If you've ever wanted to attend a cello recital in a spaceship, your wish might be granted this weekend, when Chamber Music in Historic Sites presents the excellent Peter Stumpf, principal cellist of the L.A. Philharmonic, performing a program of 20th century masterworks at Silvertop, an architectural landmark that looms over the Silverlake area like the huge, shiny flying saucer dominated Washington in The Day the Earth Stood Still. Designed by the amazing John Lautner, who labored over it from 1957 until 1963, the 7500-square-foot circular home is considered the architect's magnum opus, a modernist masterpiece that Lautner proclaimed his "homage to the curve." The living room wall follows the curve of the hilltop and consists entirely of hanging glass panels that look out onto the magnificent view of hills and ocean. "Real architecture is everything in life," Lautner maintained, in the spirit of his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright. "Free-enduring spaces, heart, soul, spirit ..." You could say the same about music, of course, which is why Silvertop is such an appropriate venue for a concert of works by Witold Lutoslawski, Gyorgy Ligeti and Zoltan Kodaly--three of the most important musical architects of the 20th century.
Sun., Jan. 4, 2 & 4 p.m., 2009