The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on January 12, 1997 · Page 349
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 349

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 12, 1997
Page 349
Start Free Trial

iVc'T'lT.IU M itl'li (n) The David Parsons Dance Company, celebrating its 10th anniversary, presents a modern dance program at Pepperdine University in Malibu on Saturday, then moves to the Irvine Barclay Theatre on Jan. 21. Right: Charissa Barton and Matthew Rodarte. rrrhr V CLASSICAL MUSIC DANCE OPERA The Roots of Opera in Church 'Daniel and the Lions,' a 13th century liturgical drama, returns in a venue that befits its origins. By Stuart Cohn In High Concept terms, you might call it "Early Music Meets Andrew Lloyd Webber." "Daniel and the Lions," one of the most dramatic surviving examples of the liturgical dramas that flourished in medieval Europe, comes to the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles next Saturday afternoon as part of the Da Camera Society's Chamber Music in His-. toric Sites series. The performance by New York's Ensemble for Early Music offers Angelenos a rare opportunity to see a fully staged production of a work that contains the roots of opera and Western drama. This is not the first time "Daniel" has appeared in Los Angeles its most recent performance was at Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena in 1985 but it is the first time that local audiences will be able to see the work staged, as befits its origins, inside a church. Immanuel Presbyterian, on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Berendo Avenue, was matched as closely as possible to the music. Designed by Chancy F. Skilling and H.M. Patterson, Immanuel Presbyterian, which opened for worship in 1929, is, according to Sites director Mary Ann Boni-no, a good example of neo-French Gothic church architecture. Its dramatic almost exaggerated verti-cality, with a 205-foot tower and an 80-foot vaulted sanctuary ceiling, approximates the style of France's Beauvais Cathedral, where the surviving version of "Daniel and the Lions" was transcribed between 1227 and 1234. Still, the operative word is "approximate,'' and that's true not just architecturally; it also applies to the ensemble's general approach to "Daniel and the Lions." Although most early church musical dramas consisted mostly of chant or song, this production contains such theatrical if n ft? 1 " " mi New World Classics THE WRITING ON THE WALL A blindfolded Daniel is miraculously rescued by an angel after being thrown into the lions' den in "Daniel and the Lions." elements as special-effects lighting and a three-person lion puppet and is accompanied by a wide variety of early instruments both familiar (if the shawm and rebec can be considered familiar) and rare (the trombamarina, or "nun's fiddle," a buzzing one-stringed instrument). The ensemble has made something of a specialty of the more stripped-down, "authentic" church dramas. "Our other productions are like moving stained-glass windows," says lutenist and singer Paul Shipper, an longtime ensemble member who plays two roles in "DanieL" "A lot of medieval drama is stark, without much action, and uses emblems instead of costumes." Led by harpsichordist and musicologist Frederick Renz, the Ensemble for Early Music rose from the ashes of New York's Pro Musica Antiqua in 1974. Since then, it has recorded two CDs of medieval dance music and staged such medieval music dramas as "Sponsus: The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins" and "Herod and the Innocents." The group performs regularly at New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art But it has also gone as far afield as Hong Kong, Edinburgh, Athens, Krakow and the Spoleto Festival in Italy. "Daniel" translates particularly well, Shipper says. "It's extremely international in its appeal, maybe because it's aot in the language or the exact culture ofny one country or maybe because it's a realty good show." Please ttiPage 65 i "DANIEL AND THE UONS," the Ensemble for Early Music, Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd. Date: Saturday, 4 pjn. Music News Phil's Retiring Violinist Won't Stop Fiddling By Daniel Cariaga The month was September, the year, 1946. Harold Dicterow, a former first violinist in the San Francisco Syrtl-' phony and recently discharged from the U.S. Army, was auditioning for Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Alfred Wallenstein. Wallenstein offered Dicterow the post of principal second violin. "But, maestro," Dicterow recalls saying, "I've never played second violin in my life. I'm a soloist I've always played first" : Nevertheless, after thinking it over, and considering, as he says now, "that I would move up fast, into the firsts," Dicterow took the job, even though the thought of playing second violin "was repugnant to me." Next Sunday, almost 51 years later, will be Dicterow's final performance with the Philharmonic he is retiring as principal second violin of the Philharmonic after the matinee concert in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. "I wouldn't trade it for anything," Dicterow says of his years in the job he at first didn't want "I've been so happy." What will he do during the first week off, while his colleagues in the orchestra fly off on a tour of Spain? "Well, I'll probably cry a lot," Dicterow jokes, on the phone from his home in Simi Valley. Will he put away the violin? "God, no!" the 77-year-old orchestral musician exclaims. Til never do that They're gonna have to bury the fiddle with me. I love it too much to stop." , , Family and fiddle continue to dominate Dicterow's life. He talks about his two sons Glenn,' concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic and Maurice, a medical doctor who freelances as a violinist and his daughter, a music lover who works in another business. He talks about meeting his wife, pianist Irina, in the mid-1940s, when she was a student of Rosina Lhevinne at the Juilliard School in New York. He talks about their six grandchildren, and the chances the impending retirement will give him and Irina to visit one of them, 7-year old Adam, in New York. What kind of playing will he do fif retirement? "Freelance, which is why I came to L.A. in the first place, all those years ago. Studio work. And lots and lots of chamber music. "What will I be doing a year from now? I have no idea, but I'm sure I will be playing the fiddle." ii. -U- LOS ANGELES TIMES CALENDAR SUNDAY, JANUARY 12, 1997 63

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 18,900+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Los Angeles Times
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free