Current adventures have led me into the hands of a super nice bunch of fine musicians all happy to play chamber music together for large energetic audiences in Corvallis, OR 97330, this week and next.
Violinist Erik Peterson (no relation) runs this 10-day festival with a relaxed, professional style. Never short on energy, he trusts the talent he’s brought together. Isn’t that the way we all like to work?
Tonight’s opening concert was all Mozart. Get this: About two dozen tiny twinklers, both cellists and violinists, in matching festival T-shirts, lined up in the aisles to play ‘Twinkle’ of Suzuki Book 1 fame, filed out during their tumultuous applause, then the concert proper began with pianist Rachelle McCable’s lovely Mozart Variations on the same, “Ah! vous dirais-je, maman,” K. 265. All this set a perfect tone, i.e., why we both play and listen to music. Then a kick-ass Mo duet: Sarah Knutson, violin and Michael Tubb, viola. Then the wonderful violinist Jessica Lambert joined McCabe for Sonata in F Major, K. 377.
After intermission, when I learned that in Oregon it is traditional for *glasses of water* to be served (what better possible way to send the message to donate money to the festival…?), we were treated to the brilliance of the last big chamber work Mo put out: E-flat major Viola Quintet, K. 614. Love it. Wanna play it.
Here’s who did: Sarah Knutson, Jessica Lambert (violins), Adam Matthes, Michael Tubb (violas), and Noah Seitz (‘cello).
Mo had invented some fiendishly difficult effects by this time. Exposed, finessed, and very quick passages in octaves between viola 1 and violin 1 were nailed by Matthes and Knutson. Great playing all around, bravi tutti.
Next big concert is Tuesday. Two Bburgs in 1st half, #5 featuring yours truly, joined by flutist Cathy Peterson and Knutson, and #4 adding violinist Fritz Gearhart and flutist Jill Pauls. 2nd half of program: the rarely-heard Double Concerto of Felix Mendelssohn from 1823 (yep, age 14) to be played by violinist Erik Peterson and this fellow, whom I had the pleasure of meeting today, on the big piano.
Support your local chamber music festival. Buy a t-shirt, anything. Live music is where it’s at, people.
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