This year, with many other musical organizations across the continent, the San Diego Symphony has observed the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. But choral director Ruben Valenzuela has chosen 2018 to bring attention to the music of another composer, the Anglo-Canadian Healey Willan, who died 50 years ago, with his Willan West 2018 festival, which ended Saturday, November 17, 2018, with a liturgical celebration at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Hillcrest.
Most people like to travel as a way to take a vacation, relax and escape their worries for a time. However, there are some men and women who go to distant lands in order to challenge themselves in ways that are risky and extremely dangerous.
Continuing the San Diego Symphony’s laudable Leonard Bernstein year-long centennial salute, guest conductor Steven Sloane and the orchestra offered a rousing account of Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety,” Friday, November 16, at the Jacobs Music Center’s Copley Symphony Hall.
Melancholy isn’t an easily defined state, yet its aftereffects are a powerful marker in the affected person’s emotional mix. Playwright Sarah Ruhl thinks it’s also an important component in mental health — and with InnerMission Productions’ very nice ‘Melancholy Play,’ it looks like she has a point.
Wonderfully ambitious, if over-reaching, David Roussève/REALITY’s “Halfway to Dawn” is a sort of dance-biography of jazz great Billy Strayhorn. Celebratory, abandoned dancing to Strayhorn tunes evokes the gaiety of African-American jazz clubs in the 1940s; but this complex piece also conveys an underlying loneliness.
If you are puzzled to learn that the Hausmann Quartet’s November 11 Sunday program at the Maritime Museum of San Diego was planned around the outer space probes of Voyager 1 and 2, launched in 1977, you probably lack the imagination of the four clever Hausmann musicians. But you will discover the relationship of the three composers mentioned in the headline when you read the review.