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Lagniappe

 
THE

Defender Picks

 

LUNDI

September 22nd

Luke Winslow King
d.b.a., 7p.m.

Young singer-songwriter with an old soul

 

New Orleans Civic Symphony Fall Concert
UNO Recital Hall, 7:30-9:30p.m.

Performing music by Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Schumann

 

Alexis & the Samurai
Chickie Wah Wah, 8p.m.

Indie folk duo perform every Monday

 

Bluegrass Pickin’ Party
Hi-Ho Lounge, 8p.m.
Bring an instrument and join in (free)

 

Real Estate, Regal Degal
One Eyed Jacks, 9p.m.
Dreamy, kitschy pop vibes from New Jersey ($18)

 

Glen David Andrews
d.b.a., 10p.m.
The Tremé Prince brings his trombone to Frenchman

 

King James & the Special Men
BJ's Lounge, 10p.m.

Weekly gig in the Bywater for downtown rhythm and blues

MARDI

September 22nd

Crescent City Farmers Market
Broadway Street, 9a.m.-1p.m.

Uptown edition of the city's prime local market

 

Michael Rubin: The Cottoncrest Curse
Octavia Books, 6p.m.
Author’s new mystery, set on a Louisiana plantation

 

Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns
Spotted Cat, 6.p.m.

Jazz singer with a vintage twist

 

Peter Abadie: Green in Judgement Cold in Blood
Garden District Books, 6-7:30p.m.
Abadie’s latest is about the motivations of assassins 

 

Stanton Moore Trio
Snug Harbor, 10p.m.

Moore, Singleton, and Torkanowsky play Frenchmen on Tuesdays in September ($15)

MERCREDI

September 24th

6x6: Six 10-Minute Plays
Midcity Theatre, 7:30p.m.

A staged reading perfect for short attention spans

 

Kelcy Mae
BEATnik, 8p.m.

NOLA songwriter combines folk, Americana, bluegrass, and pop

 

Walter “Wolfman” Washington
d.b.a., 10 p.m.
Fiery blues on Frenchmen every week

 

Felice Brothers
Tipitina’s, 10p.m.

New York-based folk rock band, plus Spirit Family Reunion ($15)

 

Horse Thief
Circle Bar, 10p.m.

Psychedelic folk rock on tour from Oklahoma City ($5)

JEUDI

September 25th

Jazz in the Park
Armstrong Park, 4-8p.m.

This week ft. Russell Batiste and Friends, Wild Tchoupitoulas Mardi Gras Indians, Mike Soulman Baptiste

 

Ogden After Hours
Ogden Museum, 6-8p.m.

This week ft. Tim Laughlin and The New Orleans Review launch party

 

Emery Van Hook Sonnier: “Food as Medicine”
New Orleans Athletic Club, 7p.m.
Associate Director of famers’ market org discusses merits of eating local

 

A Lie of the Mind
Midcity Theatre, 7:30p.m.
Sam Shepard’s award-winning play looks deep into families’ anguish ($20)

 

The Geraniums
Circle Bar, 10p.m.
Moody local rock foursome ($5)

 

Rue Fiya
Maison, 10p.m.
Feel-good music with influence “from Afro-Funk to Zydeco”

 

Big Freedia, Partners N Crime, 5th Ward Weebie
Tipitina’s, 10p.m.
Bounce all-stars celebrate Q93's DJ Ro’s Birthday


The Surprise Soloist

LPO Still Buzzing From Dazzling, Last-Minute Concerto By One of Their Own



When a world-renowned soloist fell ill, the Louisiana Philharmonic called on one of their own. Elizabeth Gross talks to orchestra members about Christopher Pell's heroic weekend.

 

Anticipation for Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Eroica” concert on Thurs., Feb. 21, ran high. Beethoven’s “Eroica” is a favorite of many, and opportunities to hear world-class clarinetists like Jose Franch-Ballester don’t come often.

 

The concert began with American composer Michael Torke’s “Ash”, which created a bridge between Beethoven’s grand themes and Copland’s quintessentially American style. The piece was exciting to hear, relying on insistent repetitions in a rhythm that is just a little unsettling—as if the whole thing is spinning at an angle.

 

After applause came, there was an unexpected announcement from Maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto: the orchestra would take the intermission early because the featured guest soloist, clarinetist Franch-Ballester, was ill (and possibly unable to perform). With that, the lights came up on a concerned, disoriented audience. By the end of the intermission, rumors were circulating about what would happen next.

 

When Prieto addressed the audience again, he was excited. He announced that the LPO’s own principal clarinet, Christopher Pell, had volunteered to perform Copland’s Clarinet Concerto with the orchestra. Pell, who is only 21 and is still completing his undergraduate degree at Julliard, had already enchanted the LPO audience this season with memorable solos from his chair. But performing a 17-minute concerto alone in front of the orchestra was an entirely different task. Prieto stressed that the orchestra had not rehearsed this piece with Pell.

 

Violist Matt Carrington shared what went through his mind during the “emergency intermission” between Prieto’s two announcements. Like others in the orchestra and the audience, Carrington had a crazy thought: Pell could play this. Besides the soloist, there’s no clarinet part in the Copland. Even though Carrington’s gut feeling was that Pell could do it, when he saw Pell preparing backstage he thought, “Holy crap this is actually happening.”

 

Pell took the stage looking a little pale, and in the silence before the piece began it seemed the whole hall held its breath. And then, the haunting melody that opens the first movement lifted into the air. Pell’s performance was magical and moving. The intensity of the audience’s attention (and the orchestra’s) during his virtuosic cadenza in the second movement was unlike anything this writer has been a part of in a lifetime of symphony-going. The orchestra (or, rather, the rest of the orchestra) sounded great, too. Prieto’s conducting was responsive and kept everyone together throughout—both in the delicate conversation between clarinet and strings in the moody first movement and in the bright, jazzy third movement.

 

The audience response was immediate—a leaping ovation, complete with the kind of hooting and hollering usually reserved for sporting events. But what made the concert so special was the response Pell got from the rest of the orchestra, who also leapt to their feet for Pell’s first bow, then stamped their feet on the stage during his subsequent bows. Maestro Prieto gave Pell a warm hug, and showed his own triumph by raising both fists in the air as he bounded offstage.

 

 “It’s every orchestral musician’s dream to sort of step up and save the day and be in the limelight—and music-making captures the feeling of music when it can be so spontaneous and impromptu," Carrington said.

 

Copland originally wrote his Clarinet Concerto for jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman, a famous improviser. Through his beautiful interpretation and through the incredible circumstances, Pell’s unplanned performance brought that improvisational spirit to life. 

 

After a brief pause, Pell attempted a discreet return to his seat in the woodwind section, but was interrupted by more applause. He still had to play the “Eroica”! Prieto took Pell’s extraordinary example as an opportunity to remind the audience of the high caliber of musicianship in the LPO as a whole.

 

The timing for Beethoven’s triumphant third symphony couldn’t have been more appropriate. Though I doubt anyone was thinking of Napoleon Bonaparte that night, one could certainly make an argument for the values of egalité and fraternité. The LPO’s performance of “Eroica” captured perfectly the democratic ideals that inspired Beethoven, and are also present in the LPO organization itself as the nation’s only full time orchestra that is self-owned and self-managed. 

 

Pell stepping in at the last minute was nothing short of revolutionary in the world of professional orchestras.

 

“I have never seen this circumstance in my 40 years of professional playing, and it underscores the importance of live music. You never know what magic can happen," said Annie Cohen, a cellist and founding member of the LPO.

 

After the concert, the first question for the orchestra was “Who’s going to take Chris out to celebrate?” Violists Katie and Matt Carrington happily rose to the occasion. But before they headed out, Katie had to ask, “Wait—is he old enough?” (he is).

 

Pell performed Copland’s Clarinet Concerto again Friday night in Covington, as the guest soloist was still violently ill in his hotel. Friday night’s concert was also enthusiastically received.

 

Prieto has announced on the LPO’s website www.lpomusic.com that he will match all donations to the orchestra until March 31st of this year, inspired by Pell’s performance to ensure the LPO is able to continue to attract such extraordinary musicians.

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Contributors:

Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Staff Writers

Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson

Listings Editor

Anna Gaca

Art Listings

Cheryl Castjohn

Photographers

Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Film Critic

Jason Raymond

Puzzler

Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.

Editor Emeritus



Stephen Babcock