Arts & Events

New: Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach at The Greek Theater

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday August 15, 2014 - 03:46:00 PM

On Tuesday night, August 12, world-renowned artist Yo-Yo Ma played three of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suites for Unaccompanied Cello at The Greek Theater. Until this performance, I had resisted falling under the sway of Yo-Yo Ma. One of the reasons for this was his 1998 recording “Inspired by Bach,” in which Yo-Yo Ma improvised on isolated movements from Bach’s Cello Suites, giving them silly titles such as “Falling down stairs.” Why play fantasy versions of Bach, I asked myself, when there is Bach? -more-

MUSIC REVIEW: The New Esterházy Quartet Plays Mozart’s “Haydn Quartets” at Berkeley’s Hillside Club

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday August 08, 2014 - 11:52:00 AM

Mozart’s string quartets, at least those from the early 1770s to the early 1780s, owe much of their inspiration to the string quartets of Joseph Haydn, whose Opus 17 quartets of 1771 and six Opus 20 “Sun Quartets” of 1772 were models for Mozart’s early string quartets written between 1771 and 1773. However, for nearly ten years between 1773 and 1782 Mozart wrote no further string quartets. It was the publication in 1781 of Haydn’s six Opus 33 quartets that spurred Mozart to take up again the composition of string quartets. Musicologist Alfred Einstein writes, “the impression made by these quartets of Haydn’s was one of the profoundest Mozart experienced in his artistic life.” -more-

THEATER REVIEW: Central Works “Dracula’s Inquest” has a Second Act Worth Staying For

Reviewed by John A. McMullen II
Friday August 08, 2014 - 10:54:00 AM
Joshua Schell as Jonathan Harker

DRACULA’S INQUEST by Gary Graves at Central Works through August 17 is a harrowing 50 minutes with astonishing acting—that’s the second act. If you go, and I do urge you to go, do not leave at intermission no matter how much you want to. -more-