"NON-ESSENTIAL" - A Musician's View 

A young man, young enough to be my son, 
who lives in the Governor’s mansion, 
a man I believed in, 
at one time… 

has deemed me “non-essential,” 
my service to society 

His edict came down from on high 
and my livelihood was gone 

With a stroke of his powerful pen, 
my security, my future 

He picked and he chose, 
eeny meeny miny mo, 
some to thrive, 
and some to go 

-Susan Winsberg, Flutist

Sixties Rock / Orchestral Collaboration 

 In 2004, The 60's rock group Vanilla Fudge sought a musical collaboration with the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra. The resulting performance is available as both a CD and DVD from numerous sources. To order from amazon.com, go to www.sfvsymphony.com, click on the amazon icon, and search for "When Two Worlds Collide Vanilla Fudge".

Below are excerpts of the reviews of the both the CD and DVD:

CD: "...In 2004 Vanilla Fudge embarked on another ambitious and prestigious project; the live recording of their biggest hits, backed by a full-blown Symphony Orchestra. The San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra was approached because of its reputation for harboring the region’s most outstanding instrumentalists and for performing programs that feature not only the traditional symphonic repertoire, but also adventurous contemporary works. The Orchestra is piloted by Maestro James Domine, a conductor with a powerful drive who is known to both challenge and satisfy the intellect of his demanding audiences. The result; “When Two Worlds Collide”, is another milestone in Vanilla Fudge’s already prestigious list of achievements throughout the lengthy musical career of the band. ..."
(Taken from http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15314)

DVD: "...The performance takes place in what appears to be some type of large rehearsal studio, or perhaps an empty club, with full concert lighting and sound, and a professional camera crew. The band [Vanilla Fudge] is also backed by the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra, which is what spurred the name of the DVD, When Two Worlds Collide.

This is not your standard concert DVD however, as there is no hint of an audience present, other than what appeared to be a few guests standing behind the orchestra. If there were more people, then they certainly were not shown or heard from. The orchestra is also positioned right in front of the stage, with conductor James Domine standing right in front of the band. An unceremonious fade-to-black occurs between each song performance, and this, along with the lack of any audience, gives the DVD a very strange kind of vibe. It almost feels like you are watching one of those old European music television shows from the 70s, where the band performed live in the TV studio. Maybe that is the vibe they were going for. ..."

(Taken from http://blogcritics.org/music/article/music-dvd-review-vanilla-fudge-when/)


Domine Concerto at Last Night's Concert 

Phenomenal performance of Maestro Domine's Violin concerto in G Major played by virtuoso violinist Ruth Bruegger. Ruth's musicality was unceasing throughout the entire three movements of the concerto. The concerto just kept getting better and better each week. It seemed to keep unfolding like a fairy tale as time went on. Ruth's beautiful tone and original musical ideas seemed to never end. I couldn't help smiling stupidly from ear to ear as I heard each movement of the concerto unfold. It felt as if my heart would stop to listen and then start again with each magical phrase. The Romance in the second movement continued to sweep me off my feet as Ruth played that movement like an aria from one of the most beloved Italian operas. Each movement of the concerto has a unique, magical personality. I pictured the ethereal ghost of Violetta in a Zefferelli version of La Traviata during the Romance. But it's not just the Romance that sings like an aria. The entire concerto is an operatic work of art from beginning to end. I can't wait for a recording of this piece to come out. Ruth makes her instrument sing like an angel. Just perfect for Christmas! The concert tonight was a gift from God.

-Roxanna Cordova

Dvorak's New World English Horn Part 

Say, what about that english horn soloist playing the Largo from Dvorak's 9th Symphony at tonite's SFVO rehearsal! What a gorgeous tone. Didn't think it could get better than last week, but it was. Get this: the solo is better than the Herbert Von Karajan recording I heard recently. Just magnificent!

The whole wind section is awsome. As professor Domine stated tonite: "You couldn't ask for better!"

-Roxanna Cordova

Ruth Bruegger interprets Violin Concerto 

I love the Domine Violin Concerto, Professor Domine! Ruth's interpretation is absolutely magnificent. She plays the concerto with such brilliance and breathtaking sweetness. Such a sweet, delicate sound!

When you asked the orchestra to play the third movement like the end of an opera, I had been thinking all along about how much the accompaniment reminds me of Gilbert and Sullivan. Tartini, Viotti, and Sullivan! How amazing is that! Only Domine could make the combination of styles work and Ruth adds all the brilliant toppings on the cake with her interpretation of the Domine Violin Concerto. I'm so happy that you brought the piece back to life after its thirty year nap.

I wish I could see Ruth playing this piece with the orchestra from up close. I am grateful we got to have a preview of the Concerto at the Canoga Bowl on Wednesday night and that we got to hear it during rehearsal tonite. It could be another thirty years before this piece is going to make its way out into the world again. It was a tremendous gift to hear it with the orchestra tonite.

The repertory for the December 1st concert is wonderful. The Domine Violin Concerto in G Major is so unique, so pretty, and comical at times. It is also isn't an easy piece to play, but Ruth makes it sing. She made me smile throughout all three movements with her musical surprises. And there isn't one but TWO cadenzas in the first movement. An Unheard-of Surprise! Domine and Bruegger make an incredible musical team. The San Fernando Valley Symphony is full of incredible musicians. We are so blessed to have them playing for our community.

-Roxanna Cordova

More on Maestro Domine's Music-Updpated 

Oops. I made a boo-boo. It wasn't the Legend of Taliesin that I was listening to in my previous comment. I believe it was the Domine Piano Concerto #3 in A minor. As a matter of fact, it was the third movement of the concerto, the Finale, where (with the inspiration of Maestro Domine and pianist, Roberta Schauer), I placed Cid Charisse as I remembered her in An American in Paris. I have yet to hear (and am looking forward to hearing) the composer's ballet; although the A minor Piano Concerto still reminds me of Tchaikovsky meets Gershwin, meets Samuel Goldwyn. I still got my wish. It's an amazing recording and Roberta Schauer is phenomenal. So far the musicians that i have heard playing Domine's works are a-m-a-z-i-n-g. They have to be. These works are spectacular (for lack of a vocabulary). BTW-- Have you read the excerpts from Domine's, Naked Man? Conspiracies (title of the excerpt), opens with a pristine description of a setting which takes your imagination right to the scene of the crime. (Go to Important Links on the website). It is absolutely hilarious! I love C.J., the classic "30 yr.-old...imbecile [in all of his twisted philosophy and perpetual] arrested state of development," just as the author said we would (Domine, The Naked Man).

-Roxanna Cordova

More on Maestro Domine's Music 

Ok. Here it is. I feel like such an idot! Call me "a psychotropic....." (C.J., Tomahawk); Oh, my Dogue! But if you haven't gone to Professor Domine's website where he lists his compositions and has them available for our enjoyment and musical development, you are losing out! Here I was writing from the perspective of intuition regarding the abundance of characters that are present in his musical compositions (I was thinking about the James Domine, Gothic Symphony #4 in B minor when I wrote my last comment, Hello!). But then I go to the "important links" of the San Fernando Valley Symphony Website, and I find not only all of the composer's works ranging from guitar suites, piano and violin concertos and concertos for viola (and too many others to name here, hence the website!), but I discover a requiem and a ballet that I was hoping he would write! Good Morning America! I imagined the composer writing a ballet in the style of Gershwin even. I got my wish! Here it is!!! You want to imagine an American in Paris and Cid Cherisse dancing to one of our composer's balletic works? Cast her in the Legend of Taliesin! (but listen to his guitar solos first because they are first on the list of compositions and they are just gorgeous! Go to the professor's website and read the composer's synopsis. He will take you through the land of Tolkein and immerse you in a classic cauldron of Dominian humor. I kid you not. Live the fairy tale! Live the dance and let your heart soar! It's all there! A Moral throughout the story. Of course the Maestro is going to have characters gone wild traveling all over his works, musical and literary, both. Classic Dominian Artistry at its best

-Roxanna Cordova

Maestro Domine's Music 

Professor Domine is a prophet in the truest sense of the word. He touches, admonishes, and heals the soul through his eclectic artistry; through his music, poetry, authorship, and works for the stage. Through his expert musical and literary compositions, superb teaching, musical arrangements, comedic and very serious musicianship and personality, he reaches out to the community and takes on the redemptive task of transforming a community which is hungry for something far beyond the mundane. Through his literary works, Prof. Domine invites the conscience to look look at its own reflection in the mirror and ask itself the hard questions about human nature and his place in the world. His music has very real characters speaking to our imagination and reflection. They suddenly appear, play, beckon, become angry and make up, seduce, and hide in the most remarkable and surprising places, always bringing us , their audience, closer to them and ourselves; one another. Like Shakespeare, Tchaikovsky, and the Greek Tragedy, Professor Domine uses music and literary art to accomplish a most difficult task: one which unites all people into one body and one religion in the best sense of the word and imagination.

-Roxanna Cordova

Zaninovich Reviews Concert of March 10, 2012 

DOMINE: Serenata de Jalisco

The Conductor, Maestro James Domine, and the SFVSO gave a very inspired performance on Saturday, March 10, 2012, in their new venue, the Scherr Forum Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civics Art Plaza. The opening folk-based piece was a lively beginning to the music that followed, with Maestro Domine giving it an exciting interpretation!

FERNANDEZ: Holiday Concerto for Horn & Orchestra, Jennifer Bliman, Soloist

The new concerto by Mr. Charles Fernandez obviously inspired the Orchestra and the viruoso soloist. The form, orchestration, and duration of the concerto represented very clearly the intentions of the talented composer! To have Ms. Bliman as horn soloist would be any composer's dream, as evidenced by her virtuoso performance.

HAYDN: Cello Concerto in C major, Daniel Grab, Soloist

The Haydn masterpiece was another high level achievement of this musical evening! The cello virtuoso, Mr. Daniel Grab, presented himself as a new cello star of the 21st century, and we can all look forward to his international cello stardom.

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 1 in C major

Maestro Domine concluded the program with this wonderful symphony. The Orchestra responded to it, as well as to the other pieces, in virtuoso style on this most memorable evening!

"Viva la Musica!"  "Viva Maestro James Domine!"


Sandro Zaninovich

March 22, 2012

And we're off! 

Last night the Orchestra presented its first concert of the season. We were extremely well received by the audience and were impressed by the number of young people in attendance. Our young soloists for the evening were in fine form; if they were at all nervous it didn't show!

It's always amazing how the things that seem to plague us in rehearsal always manage to come together by concert night. The Orchestra's sound is certainly evolving into something very interesting and exciting. We musicians can attest to the strict artistic discipline and musical accountability Maestro Domine imposes on the Orchestra, and that can only be a good thing!

We are not a "professional," full-time orchestra, at least in the sense that we do not rehearse every day or perform multiple times a week. When we do meet to rehearse and perform it feels more like a gathering of friends getting together to have a good time rather than a group of musicians simply doing a job. And yet we still manage to balance that informal vibe with the highest professional standards. That's a nice combination that not every orchestra can boast. This group of friends is very much looking forward to the rest of the season. We hope you are too! 


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