Hills Oratorio Society
in a while there is a perfect match between work and venue.
Albany’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception once hosted
a Albany Symphony Orchestra performance of Beethoven’s stirring
Symphony No. 9 that soared to the building’s gothic
rafters. This Saturday night, the Cathedral will welcome
the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society (and soloists and orchestra),
who will present Brahms’ equally profound Ein Deutsches
no other composer in the history of music began thinking
about a requiem as early in life as Brahms.” So wrote musical
historian and critic Kurt Pahlen. No surprise here. For
various reasons of temperament and tragic circumstance,
Johannes Brahms (the gruff fellow with the beard, pictured)
was not an overly cheerful man. But he transformed his various
personal sorrows—romantic, professional and family-oriented—into
a work of great power and consolation, a work that, in the
words of critic Troy Peters, “may be the most comforting,
humane requiem ever written.”
The Burnt Hills Oratorio Society, with soloists and orchestra,
will perform Brahms’ Requiem on Saturday (May 8)
at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Madison Avenue
and Eagle Street, Albany). Tickets are $25. For more information,
right, we know the focus of the Tulip Festival (aka Pinksterfest)
is supposed to be the flowers—those beautiful tulips that
lure the suburbanites to Albany’s Washington Park and reconnect
the city, sort of, with its Dutch heritage. But this year,
we’re fascinated by the new amphibious service, Albany Aqua
Ducks. If you haven’t seen the amphibious vehicle tooling
around town yet, it’s a white truck-boat, brightly decorated
with images of perky yellow ducks. Normally it operates
from the Albany Visitor’s Center—near the river, logically
enough—but for the Tulip Fest, you can board at the corner
of Madison and New Scotland avenues, by the park, for your
aquatic adventure. You can buy tickets there or at the Aqua
Ducks ticket tent, which will be located near the Moses
Of course, there will be plenty of the usual fun in the
park: vendors, music and the pageantry surrounding the Tulip
Saturday’s musical headliner (at 4:15 PM) will be Delbert
McClinton, whose rough-edged-but-still-classy Texas boogie
has won him a loyal following for three decades. Also on
Saturday will be equally interesting red-hot-mama Marcia
Ball, along with Cliff Street, Bluz House Rockers, Tar Beach
and Jerkwater Ruckus. On Sunday, the toplined act (at 4:15
PM) will be Brazilian musical legend Sergio Mendes (pictured).
Blurring the lines between bossa nova, jazz and pop, Mendes
created some of the most indelible hits of the ’60s with
“Pretty World,” and cool-as-a-summer-breeze covers of “Night
and Day” and “Fool on the Hill.” Also on Sunday: Monkey
Gone Mad, Georgie Wonders Orchestra, New York Voices, Sean
Rowe and Rob Beaulieu & Raisinhead.
If you want to see the Dutch-themed kickoff to all this
fun, the Tulip Queen contestants will be scrubbing State
Street (at Lodge Street, downtown) tomorrow (Friday, May
7) at noon.
The Tulip Festival will be held in Washington Park (Albany),
this Saturday (May 8) and Sunday (May 9) from 11 AM-6 PM
each day. For more information, visit www.albanyevents.org.
really not what you think it is. Really, it’s not.
She’s actually exhaling into that thing. It’s called
a long tube.
The long tube is a homemade electroacoustic instrument that
composer Brenda Hutchinson uses to extend her vocal techniques.
“I find power and beauty in ordinary expression, and in
everyday sounds,” says Hutchinson. She gathers much of her
inspiration from her own experiences “as a woman in the
field of electronic music, performance, composition and
sound art. Women have a very strong voice,” she continues,
“and we need to turn up the volume.”
Hutchinson certainly plans to turn up the volume this evening.
For tonight’s show, she will perform a series of improvisational
pieces on the long tube, then collaborate with several local
pianists to perform her piece, “How Do You Get to Carnegie
Hall?” in a presentation that’s being promoted as a “soundtrack
for a warm spring evening in the Capital Region.” Here’s
hoping they’re on the mark with that “warm” thing.
This show also marks the end of the Spring season of the
Impulse Response concert series at the Arts Center of the
Capital Region. In case you’ve been trapped in a well or
buried under rubble for the last few years, Impulse Response
is a Troy-based group dedicated to fostering the performance
of eclectic electronic and otherwise unclassifiable music.
They’ve brought some of the country’s most talented and
accomplished performers to the area in its four years, including
Hutchinson and her tube, of course.
Brenda Hutchinson will perform at the Arts Center of the
Capital Region (265 River St., Troy) tonight (Thursday,
May 6). Tickets for the 8 PM show are $5 general admission,
$3 for students and seniors. For more information, call
the Arts Center at 273-0552.