By Rodger Skidmore
Sounds of summer
That’s a good question — what are the sounds of summer? It used to be, up north or in the Midwest, crickets.
This year, while many would say cicadas, others might just say millions of sighs of relief.
Since individual sighs are kind of short and summer, especially in Sarasota, is quite long, something more than mere bugs will be needed. Perhaps music.
Time passes so quickly these days — it’s already July and summer is in full swing. Yes, check your calendar and you’ll see that June is already over.
Uh-oh, the Sarasota Music Festival took place in mid-June, so it seems (to the faint of heart) that we’ve already missed some of the most vibrant, stirring, melodious sounds of this summer.
Not true, not true.
Yes, you’ve missed driving along Tamiami Trail toward Holley Hall and having the pleasure of trying out a couple of our new roundabouts, but don’t worry, you’ve got all summer to experience those joys.
Lots of Sarasotians who did not think of themselves as being endowed with a plethora of technical skills have become experts at streaming events directly into their homes. The first festival concert they (you) missed, but will be able to stream until July 24, features Angelo Yu on violin and Feng Niu on piano. Mozart wrote quite a few violin sonatas — his Sonata No. 18 in G Major was dedicated to Maria Elisabeth, Electress of the Palatinate — and are consequently are known as part of the Palatine Sonatas (lots of things to Google here) and is said to be one of his warmest and most recognizable works. The violin and piano trade places in playing the melody.
Also on the program are Britten’s suite for Piano and Beethoven’s violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major.
The second festival offering is a Jeffery Kahane lecture on the Romantic Revolution which illustrates the connections between its various composers. That lecture is also gone but still available. While Brahma is the Hindu God of creation, Brahms is considered by many in the West to be one of the gods of musical creation. Jeffrey Kahane and Clive Greensmith performed Mr. Brahms’ two cello sonatas. Angie Zahang’s Dedications piano concert starts with Clara Schumann’s Theme of Robert Schumann, and is followed by Caroline Shaw’s Gustave le Gray dedicated to/incorporating parts of Chopin’s A Minor Mazsuka.
Chopin’s own Piano Sonata No. 3, dedicated to one of his pupils, rounds out the bill.
This year’s final festival concert had the Calidore Quartet playing Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor and then Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major (with Jeffrey Kahane on keyboard).
For streaming, visit Sarasotaorchestra.org.
This July is special
Yes, this July has five weekends (here “weekend” is defined as Friday and Saturday night, when you can get out of the house and relax).
And what can you do on one, some, or all of those weekends?
One suggestion is quite laughable: go to McCurdy’s Humor Institute (comedy theatre) downtown on Ringling Boulevard.
The month starts off (July 2 and 3) with Scott Novotny, who does clean observational humor.
Ron Feingold follows (9th and 10th) and does traditional standup comedy with an a cappella twist — actually vocals with music he creates with his own voice.
On the 16th and 17th, Mr. Showtime, aka the Midnight Swinger, entertains with his manic routines.
Pat Godwin comes to town on the 23rd and 24th and turns life’s incidents into song.
And, on the last two days of July, Dale Jones discusses his weird past.
Each member of this panoply of comedians does two shows every night. The Green Room serves food and drinks, and parking is available nearby.
Information is at Mccurdyscomedy.com
Not leap year
Presidential elections take place each leap year and we just had one in 2020. So, while this is not a leap year, July is a leap month, in that there will be a lot of leaping and general jumping about going on.
As leaping is quite an intense activity, it is natural that Sarasota Contemporary Dance will have its “In The Round” performances during its Summer Intensive. The students and choreographers are trying to get as much work done as possible during these few summer months and the results will be a live performance on the 16th showcasing the works of up-and-coming designers of dance.
If you can’t make it on the 16th, not to worry, you will be able to see the same works, step for step, in the convenience of your own home the next evening.
It seems that there is another group in Sarasota that is just as intense as Sarasota Contemporary Dance. It is Sarasota Cuban Ballet.
Summer Intensive sessions seem to be held by dance companies all across the U.S. — a really nice thing.
The students that have gone through the Sarasota Cuban Ballet’s intensive program will be in their on-stage production on July 31.
“Oh, no” you say, “not a student dance recital!”
Well, two things to consider: The first is this program is an international one, so these young almost-professionals are the creme-de-la-creme. In fact, many do get picked to dance in world-class ballet companies.
Which brings up the second reason to attend: There will be guest artists from the Royal Ballet of London. Hot stuff.
Info is at Sarasotacontemporarydance.org and SRQCubanballet.com.