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The video collages, meanwhile, are quite vivid. The moon floats across the stage. The twitching of an eye is magnified to haunting proportions. When faces are caught on film the characters look as lonely and alienated as they feel. Through the lens of the camera, we get the sense of a world in which no one can truly connect with anyone else but everyone is constantly under surveillance. No one is more trapped than Belikov (Baryshnikov), a schoolmaster who prefers rules to people. A professor of Greek, he terrifies his students and puts off his colleagues. He is most content pondering his own uprightness while lying in a rectangular bed draped in white like a tomb. He is a man hopelessly out of sync with his time. As the narrator explains, “By forever praising the past, he was simply trying to justify his horror of reality.”.
Only the hope of love can pierce his veil of rigidity, Barbara (a magnetic Tymberly Canale) turns his life upside down with her free-spirited lifestyle (she rides a bike! she wears pink lace!) and he is tempted to renounce his repression forever, Destiny is also a heartbreaker in “About Love,” in which a man remembers the woman he loved and lost many years before, This time Canale plays a happily married woman who finds herself drawn to the man (Baryshnikov) who has become a trusted family confidante, They fall in love but hide darning pointe shoes their intimacy as they sit side by side at table, their hands smacking together and breaking apart like magnets..
But acoustic chamber ensembles — the meat and potatoes of Bing’s programming — can sound distant in this 800-seat hall. Such was the case Sunday, when the Takács Quartet performed three of Béla Bartók’s six string quartets, Nos. 2, 4 and 6. Even in the hands of this world-class ensemble, which excels at Bartók, the music too often lacked its inherent impact. As an example, when the group leaped into the folk-fueled dance of the Second Quartet’s Allegro movement, the effect was more muffled than slashing. Bing had dampened Bartók.
Well, one always should look for the silver lining, and I suppose it’s true that Bing’s remote acoustic personality forces audiences to listen extra hard, One adjusts, in other words, Bartók began composing the Second Quartet a century ago, in 1914, as World War I broke out, and his music speaks of darning pointe shoes desolation, Performed by Takács, the final movement sounded like slow-motion breathing, or like the world holding its breath, In this strange weightless environment, so flawlessly constructed by the group, violinists Edward Dusinberre and Károly Schranz threaded notes like fragile filaments, stretched to the limit..
The canonical Fourth Quartet, from 1928, came next on Sunday’s Stanford Live program. (On Saturday, Takács had played Bartók’s First, Third and Fifth Quartets; I didn’t attend that first program. The group will repeat the full cycle of six quartets at a pair of recitals presented by Cal Performances in Berkeley March 22-23.). The Fourth Quartet’s archlike form bespeaks its absolute symmetry: Tonalities and textures complement one another to support the five-movement span. Murmurs gradually gathered and gained velocity in the first movement. In the second, played with mutes throughout, Takács corralled the score’s astonishing array of bowed and plucked effects; it was like entering a beehive, a very quiet one, where the bees had been sedated.
In the third movement, cellist András Fejér’s keening rhapsodies were acid-tinged and weirdly unnerving, They ushered in the most sonically vivid moments thus far — subtle music, like a clear transmission from another galaxy, Let’s call it Bartók’s Brain, In 1939, on the eve of World War II, Bartók, 58 years old and living in Budapest, composed the darning pointe shoes Sixth Quartet, Sunday, violist Geraldine Walther sang out the opening lamentation, an expression of the composer’s despair and cynicism as he looked out at Europe, He marked his score with the word “mesto” (“sad”) to indicate the mood of the piece, which grows slower with each movement, receding and receding, The Bible speaks of a “world without end,” Bartók says, “This is the end.”..
LOS ANGELES—Complete list of winners from the 56th annual Grammy Awards announced Sunday during ceremonies at the Nokia Theatre and Staples Center. — Album of the year: “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk. — Record of the year: “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. — Song of the year: “Royals,” Lorde. — New artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. — Pop solo performance: “Royals,” Lorde. — Pop vocal album: “Unorthodox Jukebox,” Bruno Mars.
— Pop/duo group performance: darning pointe shoes “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk with Pharrell and Nile Rodgers, — Rap/sung collaboration: “Holy Grail,” Jay Z with Justin Timberlake, — Rock song: “Cut Me Some Slack,” Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear, — Country album: “Same Trailer Different Park,” Kacey Musgraves, — Traditional pop vocal album: “To Be Loved,” Michael Buble, — Rap performance: “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz..