Saturday, March 23, 2013

Some good things are free: Viviane Hagner does Vieuxtemps 5th & Beethoven violin romances

A couple of months ago Viviane (violin) and Nicole (piano) Hagners came to town for a week full of concerts. I looked forward very much to hearing them since I enjoyed my (then only one) CD of them very much. Needless to say the performances were splendid and I went looking for more on Youtube and found this:

A fantastic clip of Viviane Hagner doing the finale of Henri Vieuxtemps' 5th violin concerto with the Lahti Symphony, a Finnish band that I had never heard of that sounded like a million buck. Anyhow, it turns out the whole concert is available for free at until 3 May 2013.

I know she sounds a bit odd at times (especially on high notes... just a tad shy of strident), but there is something very compelling about the way she uses her sounds and impeccable precision (and really fantastic changes of speed) to say something with the music in a very expressive and yet controlled way... It sort of reminds me of Vesselina Kasarova in her bel canto 90's days. I've heard a million renditions of Beethoven's romances for violin and orchestra, but never quite like this... the odd little slip in the middle of the G major romance not withstanding. Such a light and easy but sure touch, very gentle romances indeed!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Where has all the water gone (from Lake Hodges & Loveland Reservoir)???

I mean...
Loveland Reservoir and Lake Hodges. March 2013.
Really, where has all the water gone? I'm amazed we aren't getting warning of water restriction for this summer yet. There is virtually no water under the Lake Hodges pedestrian bridge at the moment!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Guest post: Palomar Mountain State Park volunteer & donation call

Friends of Palomar Letterhead


Boucher Tower
Did you know that Palomar Mountain State Park has a historic working fire lookout tower --- high atop Boucher Summit --- one of the few remaining in southern California?

Ever dreamed of "sitting on top of the world" in a fire tower, enjoying a commanding view --- from the surrounding mountains all the way to the ocean --- while watching over our precious woodlands for forest fires?
Volunteers are urgently needed to staff Boucher Tower during this coming fire season. Each volunteer would only need to commit one day per month to this valuable service.  Training sessions for new volunteers will be on April 6 and 13.  
Anyone interested can contact Curt Waite at Curt is chairman of the San Diego - Riverside Chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA), the non-profit organization that oversees the tower's operation and spearheaded its restoration.
The current tower was built in 1948 (the original version was built in 1921) and was operated as a California Department of Forestry fire detection point until the mid-eighties when it was taken out of service.  Over the years it fell into disrepair until there was danger of it needing to be torn down.  An agreement was signed in November of 2011 between Cal Fire and California State Parks transferring ownership of the structure to the park.  
Palomar from Lookout
Boucher Hill lookout has now been restored to its original 1948 condition through the efforts of Cal Fire, State Parks and the Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA).  The FFLA has restored the interior cab (top floor) of the lookout, and will be putting the lookout back into service as a working fire detection center this fire season in partnership with Palomar Mountain State Park and the Cleveland National Forest.  (FFLA also operates High Point lookout on the east side of Palomar.)
For details about volunteering as a lookout, please contact Curt Waite at

This month we submitted a proposal to Sacramento to receive matching funds for Palomar Mountain State Park. The matching funds are to come out of a portion of the money discovered in the Department of Parks and Recreation's coffers last summer, and their intended use must meet certain criteria. Because we have a pre-existing donor agreement with State Parks to keep Palomar open, our application will entail an amendment to our original agreement.
We will notify you when we have finalized our revised agreement with State Parks. This will also allow us to establish a target for our 2013 Fund Drive, which we have postponed pending the results of this matching fund opportunity.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Rick Barclay at 951-265-6385 or email Rick directly at

Thank you!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wild things...

There's a trade off to just about everything in life, I'm afraid. For the convenience of living in the city, I have to ride 30+ miles over at least a mountain to get to see some wild animals...

Whereas Pam Aus in Alaska doesn't even have to get out of her house to spot some really cool beasts!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Classical Music, Opera, Performance Arts in San Diego, CA (March - April 2013)

1, 2, 3: Downtown - Copley Hall: San Diego Symphony - Dvorak's 5th symphony & Shostakovich's violin concerto with Jahja Ling & Karen Gomyo.
2: Downtown - Balboa Theater: Academy of St Martin in the Field - Britten, Haydn, Bach.
8, 9, 10: Downtown - Spreckels Theater: San Diego City Ballet presents Giselle.
9: La Jolla - MCASD Sherwood Auditorium: La Jolla Music Society presents Tafelmusik. Music of Handel, JS Bach, Sweelinck, Vivaldi, Purcell, Marais, Telemann.
10: La Jolla - Torrey Pines Christian Church: San Diego Master Chorale - Vernal Spectrum.
10: Costa Mesa - Segerstrom Center for the Arts: Dennis James recreates live organ accompaniment to classic film The Phantom of the Opera.
*14: Chula Vista - Chula Vista Middle School: San Diego Youth Symphony Prepatory Ensemble Concert. Free admission.
15, 16, 17: Downtown - Copley Hall: San Diego Symphony - Jahja Ling & Jessie Chang play Poulenc's Concerto for Two Pianos. Also Bach's D major orchestral suite & Schumann's 4th symphony.
16: Downtown - Civic Theater: San Diego Opera presents Cruza la Cara de la Luna, a mariachi opera by Jose 'Pepe' Martinez. Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, Brian Shircliffe, Brittany Wheeler, Octavio Moreno, Cecilia Duarte.
22, 23: Downtown - Copley Hall: San Diego Symphony - Kenny G: Heart & Soul.
29: Downtown - Copley Hall: New Orleans Jazz Orchestra with Irwin Mayfield.
30: Downtown - Civic Theater: San Diego Opera presents Pizzetti's Murder in the Cathedral. Donato Renzetti conducts Ferrucio Furlanetto, Allan Glassman, Susan Neves, Helene Schneidermann.

2, 5, 7: Downtown - Civic Theater: San Diego Opera presents Pizzetti's Murder in the Cathedral. Donato Renzetti conducts Ferrucio Furlanetto, Allan Glassman, Susan Neves, Helene Schneidermann.
6: La Jolla - MCASD Sherwood Auditorium: La Jolla Music Society presents Alison Balsom & Scottish Ensemble.
8: Torrey Pines - Auditorium TSRI: Chamber Music - Kyoko Takezawa plays Tchaikovsky & Dohnanyi.
9, 10: Downtown - Copley Hall: LJMS present Alvin Ailey American Dance Company.
12, 13, 14: Downtown - Copley Hall: San Diego Symphony - Brahms violin concerto & Schubert's 5th symphony with Kyoko Takezawa.
14: Torrey Pines - Auditorium TSRI: LJMS presents Juho Pohjonen
19, 20: Downtown - Copley Hall: The 5 Browns.
20: College - College Ave Baptist Church: San Diego Master Chorale - Grant Us Peace.
20: Downtown - Balboa Theater: LJMS presents Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Ma Maison.
20, 23, 26, 28: Downtown - Civic Theater: San Diego Opera presents Verdi's Aida. Danielle Callegari conducts Latonia Moore, Jill Grove, Walter Fraccaro, Mark S Doss.
21: Downtown - Copley Hall: San Diego Symphony Musical Celebration. Ken David Masur conducts music for special occasions.
26: La Jolla - MCASD Sherwood Auditorium: LJMS presents Kirill Gerstein (piano).