Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in concert at Quick Center


The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center returns to Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 31, at 8 p.m. in their final concert of this season. Guest artist is soprano Heidi Grant Murphy. David Shifrin, artistic director, has announced that the following musicians will perform: Ida Kavafian, violin; Paul Neubauer, viola; Gary Hoffman, cello; Ransom Wilson, flute; and harpist Heidi Lehwalder.

Highlights of the program include Beethoven's "Serenade for Flute, Violin and Viola;" Villa-Lobos' "Suite for Voice and Violin;" Debussy's "Sonata for Flute, Violin and Harp;" and John Tavener's "To a Child Dancing in the Wind for Soprano, Flute, Viola and Harp."

Though his first fame came as a performer, Beethoven's strongest desire was to be recognized as a composer and, in the first years after arriving in Vienna in 1792, he produced a steady stream of pieces that would appeal to both the aristocracy and the amateur market.

Among his most charming works for the old classical genres is the "Serenade...," and, as was typical of the form, this serenade contains a number of short, tightly structured movements in a variety of styles.

Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos was discovered by European audiences in 1923 when Paul Claudel, then French Ambassador to Brazil, introduced him to composer Darius Milhaud who had taken refuge in Brazil from WWI. Milhaud presented him to visiting pianist Artur Rubinstein who, much taken with his music, began championing it on three continents. Villa-Lobos traveled to Paris where he wrote "The Suite for Voice and Violin," which, though thoroughly wedded to the indigenous musical style of his native Brazil, was stimulated by his residence in Paris.

Debussy's "Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp" also premiered in Paris, in 1917. For the inspiration, style and temperament of this piece, Debussy looked far beyond the Impressionism of his earlier works to the elegance, emotional reserve and textural clarity of the compositions of the French Baroque, especially during the Interlude, a durable old form of the Minuet.

John Tavener's "To a Child Dancing in the Wind" grew out of his attraction to the writings of William Butler Yeats with whom he shared a love of the mystical nature of art. This piece sets a series of Yeats' poems dealing with the stages of life - the endearing naivete of childhood, the loss of innocence, the fading of youth into old age, the confrontation with death and even an optimistic conjecture about the after-life - to music in ten movements.

The cycle is threaded together by a 25-note palindrome and is brought to a haunting, otherworldly close by "The Countess Cathleen in Paradise," during which the singer is instructed to leave the stage while intoning the song's serene melody, part chant, part folksong.

Tickets for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center concert are $30, with discounts for seniors, students, subscribers and groups. A pre-concert Art-to-Heart discussion with journalist Robert Sherman will take place from 7 to 7:40 p.m. For more information call the box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll-free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 2, 2001

Vol. 33, No. 148]