Monday, November 30, 2015

Concert review: Charlotte Symphony's Fauré's Requiem

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 12:37 PM

The Charlotte Symphony’s most recent concert was designed by music director Christopher Warren-Green to be a seasonally appropriate tribute to the brave men-in-arms who serve and sacrifice for our nation in our military. Between Veterans Day on November 11 and the first of three concerts at Belk Theater on November 19-21, history intruded in Paris and Beirut. So after the orchestra played George Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad Rhapsody and Maurice Ravel’s Mother Goose, maestro Warren-Green returned to the podium and rededicated the final piece of the evening, Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem – and, indeed, the entire program.

Now the 1888 Requiem was dedicated to veterans of our armed forces and to victims of terrorism in Paris, Beirut, and around the globe. While the traditional Latin text isn’t custom-tailored to either group, the setting by Fauré sounded very serendipitous. We’ve had four other requiems presented in Charlotte in recent years, by Mozart, Verdi, Duruflé, and Howells. The Fauré reminded me most of the Duruflé in its calmer moments, most of the Verdi in its moments of turbulence.

Drama resonating with our anger and outrage had to be vented in response to this shocking occasion, and baritone Douglas Williams – along with the Charlotte Symphony Chorus under Kenney Potter – voiced those emotions most compellingly when we reached the “Agnus Dei” section and its climactic “Day of Wrath” stanza. Yet we also needed the consoling serenity of Christina Pier softly singing the “Pie Jesu” in her velvety soprano.

Butterworth certainly wasn’t the only turn-of-the-20th-century British composer to be inspired by the terse stoical beauty of A.E. Housman’s pastoral poetry, but this rhapsody for orchestra had a special twilight radiance under Warren-Green’s baton. The sonority of the full ensemble was poignantly punctuated with a wide palette of succinct solos by clarinetist Eugene Kavadlo, English horn virtusoso Terry Maskin, harpist Andrea Mumm, concertmaster Calin Lupanu, bassoonist Mary Beth Griglak, and bass clarinetist Alan Rosenfeld. Amy Whitehead had the ethereal last word on flute over a soft barrage of timpani from Leonardo Soto.

You wonder whether Warren-Green considered moving Ravel’s charming fantasy suite to the end of the program, just to send us home with a smile. Stealing the scene from the other impish or enchanting episodes was the penultimate “Conversations of Beauty and the Beast.” Kavadlo, Whitehead, Mumm, oboist Hollis Ulaky, and – highest of all – Lupanu all took turns with the beauteous portion of the dialogue. But ‘twas contrabassoonist Lori Tiberio as the Beast who unquestionably conquered the beauties in musical derring-do. Keeping these lighthearted moments in the middle of all the somber moods surrounding it proved to be the right choice.

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Lunch Break (11/30/15): Apodoca to leave state Senate along with Rucho in 2016

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Sen. Tom Apodoca, a Republican out of Hendersonville, announced he will not seek an eighth term this morning, becoming the second powerful Republican in the North Carolina Senate to make that announcement in November. Sen. Bob Rucho of Matthews made the same announcement earlier this month. Apodoca plays an important role in the state Senate as the Senate Rules chairman, deciding which potential laws go to the floor for a vote. (Jim Morrill, Charlotte Observer) 

The former North Carolina resident charged with shooting and killing three people at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado on Friday will appear in court today for a preliminary hearing. Robert Lewis Dear, who once lived in Buncombe County, North Carolina, is charged in the deaths of Jennifer Markovsky and Ke'arre Marcell Stewart, according to the Joint Information Center. University of Colorado police officer Garret Swasey was also killed during the shooting. (TWC News Staff) 

Police are still searching for information about the suspects in what appears to be a random act of violence at an I-85 rest stop over the weekend. Police said Greg McKee was with his family when he stopped at a rest stop near exit 60 and Dale Earnhardt Boulevard in Gastonia. McKee reportedly entered the restroom alone, where he was confronted by two men, at least one of which had a gun. McKee tried to run out of the restroom and was shot in the back, paralyzing him. (Ashlee McGeehan, Fox46) As can be seen below, one of the men was caught on surveillance video. 

According to reporting done by The Charlotte Observer, the city of Charlotte will have to spend another $1 million on light rail expansions that were supposed to be finished by September. The project to expand light rail platforms to be able to cater to three-car Lynx trains, as opposed to the current two-car trains, has run into delays due to problems with the contractors and insufficient resources, which has added $950,000 to the expected cost. (Associated Press) 

Following a drought-stricken summer, Charlotte experienced its wettest November on record following rainfall this morning that will continue to fall throughout the day, putting us well over the previous record of 8.68 inches. The city reportedly passed that bar at about 3 a.m. today and is now approaching 10 inches. (Christine Rapp, WSOC) 

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Today's Top 5: Monday

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Nov. 30, 2015 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Ragtime at Knight Theater

Knocturnal at Snug Harbor

Trivia Night at Summit Coffee

The Monday Night All Stars at Double Door Inn

Find Your Muse Open Mic at Evening Muse

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Today's Top 5: Sunday

Posted By on Sun, Nov 29, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Nov. 29, 2015 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

The Sound of Music at Belk Theater

Almost Famous Comedy Show at The Comedy Zone

Record Store Weekend at Repo Records

Ghost Town, Dangerkids, Palaye Royale, Bad Seed Rising, Sounds Like Harmony at Neighborhood Theatre

Body Worlds at Discovery Place

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Today's Top 5: Saturday

Posted By on Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Nov. 28, 2015 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Bass Church at The Fillmore

• Meet the Author: Daniel de Visé at Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library (University)

Warriors vs. Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena

Su Casa at Petra's

Small Business Saturday in South End

Friday, November 27, 2015

Lunch Break w/ Leftovers (11/27/15): Panthers take care of business on Turkey Day

Posted By on Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 12:06 PM

The Carolina Panthers won the first game ever played by the franchise on Thanksgiving Day yesterday, easily beating the Dallas Cowboys 33-14 and remaining undefeated, now at 11-0 on the season. The Panthers' first two touchdowns came on interceptions brought back by Kurt Coleman and Luke Kuechly, respectively. Later, Cam Newton ran the ball in for another touchdown, celebrating with "The Twist." Some people have complained that Newton's hip-hop dances are too flashy, and at a post-game press conference, he said The Twist is his grandma Hattie's favorite dance. (Fox Sports/Associated Press) 

The Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, based in indian Trail, is currently caring for a large group of birds and other wildlife that were harmed when over 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into Little Sugar Creek near Freedom Park on Wednesday. The spill reportedly came from a broken generator. So far, six ducks and three turtles have died, but that number is expected to grow. It's the fourth chemical spill in Charlotte in 2015, according to CWR staff. The city is paying for the clean-up of Sugar Creek following this most recent spill. (Justin Campbell, TWC News) 

Police have arrested a 24-year-old man and charged him with murder following a shooting in Shelby early this morning. Police in Cleveland County said Christopher Oneal Odoms was shot and killed during a party on Holmes Street at about 1:40 a.m. Following interviews with witnesses, police issued a murder warrant for Wray and took him into custody at 11 a.m. (WBTV Staff)

A South Carolina man got his Thanksgiving off to an interesting start when he stole an ambulance early Thursday morning. According to officials, someone called an ambulance to his home in Ridge Spring in Saluda County at about 12:45 a.m. Thursday when it appeared 26-year-old Richard Gentry Jr. was having a seizure. When paramedics arrived on scene and exited their vehicles to look for the victim, Gentry allegedly hopped in the driver's seat and took off, later crashing the ambulance into his relatives' carport. He was treated and released from the hospital and then charged with grand larceny. (WSOC/Associated Press) 

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Today's Top 5: Friday

Posted By on Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Nov. 27, 2015 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Future at Bojangles' Coliseum

James Gregory at The Comedy Zone

Eliot Bronson at Evening Muse

• Geektopia IV: Retrorama at The Rabbit Hole

• Dark History Walking Tour: Scrooge Edition

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Today's Top 5: Wednesday

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 2:19 PM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Nov. 25, 2015 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

• Circa Survive, Citizens, RX Bandits at The Fillmore

Thanksgiving Eve at Bubble

Trivia at Ed's Tavern

Holidays at the Hall at NASCAR Hall of Fame

The Folk Society Jubilee at Evening Muse

Thanksgiving horror stories from readers

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 1:10 PM

We asked readers to submit their Thanksgiving horror stories to share with the rest of us. As you get ready to cook or eat a big dinner tomorrow, share in these people's pain and humor: 

My nightmare comes in a simple photo, featuring the dog we had just adopted, a lovely turkey, and what happened when we stepped outside for 5 minutes to admire the lights on our home. Don’t worry, we still have the dog and love him very much. He is not trusted alone with a turkey ever again, though...
— Kristy Kelly

My grandmaw had been looking for a Tupperware container of mashed potatoes all throughout the day while cooking Thanksgiving dinner ­— it was nowhere to be found. Later in the day she was prepping the biscuits and when she turned on the oven to pre-heat we realized something wasn’t right. Next thing we know the oven is on fire! Come to find out it was that Tupperware container of mashed potatoes she had been looking for all day that caught fire. My grandpaw said, “What the hell.. Well why were they in there in the first place?”
Candice Andrews

Continue reading »

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Lunch Break (11/25/15): Thanksgiving parade to be an 'extraordinary event'

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 11:30 AM

City manager Ron Carlee has announced that tomorrow's Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade will be an "extraordinary event," which places restrictions on what can be brought within the boundaries of the parade. CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said that recent international terrorist attacks are behind the decision. The "extraordinary event" ordinance was adopted by the city during a time when Occupy Charlotte was active and police expected lots of protests at the Democratic National Convention, among other events, such as shareholder meetings for Duke Energy and Bank of America. There's a long list of items banned during an extraordinary event, and police are also allowed to decide on other items on site. There are about 100,000 people expected to attend the event tomorrow. (Fox46 Staff) 

Police are looking for the man they say shot two people at a north Charlotte restaurant last night while trying to rob it. The man reportedly shot one person in the arm and another in the leg at about 8:30 p.m. at U.S. Fried Chicken on W. Sugar Creek Road in the Derita neighborhood. The victims are expected to recover fully and the suspect did not get away with any money. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. (WBTV Web Staff) 

Police are currently looking for 33-year-old Quavis Clyde, who was identified by a witness as the shooter in a homicide in Cleveland County last night. The witness told police Clyde shot his neighbor, 43-year-old Shawn Borders, during an argument the two were having. Borders was found dead on the scene when police arrived. (WSOC Staff) 

This list, compiled by Karen Sullivan of the Charlotte Observer, shows all the closings of government buildings in the area during the rest of the week. Important note for Mecklenburgers: hit your local ABC Store today if you want to drink through the anxiety of a family get-together tomorrow. 

Protesters marched through the streets of Chicago last night after police released the dash cam video of the October 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer. More than 500 people took part in protests that are expected continue today. In the video, officer Jason Van Dyke can be seen exiting his vehicle and opening fire on McDonald, who was walking down the street away from police, just seconds later. Van Dyke was arrested and charged with murder yesterday just hours before the video was released to the public. The police department's first accounts of the shooting said McDonald was lunging at officers, which is clearly proven wrong on the video. (NBC Chicago) 

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