MALIBU SEEN

SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT

If you still haven’t gotten around to checking out those divine new digs at Disney Hall, here’s your chance. The Los Angeles Master Chorale is getting in tune for its 2004-2005 season. Music Director Grant Gershon will be at the helm for the Chorale’s 41st season with a musical menu that has something for everyone.

The season opens Oct. 3 with organ masterworks by Dvorak, James MacMillan and Morten Lauridsen. For music lovers, it’s a must. At long last, they’ll be able to see and finally hear Frank Gehry’s whimsical and over-the-top concert organ.

In fact, the entire season was designed with the sleek modern marvel in mind.

“The superlative acoustics of Disney Hall have allowed us to program our most dynamically eclectic season to date,” Gershon explains. “For the first time in our history, the chorale has the opportunity to explore an incredibly rich repertoire of music for organ and voices in our own home.” Featured soloists will include pipesters James Buonemani, David Goode and James Walker.

The LAMC will also introduce two world premieres including Steve Reich’s “You Are (Variations),” a techno-rich choral work four years in the making. Another irresistible offering will be the Los Angeles premiere of “Water Passion After Saint Matthew,” a splashy homage to H2O and the rituals that surround it. The production will be christened by Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun. It’s billed as an ever changing symphony of drips, gurgles, splashes, bubbles and crashes emanating from unlikely sources such as soda bottles, Tibetan cymbals, chimes, stones and ancient stringed instruments. One thing’s for sure, it doesn’t sound like your run-of-the-mill musical fare.

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If you’d rather go for Baroque, check out the holiday program, which features Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” with organist Fredrick Swann as the featured soloist.

Voices will unite with longtime favorites like Gabrieli’s “Venetian Motets,” Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and Pachelbel’s “Magnificat in G.” You can also get in the holiday spirit with selections by German composer Praetorius and Hallelujah!-the chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.”

Although the Master Chorale will be doing a fair share of new and experimental music, there’s always room for the tried and true. “For many people, Baroque is what holiday music is all about,” Gershon says. “The great music of Gabrieli, Handel and Bach transport us to a time of joyous season celebration.” So with that, let the celebration begin!

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