Chamber music, Free Events, Music, Preview

Dohnányi Sextet at Boulder Library and Colorado State University

By Robin McNeil

“It is a haunting and atmospheric work, with amazing bass clarinet writing, and unique coloristic effects.”

Ernst von Dohnányi

Ernst von Dohnányi

WHAT: The Colorado Chamber Players present a free concert
WHEN: Sunday, June 9, 2013, 2:00 pm
WHERE: Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder, CO 80302

WHEN: Thursday, June 6th, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Colorado State University, Organ Recital Hall, 1400 Remington Street, Ft. Collins, as part of Colorado State Music Teachers’ Association conference at CSU.
ADMISSION: free for CSMTA attendees; $15 general public

Antonin Dvořák: Terzetto Op. 74, for Two Violins and Viola
Mark Carlson: View From a Hilltop, for Clarinet, String Trio and Piano (2009)
Ernst von Dohnányi: Piano Sextet, Op. 37

dohnanyi group SMALL

Colorado Chamber Players and Guests

One of the distinguished chamber groups in the state of Colorado, the Colorado Chamber Players will present a free program consisting of rarely heard music, at least in this region. It has been several years since I have heard the Piano Sextet, Opus 37, by Ernst von Dohnányi (1877-1960). Though it now seems strange to say, Dohnányi once surpassed Bartók and Kodály in reputation as a pianist, composer, and conductor. He is a casualty, if one can put it that way, of the vicissitudes of the trends in twentieth century music: he has been almost forgotten due to the impact of the Second Viennese School (Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg). He certainly leans towards twentieth century harmonies; however, his foundation in Brahms is undeniable and easily recognizable. He was one of the most important musicians to come from Hungary in the early twentieth century. He was a brilliant pianist and composer and he became the Director of the Budapest Conservatory, Conductor of the Budapest Philharmonic, Director of the Hungarian Radio, and President of the Hungarian Academy. Composed in 1934, Dohnányi’s Piano Sextet, Opus 37, is a marvelous piece, and, as the Colorado Chamber Players’ Artistic Director, violist Barbara Hamilton, points out, his style is quite similar to another émigré to the USA: film composer Erich Korngold. Ernst von Dohnányi did become a United States citizen where he was appointed to the faculty at Florida State College in Tallahassee. He died there in 1960.

The Opus 37 Sextet is a beautiful piece of music, and it is so rarely performed that everyone who reads this article must make a very definite commitment to attend this concert.

Kolio Plachkov on the air

Kolio Plachkov

Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904) is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated composers. Everyone knows who he is because of his famous New World Symphony, but few are familiar with the rest of his compositional output, which is enormous. The Terzetto, Opus 74, is a four movement work for two violins and viola. Dvořák wrote this work to celebrate amateur musicians, but one of the violinists he chose to perform the piece was not quite as skilled as he had hoped; therefore, the piece underwent a revision. In fact it became an almost new composition. It is a delightful work, and reflects the original and innovative programming that has made the Colorado Chamber Players well-known.

The third work on Sunday’s program will be by American composer, Mark Carlson. The Colorado Chamber Players have performed View From a Hilltop before, and I can assure you that it is an excellent piece of music that is needs to be heard.

CCP Director Hamilton describes View From a Hilltop: “It is a haunting and atmospheric work, with amazing bass clarinet writing, and unique coloristic effects.”

I will quote very briefly from Carlson’s bio statement:

“Composer Mark Carlson’s lyrical, emotionally powerful, and stylistically unique music has earned him the admiration of audiences and musicians throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. A versatile composer, his nearly 100 works include art songs, chamber music, choral music, concertos and other large ensemble works, and songs for musical theater. The CCP hosted Mark Carlson in Colorado in fall 2012.

Carlson teaches music theory and composition at UCLA and also taught at Santa Monica College for 15 years. The Founder and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles chamber music ensemble Pacific Serenades, he is also active as a flutist, performing primarily chamber music. Born in 1952 in Ft. Lewis, Washington, Carlson grew up in California, attended the University of Redlands, graduated from CSU Fresno, and received MA and PhD degrees in composition from UCLA. His principal teachers were Alden Ashforth and Paul Reale (composition) and Roger Stevens (flute).”

Mary Artmann

Mary Artmann

This concert is of special interest because of the repertoire that is being performed. Please note that there are two guest artists: Kolio Plachkov, French Horn, will make his debut with the Colorado Chamber Players, as will Mary Artmann, Cello.

Musicians performing at this concert:
Mary Artmann, Guest Cellist
Andrew Cooperstock, Piano
Barbara Hamilton-Primus, Artistic Director & Viola
Kolio Plachkov, Guest French Horn
Paul Primus, Violinist
Daniel Silver, Clarinetist
Margaret Soper Gutierrez, Violinist

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