Ensemble performs woman composer Libby Larsen with Mozart, Weber, Schoenberg

Guest pianist Stephen Buck joins the Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble in this season’s third concert, “Rustic Gardens,” Tuesday, January 21, 7:30 p.m at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Brightmusic continues the season featuring female composers with “Barn Dances” by Grammy Award winner Libby Larsen, in addition to works by Weber, Mozart, and Schoenberg. Buck serves on the academic faculty of State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase Conservatory of Music and champions new music.
Cowboy dances inspired American Libby Larsen (b. 1950) to write “Barn Dances” for flute, clarinet, and piano. Larsen named each movement for a dance step “to take a flight of fancy in each movement and to create the musical equivalent of a calendar drawing.” The second movement, Divide the Ring, pays homage to country singer Gene Autry.
“Rustic Gardens” continues with the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B-flat major (Op. 34) by German composer Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) and the Quartet No. 1 for Flute and Strings in D major (K. 285) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). Weber had his friend, clarinet virtuoso Heinrich Baermann, in mind, with rich technical and melodic passages for the soloist. Mozart likewise wrote his quartet for Dutch surgeon and flutist Ferdinand Dejean. The quartet charms with clear form and texture.
In contrast is the harmonically complex Chamber Symphony No. 1 by Austrian Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951). The piece marks the end of his conventional (post-Romantic) period and anticipates his evolution to a twelve-tone technique, giving equal emphasis to all notes.
Musicians appearing in this concert are: Stephen Buck (piano), Gregory Lee and Katrin Stamatis (violin), Mark Neumann (viola), Jonathan Ruck (cello), Parthena Owens, (flute), and Chad Burrow (clarinet).
Admission is $20 at the door and free for children, active-duty military, and students with ID.
Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble, Oklahoma City’s own chamber ensemble, presents fine classical chamber music in acoustically-rich St. Paul’s Cathedral at NW 7th and Robinson near downtown Oklahoma City. Free parking is available south of the cathedral. For more information about the ensemble and upcoming concerts, visit www.brightmusic.org