Monday, March 25, 2013

Luciano Chessa & Benjamin Kreith: Garret

Ben Kreith & Luciano Chessa photo IMG_20130323_173728_zpse19211a8.jpgSaturday afternoon composer Luciano Chessa & violinist Ben Kreith give a duo recital at Duende in downtown Oakland. Avant-garde performance art shenanigans alternated with appealing violin pieces ranging from Schumann to Mr. Chessa's own compositions. Both musicians enacted their parts with exactness & a sense of purpose. Mr. Chessa was explosive in his recitation of a Futurist sound poem by Francesco Cangiullo. He pounded on his music stand, imitated singing & bombast, & made words seem like colorful explosions. He was goofy yet sincere in a Fluxus piece by George Maciunas in which he gently abused a violin. At one point he seemed about to eat the instrument. Mr. Kreith played his solos pieces with great familiarity & affection. His playing had bite in the ludicrously brief movements of Erik Satie's Le Piège de Méduse. He wore jingle bells on his right forearm while playing Mr. Chessa's Preludio e Siciliana & maintained a lovely, lilting quality. In Mr. Chessa's pensive & pretty Analfabeta, Mr. Kreith provided a billowy undercurrent as the composer whispered a poem into a bullhorn, triggered sound samples, & played the piano.

The program included 3 improvisations utilizing an electronically amplified dan bau. I had to cover my ears during the most ear-piercing moments of Mr. Chessa's 1st improvisation. Mr. Kreith played the harmonica with unexpected facility in the 2nd improvisation. The recital took place on the upstairs floor of Duende, overlooking the restaurant area. Since the space is open, the music competed with the crash of ice cubes being poured, a coffee grinder, & a screaming toddler. The small but receptive audience gave the event the feel of a private salon.

§ Luciano Chessa & Benjamin Kreith | Garrett
Confusing Salon Music and Noise since 2013

00. Improvisation # 1
Luciano Chessa, Vietnamese Dan Bau, Quijada

01. Erik Satie: Le Piège de Méduse (1913/2012)
Transcribed for Violin and Piano by Luciano Chessa and Benjamin Kreith

02. Benjamin Kreith: O! Never Mind the Moon (2009)
Benjamin Kreith, Violin

03. Improvisation # 2
Luciano Chessa, Vietnamese Dan Bau, Aardvark Synth App, Piano; Benjamin Kreith, Violin, Harmonica

04. Robert Schumann: Intermezzo from the F-A-E Sonata (1853)
Benjamin Kreith, Violin; Luciano Chessa, Piano

05. Francesco Cangiullo: PP. G to N from Piedigrotta (1913)
Recitation by Luciano Chessa

06. Luciano Chessa: Preludio e Siciliana (1987/2013)
Benjamin Kreith, Violin

07. George Maciunas: Solo for Violin (for Sylvano Bussotti) (1962)
Score realized by Luciano Chessa

08. Virgil Thomson: Alice Toklas, portrait No. 3. from Five Ladies (1930)
Benjamin Kreith, Violin; Luciano Chessa, Piano

09. Javier Arias Bal: Filipina para violin a la memoria de Felipa Martin (2009)
Benjamin Kreith, Violin

10. Isaac Albeniz: Tango, No. 2 from the Suite España op. 165 (1890)
Transcribed for Violin and Piano by Fritz Kreisler (1927)

11. Luciano Chessa: Analfabeta (1989)
Transcribed for Violin, Voice, Piano and Aardvark Synth App by Benjamin Kreith and Luciano Chessa (2013)

12. Improvisation # 3
Benjamin Kreith, Violin; Luciano Chessa, Vietnamese Dan Bau

March 23, 2013 @ 4:00pm


Civic Center said...

A perfect description of the concert. May I steal it (with attribution) for my Civic Center blog and simply illustrate it with photos?

Axel Feldheim said...

Michael: I'd be flattered if you'd like to use my finely crafted words to go with your photos. As long as you can include a link back to the original, feel free to steal. I look forward to seeing your pictures!