I've been playing The Beatles: Rock Band nearly nonstop since it came out last week and have never been more pleased with technology in my life. Sometimes, though, it's good to get back to our pre-fake-guitar-playing-avatar roots and enjoy the works of an earlier, non-electric era. Sure, sexism and racism and classism and disease were rampant, but the music was nice.
Chamber Music Albuquerque ushers in its 69th season with the Brazilian Guitar Quartet on Sunday, Sept. 20, at Albuquerque Academy's Simms Center (6400 Wyoming NE). No, the quartet will not play "Free Bird,” but it will play plenty of classical works. The concert begins at 3 p.m. Ticket prices range from $26 to $44; call 268-1990 or go to cma-abq.org for more information.
The Albuquerque Baroque Players begins its 2009-2010 season, titled “Fantasy and Fugue,” with performances on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Fellowship Christian Reformed Church (4800 Indian School NE) and Sunday, Sept. 20, at 3 p.m. at the San Ysidro Church in Corrales (5015 Corrales Road). The players, four women who specialize in 17th and 18th century music, will be performing pieces from Bach, Abel, Couperin and others I hope to know more about once a major motion picture starring Ewan McGregor as Georg Philipp Telemann comes out (fingers crossed). Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors and $7 for students and can be reserved through albuquerquebaroqueplayers.com or by calling 255-7089.
What you can't go see, however, is the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, or at least, not any of its official concerts. The NMSO has failed to come to an agreement with the musicians' union, meaning the season is, at the very least, postponed. According to a press release issued by the NMSO, the orchestra's management is seeking to hammer out a pay deal that "reflects our current economic realities." The NMSO Players' Association says it’s been asked to cut musician salaries to pre-1992 levels, and that it cannot agree to such a reduction. The association points to the orchestra's failures in fundraising for the current situation. The Players' Association, without approval from the NMSO, played two concerts this past weekend, one of which was free. There's no easy solution on the horizon, but I desperately hope we don't lose out on what the NMSO offers. Good luck to all.