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Classical Pick of the Week: Going Green

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The LA Phil Green Umbrella series commissions and showcases new music each season by well known composers. This Tuesday, the LA Phil concert has FOUR world premieres, and a work by Salonen. If that's too much for you to handle, the LA Phil has a concert this Thursday with Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Leila Josefowicz in Salonen's Violin Concerto, and Ligeti's Clocks and Clouds. Both concerts start at 8 PM.

In classical music news, Ravel expert David Lamaze claims that the French composer Maurice Ravel may have left a hidden message or tribute (a woman's name) in his works. Ravel, a notoriously secretive individual, is said to have inserted the musical motif of "E-B-A" or "Mi-Si-La" in many of his works as a reference to Misia Sert, a former patron and friend of Ravel. She was quite well known; her portrait has been painted by famous artists including Toulouse and Renoir. Ravel composed several works while living on the boat of one of her ex-husband's, but no affair was reported (many people assumed he was homosexual). One of the easiest examples to spot is in Maurice Ravel's La Valse. The beginning of the piece starts with a Viennese Waltz, in which the motif "E-B-A" plays off of A and E (possibly representing Ravel). The clip from youtube shows Boris Berezovsky performing La Valse.