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Classical Californians: Donato Cabrera

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Stefan Cohen

This week’s Classical Californian is conductor Donato Cabrera, Music and Artistic Director of the California Symphony, based in Walnut Creek. He's also leads the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and for seven seasons was the conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. He’s got selections for us of some of his favorite works by composers William Walton, Beethoven, Lou Harrison, and William Dawson. 

He begins with a piece that he came across while exploring the CDs at the store where he was working: the opening movement of William Walton's Symphony no. 1.

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William Walton: Symphony No. 1, mvt. 1 (André Previn, LSO)

Next, it's the "quintessential" performance of Beethoven's Waldstein Piano Sonata, courtesy of Emil Gilels.

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Beethoven: "Waldstein" Piano Sonata, mvt. 1 (Emil Gilels)

Lou Harrison's Violin Concerto blends the very Western classical instrument of the violin with an Asian-tinged percussion section, in a movement played here with soloist Tim Fain and the PostClassical Ensemble.

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Lou Harrison: Violin Concerto, mvt. 3 (Tim Fain, PostClassical Ensemble)

The final piece is from the second movement of William L. Dawson's Negro Folk Symphony, "Hope in the Night," with the American Symphony Orchestra led by Leopold Stokowski, a champion of the piece.

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William L. Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony, mvt. 2 "Hope in the Night" (Stokowski)

Some final thoughts...

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Published on 04.17.2024