Oklahoma City — The strings take center stage at the May 10 Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble concert at First Baptist Church downtown. The event is a postponement of his January 11 concert, “Symphonic strings.” Due to a resurgence of COVID, the concert has been postponed for the safety of the public and the musicians.
The ensemble will feature Ravel Sonata for violin and cellowhich marks a turning point in his career.
Also on the program, the powerfully expressive Gerald Finzi Interlude for oboe and string quartet and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s only sextet, his “Souvenir from Florencewhich has been described as a six-string symphony.
The concert is held at First Baptist Church, 1201 N. Robinson Ave., Oklahoma City. Single admission tickets are $20 at the door.
Admission is free for students and active duty military upon presentation of ID.
Maurice Ravel composed his Sonata for Violin and Cello in four movements between 1920 and 1922 and dedicated it to the memory of Claude Debussy, who died in 1918. Described as “skinny” and “linear”, the sonata contrasts sharply with the harmonies and lush textures of his earlier works and was, writes Ravel, “stripped to the bone; the harmonic charm is renounced and the emphasis is placed more and more on the melody.
The sonata will mark, as the composer had predicted, a turning point: after the death of Debussy, Ravel is widely considered to be the first French composer of the time.
Personal and introspective interlude for oboe and string quartet by British composer Gerald Finzi was written between 1932 and 1936 and, together with his clarinet concerto, is one of his best-known instrumental compositions.
The one-movement work was later arranged for oboe and string orchestra and for oboe and piano. Despite its brevity, the Interlude is a large, passionate piece with a wide variety of moods and may have originally been intended as part of a concerto.
The evening program will be based on the sextet in four movements by Tchaikovsky, “Souvenir de Florence”, a romantic symphony in microcosm.
The work is so titled because one of the main themes was sketched out during the Russian composer’s visit to Florence, Italy, but it is distinctly Russian.
The composer wrote to a friend: “I’m basically composing for the orchestra, and only then arranging it for six string instruments”, a task he described as “incredibly difficult”.
The result is a small ensemble work with the grandeur of a symphony and the grace of its ever-popular ‘Serenade for Strings’.
The musicians present will be: Gregory Lee, Katrin Stamatis and Ai-Wei Chang (violin), Mark Neumann and Betty Yuan (viola), Jonathan Ruck and Meredith Blecha-Wells (cello), Lisa Harvey-Reed (oboe).