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Banjos, Mandolins, Voices And a Lot of Good Jokes

The Music Scene
darrylg@lakevillejournal.com

I’ve been a fan of Stephen Lynch’s brand of musical comedy since his first Comedy Central Presents special aired in 2000. If you’ve never seen it, Lynch uses an acoustic guitar and his impressive voice to sing about superheroes such as Immigration Dude, and to tell his little girl “why mommy’s not here anymore” through a lullaby. (Disclaimer: Even though I just mentioned superheroes and lullabies, Lynch’s humor is not for children or people who are easily offended.)

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A Closer Look at Brahms

The Music Scene

Legend has it that Brahms spent many years of his early composing life intimidated by Beethoven’s specter. He was unable to compose a symphony for decades because of what the master had accomplished with his nine — none more monumental than the Ninth Symphony itself, with its “Ode to Joy” finale.

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Blues, Battles and Halloween

The Music Scene

A rare treat at the Mahaiwe tonight: blues guitarist and singer Keb’ Mo’ (formerly Kevin Moore) performs with his band. Mo’ performs around the world solo, as well as with his band, and has sung with Bonnie Raitt and other greats. He has won three Grammies for Best Contemporary Blues Album and has written and performed music for the cable TV series “Memphis Beat.”
The concert starts tonight (Thursday, Oct. 18) at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $55 to $75. Call 413-528-0100 or go to www.mahaiwe.org.

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CEWM Opens With Music for Four Hands

The Music Scene

Close Encounters With Music kicks off its 2012-2013 season next weekend with a highly anticipated concert of piano for four hands by the Russian duo Natalia Lavrova and Vassily Primakov.
Lavrova has won multiple international piano competitions, while Primakov was named Young Artist of the Year in 2007 by the Classical Recording Foundation.

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Bolcom and Brahms At Dewey Hall

The Music Scene

We’ve heard folk music at Dewey Hall in Sheffield, MA, but this weekend brings a change of pace with a classical concert featuring the violin-piano duo American Double, that is Philip Ficsor on violin and Constantine Finehouse on piano.
The pair has had a long fascination and association with the music of American original William Bolcom, and frequently collaborates with the composer. Ficsor and Finehouse recorded Bolcom’s music in 2007 in a CD titled “The Bolcom Project,” and have toured nationally to promote his music.

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Creating Expectations

The Music Scene

One of the oldest chamber music series in America, South Mountain Concerts, will present the world premiere of a new composition this weekend in Pittsfield, MA, sandwiched between two classic quartets.
Located in a historic barn built expressly for chamber music, South Mountain Concerts was founded in 1918 by the philanthropist and music lover Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. The hall seats 400.
The chamber series picks up roughly where Music Mountain and Norfolk leave off, running on Sundays through September to the first weekend in October. Two concerts remain.

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Adventurous Music in Kent

The Music Scene

The “Music in the Nave” series at St. Andrew’s Church in Kent returns next weekend with a piano recital by Russell Hirshfield.
On the program are pieces by Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Scriabin and Piet Swerts.

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They’re Back, HD Opera Broadcasts

The Music Scene

Tickets have gone on sale for the 2012-2013 season of the Metropolitan Opera HD broadcasts.
It’s time to look ahead.
Donizetti’s comic opera “L’Elisir d’Amore” (The Elixir of Love) opens the season in a new production Oct. 13. The stellar cast features the alluring Russian soprano Anna Netrebko as Adina, who has captured the heart of Nemorino (Matthew Polenzani). Its best-known aria, sung by the tenor (Nemorino) is the plaintive “Una furtiva lagrima” (A furtive tear).

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Love’s Labours Found

The Music Scene

It’s still five months to Valentine’s Day, but words of love — pastoral and mischievous, spiritual and ethereal — will fill the air at Music Mountain Friday evening.
Les Inegales returns for its second engagement on the mountain, with a delightful program of early and high Baroque pieces celebrating love in its many guises.
The program is titled “Corydon, the Lonely Shepherd: Concert with Baroque Music – On Love Human and Divine.” The reference is to an ancient stock character of the lovelorn shepherd, Corydon (much like the harlequin or other traditional figures).

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Folk Gems Nearby

The Music Scene

Woody Guthrie, the iconic American folk singer, has a center named after him, and it’s right here in Great Barrington, MA. The Guthrie Center’s mission is to bring individuals together for cultural, educational and spiritual exchange. 
Part of that mission is delivered through the Center’s Troubadour Series. This summer it has featured Maria Muldaur, Tom Paxton and Christine Lavin, veteran folk greats all.
If you’ve missed them, you still have another chance to hear a folk gem this weekend, Lucy Kaplansky. 

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