Chamber music concert – Times-Standard


The Chamber Players of the Redwoods will perform chamber music at Arcata Lutheran Church, 151 E. 16th St., on January 30 at 2 p.m.

The concert will feature works by Hindemith, Beethoven, Gounod and others, and ensembles will include a brass quintet, wind nonet and viola/piano duo.

The event is free with a suggested donation. Organizers are urging spectators to wear face masks and bring proof of vaccination.

The program will feature a wide range of textures and instrumental styles that will be familiar to some, but new to others. For example, the North Coast Brass Ensemble will perform a classic quintet that has become a staple among brass enthusiasts, but not well known to the average viewer. Howard Cable’s piece ‘A Newfoundland Sketch’ was composed in 1978 for the Canadian Brass and is loosely based on the well-known American folk tune ‘Sweet Betsy from Pike’.

Cable, who died in 2016 at the age of 95, was a bandleader, composer, arranger and television producer. The Canadian Brass calls him “the Mozart of Canada”.

Cable will be followed by another piece for brass, with musicians serving up a five-movement jazzy suite written last year by Zachary Smith of Virginia. Smith says triangles and groups of three played a part in formulating the work, explaining why he named it “Trigonometry.”

A trumpeter who plays Dixieland jazz, Smith has North Shore ties with his 2012 Humboldt Brass Chamber Music Workshop win for his brass trio.

Members of the North Coast Brass Ensemble include Tom Hyde and Chris Cox, trumpet; Ronite Gluck, horn; Dan Aldag, trombone; and Fred Tempas, tuba.

The concert will then move on to something completely different, with violist Sherry McHurd Hanson performing three pieces with pianist Jennifer Heidmann. Works include Beethoven’s Romance in F op. 50, Hindemith’s Trauermusik and a Toccata by Glenn C. Jones.

Although Beethoven played the viola, he did not compose any solo music for this instrument. Thus, Joseph Vieland, a virtuoso violist playing with the Chicago Symphony, arranged Beethoven’s Romances in the 1950s, legitimizing the practice of performing these works on the viola.

“Trauermusik” (funeral music) by Paul Hindemith is a product of 1936 and dedicated to the memory of King George V. It was composed in one day, performed the same evening and broadcast on the BBC. Just two days later, the composer and violist premiered his own viola concerto in London. The work is in four short movements and contains several musical quotations from Bach, Mahler and Hindemith himself.

The last on the program will be a wind nonet by Frenchman Charles Gounod (1818-1893) entitled “La Petite Symphonie”. Written at the request of Paul Taffanel, flute professor at the Paris Conservatory and director of the Société de musique pour instruments à vent, it was premiered in Paris in April 1885. Written for a flute, the oboes, clarinets, horns and bassoons are all paired.

The first movement is a slow introduction followed by an Allegretto in sonata form. The second movement has the flute part added. The following scherzo is based on a hunting theme, with a lively finale in the fourth movement to end the symphony.

The musicians in this piece include Gary Lewis, flute; Virginia Ryder and Susan Sisk, oboe; Gwen Gastineau-Ayoob and Kenneth Ayoob, clarinets; Don Bicknell and Anwyn Halliday, horns; and Danny Gaon and Aaron Lopez, bassoons.

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