the last Monday of most months. The location is the First Mexican Baptist Church in San Antonio at 201 Meredith Drive. Occasionally, due to the way holidays fall, the concert will be a week earlier. For April the concert is on the 29th starting at 7:30. There’s plenty of parking and the concerts are free. You can always check for the concert schedule.

We have some new members and there is renewed energy and enthusiasm within the orchestra. One of our new members has gotten us some great publicity, adding the concerts to online calendars and creating a Facebook page for the orchestra. Be sure to visit and “Like” the Facebook page!

This month one of our selections will be the Capriol Suite by Peter Warlock (pseudonym of Peter Heseltine, 1894 − 1930). Composed in 1926, the suite is based on 16th century dance music. The movements are short and of dramatically contrasting tempos and moods. The stirring final movement is a  sword dance and has some surprising dissonances toward the end.

I hope you can join us for an evening of music Monday night!


SA Symphony 2013 – 2014 Season

March 8, 2013

The San Antonio Symphony has released the concert schedule for the 2013-2014 season. For the last few years I’ve been making an informative map of the works in the classical season. Here is the post for 2012 – 2013. A very successful Brahms Festival just concluded a few weeks ago. A Dvorak Festival is in store for next season. Here’s the new map, click on the image below to see the full size, legible version:

SA Symphony 2013 - 2014

SA Symphony 2013 – 2014

I’ve also created a timeline using the same data, showing the approximate dates the compositions were completed. Click here to view the pdf file.

The data map and timeline were created using Tinderbox software. Each new season I make minor modifications and the software does the work of creating the map based on the data I enter. The addition of a StartDate for each work was all that was required to generate the timeline.

By the way, the dates for the timeline came from either Wikipedia or Naxos Music Library.

Get Ready for the 2012 – 2013 Season!

August 11, 2012

Many arts organizations have announced their 2012 – 2013 schedules. We’re going to have a lot to choose from! I’ve been busy updating with all the events. So far I’ve listed concerts for the San Antonio Symphony classical series, the San Antonio Chamber Music Society, the Mid-Texas Symphony, Olmos Ensemble, Tuesday Musical Club Artists series, Symphony of the Hills, and the Hill Country Chorale. I’m eagerly awaiting the Camerata San Antonio schedule.

Of special interest, the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio is currently selling tickets for their inaugural concert. The concert covers an astounding range of music. As the website states:

The Perennial Contest will explore rarely experienced but engaging pieces that address the continuing debates among music and philosophy enthusiasts: tonality in music and the essence of being. Join us on October 26th for an evening of rich and exciting music that stirs the mind and invigorates the senses!

They’re setting themselves a high standard. I hope the performances can conform to the standard.

2012 – 2013 SA Symphony Map

February 25, 2012

The San Antonio Symphony has released the schedule for the 2012 – 2013 series. The last few years I’ve used Tinderbox software to create an informative map of the works in the series. Click the map to open the larger, legible version:

SA Symphony 2012 – 2013

Andre Rieu at AT&T Arena

September 17, 2011
Andre Rieu

Andre Rieu in Concert

On October 18, 2011 at the AT&T Center a seismic musical event will explode in San Antonio. At least that’s the impression you get from fans of violinist and conductor Andre Rieu. Here is an excerpt from a review of a London concert in April 2011:

The whole place erupted with clapping whistling and shouting. People were on their feet and cameras were clicking. Any worries I had about Andre not getting a rapturous welcome were forgotten. Andre and JSO [Johann Strauss Orchestra] marched waving and smiling down the aisles towards the stage. Everyone knew they were in for a night of pure fun and wonderful music.
Andre looked magnificent and handsome on stage. Blue eyes shining. Wide dazzling smile. The music and applause died down and the audience was eager to hear what Andre had to say. Every ladies heart melted at the sound of his voice.

I’m a little puzzled by the Rieu phenomenon. There is a cult of personality, obviously. Rieu’s wardrobe, hair, and conducting style (conducting while holding or playing his violin) are all deliberate evocations of the 19th century.  The artistry is sufficient for the material, but not exceptional. Rieu tends to turn most everything he plays into a sort of Johann Straussian bonbon. And if the music can’t be so conformed he doesn’t play it.  Australian reviewer Eamonn Kelly  commented on Rieu’s public and private demeanor.

Behind the scenes he is a bespectacled, conservatively dressed, mild-mannered Dutch businessman and a perfectionist with tight control over every aspect of the Rieu industry. On stage, he presents as a carefree spirit in full Strauss attire, overflowing with joie de vivre, spontaneity and playful informality.

The sheer spectacle involved in a Rieu concert can be outlandish. In his Rieu profile for Strings magazine David Templeton notes that Rieu doesn’t like anyone to refer to his concerts as shows. However, doesn’t this sound just a little over-the-top showy?

Perhaps what confused me was the massive, onstage replica of Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Castle, Rieu’s enormous traveling set that measures 410 feet wide, 100 feet deep, and 115 feet high. It comes complete with a pair of real ice rinks and a grand ballroom measuring nearly 900 square feet, all decked out with shimmering golden chandeliers, an authentic hand-painted ceiling, splashing fountains, and 14 carriages pulled by 36 horses.

I’ve loved the music of Johann Strauss II all my life and I really  don’t think it needs that kind of help. All artistic considerations aside, I’m sure the  upcoming concert at the AT&T Center will be a memorable show.

Let another season of great music begin!

September 6, 2011 is updated with the 2011 – 2012 classical music seasons for the following organizations:

  • San Antonio Symphony
  • San Antonio Opera
  • San Antonio Chamber Music Society
  • Olmos Ensemble
  • Mid-Texas Symphony
  • Symphony of the Hills
  • Camerata San Antonio
  • Tuesday Musical Club
  • Hill Country Chorale
  • Youth Orchestra of San Antonio
  • The Arts at Coker (United Methodist Church)

The calendar exists to increase awareness of musical performance in this area. Let me know if I’ve missed any organizations or if any information is inaccurate.


August 30, 2011

Welcome to the new WordPress home of PlinkPlankPlunk! You can click here to see the old blog. Go to the archives at the bottom to review the older posts. My grandmother’s old postcards have always been popular. Check back soon for new posts!