San Francisco’s premier a capella ensemble celebrated the complex and emotionally charged dialogue between the sexes in the Outer Banks Forum concert at First Flight High School Saturday. Godliness bestowed upon women (by men) was extolled in works by Andrea Gabrieli and Eric Whitacre. The bawdiest of Renaissance Madrigals, standards by Cole Porter and Ravel’s dramatic Trois chansons were covered with the otherworldly sounds of the eerily beautiful performance. She Said/He Said featured wide-ranging voices including Hildegard von Bingen, Stacy Garrop and Joni Mitchell. See and hear Chanticleer online at Youtube.
The Outer Banks Forum For the Lively Arts kicked off their 31st season, as it were, with a tour de force return performance from the Richmond Ballet Saturday. The State Ballet of Virginia expertly interpreted the music of Vivaldi, Dvorák, Lowell Liebermann, David Bedford and Roy Powell. More performances from the troupe can be found at their YouTube channel and for more about the Outer Banks Forum visit www.outerbanksforum.org.
That’s right; “cannon” with three “n”s – as in “cannonballs,” not Pachelbel’s musical round. Enthusiastic Associate Conductor Benjamin Rous led the well-oiled orchestra through European and American music that featured martial airs in each half of the program at the First Flight High School Sunday afternoon. The final concert of the Outer Banks Forum’s 30th season began with the Europeans, including Franz von Suppé’s Overture to Light Cavalry and “music that strikes fear into the hearts of bachelors,” Mendelssohn’s Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (not martial, especially, but marital music – difference?) and Brahms’ Hungarian Dances No. 4 and 1. Post-intermission the audience heard the Americans: John Williams’ The Cowboys Overture, Morton Gould’s American Symphonette No. 2 and his arrangement of the African-American spiritual “Deep River.” Martial music after the break was Jay Unger’s beautiful 1982 “Ashokan Farewell,” used in Ken Burns’ The Civil War television series and Peter Wilhousky’s version of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (or “John Brown’s Body” if you will). Keep your eye on outerbanksforum.org for news of next season.
Master guitarists Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo visited the First Flight High School Saturday. Playing amplified acoustic instruments, they owned the audience after their first number, ‘It Might As Well Be Spring,’ when they stopped mid-song to pose comically for a photographer in the audience. The show continued apace, mixing virtuosic musicianship with comedy. The music ranged from ballet, as the pair managed to play Tschaikovsky’s Swan Lake Act One while assuming ballet positions and prancing about the stage, to beautiful jazzy versions of early to modern standards (‘Stardust,’ ‘I Shot the Sheriff’), with special emphasis given to past masters Les Paul (whom Vignola has played with) and Gypsy genius Django Reinhardt … not to mention Frank Zappa. Visit FrankVignola.com, VinnyRaniolo.com and OuterBanksForum.org for more. (Pete Hummers photo)