New Path for Chamber Music on Elmwood
by Jan Jezioro
The popular music festival celebrates its 10th anniversary
When long-time BPO assistant concertmaster Ansgarius Aylward started the Chamber Music on Elmwood series back in 2001, he had a very definite idea about what he wanted to do. “I started the series,” says Aylward, “with the Hauskonzert concept in mind. This is prevalent in Europe, where friends gather at one another’s homes periodically to enjoy the marvelous wealth of chamber music. So far it has been very successful—this is the 10th anniversary season—and I have received copious positive reinforcement from both audience members and, especially, the performers themselves.”
As is usual, all three concerts in this year’s series will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo at 7pm on three Sundays in May, beginning this Sunday, May 8. “The series is entirely self-supporting,” Aylward says, “though occasionally individuals have come forward with large one-time donations, which are very much appreciated. We’ve always been very happy to rent the UUC as our performance venue, as the staff there has been more than helpful and accommodating.
“I myself have come to love the yearly Slee Beethoven Quartet cycle at UB, which we have here in Buffalo thanks to the very generous bequest from Frederick and Alice Slee,” he continues. “I decided to devote each of our three concerts to an individual composer, starting with Schubert, moving on to Brahms, and ending with Beethoven. This year’s single-composer-per-concert concept is something I am trying for the first time. Any feedback I get will be used in evaluating how to go forward next year.”
The first concert on the series this Sunday, devoted to the music of Franz Schubert, will feature pianists Claudia Hoca and Phyllis East in one of his many delightful duets for piano four-hands, Lebenssturme (The Storms of Life), Op. 144, as well as Aylward and Hoca in the D Major Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Op. 137, No.1. The Octet for Winds and Strings in F Major, Op. 166, will feature many first and second chair BPO musicians: Jacqueline Galluzzo, BPO associate principal second violin; Antoine Lefebvre, BPO principal second violin; Valerie Heywood, BPO principal viola; David Schmude, BPO cellist; Edmond Gnekow, BPO principal double-bass; John Fullam, BPO principal clarinet; Martha Malkiewicz, BPO bassoonist; and Daniel Kerdelewicz, BPO principal French horn.
The Brahms program for May 15 features a performance of the Horn Trio in E Flat Major, Op. 40, one of the most popular works in the chamber music repertoire, with BPO French horn player Jay Matthews, Aylward, and Hoca, as well as Two Songs for Alto, Viola and Piano, Op. 91, with mezzo-soprano Melissa Thorburn, Heywood, and Hoca. The evening will conclude with a performance of the String Quintet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111, with violinists Aylward and Galluzzo, violists Valerie Heywood and Natalie Piskorsky, anchored by BPO principal cellist Roman Mekinulov.
The final concert in this year’s series, on Sunday, May 29, is devoted to the music of Beethoven, and features a rare performance of the humorous Duet for Viola and Cello, WoO 32, subtitled mit zwei obligaten Augengläsern (“with two pairs of obbligato eyeglasses”), by BPO violist Kate Holzemer and BPO cellist Amelie Fradette, while the irresistible Serenade for Flute, Violin and Viola in D Major, Op. 25, features flutist Natalie Scanio, with Aylward and Heywood. The most challenging work on the series finds violinists Aylward and Galluzzo joined by violist Heywood and BPO associate principal cellist Feng Hew in a performance of Beethoven’s monumental, late String Quartet in A Minor Op. 132.
Tickets are available only at the door, for $20. For more information, call 883-3150.blog comments powered by Disqus
Issue Navigation> Issue Index > v10n18 (week of Thursday, May 5th) > New Path for Chamber Music on Elmwood
This Week's Issue • Artvoice Daily • Artvoice TV • Events Calendar • Classifieds