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Ojai Festival:
Ojai Festival Report 1979

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 37 min
Event Type: Music Program Origin: KPFA

Charles Amirkhanian reviews the 1979 Ojai Festival, held on May 18-20 of that year, and produced by composer and conductor, Lukas Foss, and concert impresario, William Malloch. The Festival, which was held in the bucolic setting of Ojai, California, situated 30 minutes inland from Ventura, began with a night of live music accompaniment for a number of silent films, including a rare showing of Dudley Murphy’s and Fernand Léger’s “Ballet Méchanique” accompanied by George Antheil’s score. The second day featured a collaboration between a group of Indian musicians led by Ravi Shankar and a group of Japanese musicians performing on traditional instruments. This performance perfectly blended the sound of the sitar and koto in a concert that was billed as East Greets East. Later that day Foss played a number of Bach keyboard concertos while also conducting the orchestra with his left hand, with additional choral interludes provided by the California Boys Choir. Other highlights include Foss’s reworking of Salamone Rossi’s music, and Haydn’s Symphony No. 60. Charles Amirkhanian got a chance to interview Lukas Foss in his car as the busy conductor was rushing home to get his tuxedo, during which Foss described his recent work and his memories of George Antheil. Also included is a clip of Foss being interviewed by Dick Cavett, in which he offers his opinions about twelve tone and aleatoric music. The program concludes with a rehearsal in which Foss directs the audience in singing the participatory chorus parts of Bertolt Brecht’s and Paul Hindemith’s “Lehrstück”.

Musical Selections:  Salomon Rossi Suite [excerpts] (1975) / Lukas Foss -- Lehrstück [excerpts, text by Bertolt Brecht] (1929) / Paul Hindemith
Performers:  Ojai Festival Orchestra (Solomon)
Lukas Foss, conductor (all selections)
Firesign Theater: (Lehrstück)
Phil Austin (Lehrstück)
Peter Bergman (Lehrstück)
David Ossman (Lehrstück)
Philip Proctor (Lehrstück)
Werner Klemperer, narrator (Lehrstück)
Genres:  20th Century Classical; Orchestral Music
Subject:  Malloch, William F.; Shankar, Ravi, 1920-; Murphy, Dudley, 1897-; Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955; Antheil, George, 1900-1959; Haydn, Joseph, 1732-1809; 20th century classical; Orchestral music; Suites (Orchestra) ; Music theater; Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices) with orchestra; Participatory art
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Foss, Lukas, 1922-; Rossi, Salamone, 1570?-ca. 1630; Hindemith, Paul, 1895-1963; Brecht, Bertolt, 1898-1956; Austin, Phil; Bergman, Peter; Ossman, David; Proctor, Philip; Klemperer, Werner; Cavett, Dick
Recording Date:  5/20/1979
First Broadcast Date:  6/4/1979
 
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