Even more fortunate is her willingness to play two works, including the most popular of all guitar concertos, the "Concierto de Aranjuez" by the blind Spaniard Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999). Written to describe the Bourbon palaces in Aranjuez, it received even wider fame through the sensitive interpretation of the haunting middle movement by Miles Davis and Gil Evans in their classic "Sketches of Spain."
Isbin will also play the "Concert de Gaudi" by Christopher Rouse, one of those recent commissions which evokes the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi's surrealistic forms. Peter Maxwell Davies' unique "Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise," gives Isbin a chance to lay out. Two chances for this guitar bonanza: 8 p.m. Saturday at Trinity Church, 22nd and Spruce streets, $25, or 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Swarthmore College's Lang Concert Hall (free-will offering). Info: 215-922-2190.
How funny would "Saturday Night Live" social skits be 100 years later? That's why the staying power of Gilbert and Sullivan's whimsical operettas is so remarkable, considering that many of the barb targets are long forgotten.Sir Arthur Sullivan had mixed feelings, hoping to be remembered more for his serious works, "Onward Christian Soldiers" and "Rock of Ages" than "Here's a How-De-Do."
For those 100 years, the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company has led the way in G&S interpretations, but our own Savoy Company (celebrating their own centenary) and six troupes from as far as New York and Baltimore are keeping the flame lit on this side of the pond. Cynthia Morey directs members from all eight groupsat 8 p.m. Saturday in numbers from "The Mikado," "Pirates of Penzance," H.M.S. Pinafore" and "The Gondoliers." The venue is the Mann Center, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue. Tickets are $20-$35; 215-893-1999.
The Equinox String Quartet demonstrated its eagerness for non-standard repertory on their first CD of the rarely-played Camille Saint-Saens quartets. Three graduate-program composers from Penn give them another chance to retreat from the catalog in a free8 p.m. program Sunday at Curtis Institute's Field Hall, 1726 Locust St. (215-898-6244).
String quartets by David Laganella and Kevin Kelly, plus the violin duet "Escape velocity" by Lona Kozik, make up the concert. The Equinox members are violinist twins Lun and Quan Jiang, violist Ariel Rudiakov and cellist Ann Kim. If Kim's name sounds familiar, it's because she has won two Philadelphia Orchestra competitions and soloed with the Concerto Soloists. Her humbling resume also includes entering the Juilliard School at age 6, perfoming on the Nickelodeon kids show "Pinwheel" and nabbing a Princeton degree in comparative literature along the way. So you think you're busy? *
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