|TREES AT THE HUNTINGTON,|
I GOT TO GO BACK LATER IN THE WEEK
TO HEAR THE CLARINET QUINTETS.
This week's arts and culture column begins like this:
The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) has been proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” (Public Radio International), “LA’s most unintimidating chamber music experience” (Los Angeles Magazine), “resplendent” (Los Angeles Times) and “one of the world’s great chamber orchestras” (KUSC Classical FM).
The 2017-18 season marks LACO’s 50th anniversary. Its new “In Focus” series aims “to provide insights into the chamber music repertoire through the lens of LACO artists in an intimate setting.”
Curated by Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, LACO artists will serve as “musical tour guides” through the pieces, and NPR’s Renée Montagne will lead a short post-concert discussion.
In April, the series will highlight two sublime chamber works: Mozart’s “Quintet in A Major for Clarinet and Strings” (1789) and Brahms’ “Clarinet Quintet in B Minor” (1891). A clarinet quintet is a work composed for one clarinet and a string quartet.
The concerts will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at The Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, and at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at the Moss Theater in Santa Monica.
Both will feature Joshua Ranz, principal clarinet of LACO and also of the New West Symphony.
Raised in New York, Ranz and his wife, the oboist Lelie Resnick, met while both were playing for the Honolulu Symphony.
They moved to LA in 1999. Since then, Ranz has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times for his “stunning artistry.” He performs regularly with the LA Philharmonic and has recorded more than 100 soundtracks for leading Hollywood composers.
Preparing for our interview, I did a little research. The clarinet is said to have been invented around 1700 by German instrument maker J.C. Denner, I learned. It was based on the “chalumeau,” a Renaissance shepherd’s instrument with a range of but a single octave.
But what really fascinated me was the fact that Ranz is married to an oboist. So straightaway after getting him on the phone I asked, “So is there a certain personality attached to certain instruments?”
“I’d say oboists — I do think my wife is an exception — can tend to be a bit uptight, and with good reason,” he said. “Oboists are obsessed with finding the right reed. We clarinet players, with a single-reed instrument as opposed to their two, are just partially obsessed.”
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.