Saratoga Chamber Players opens its 27th season on Sunday November 3 at 3 PM with a varied concert of works by Haydn, Prokofiev, Morton Gould, Mozart, Brahms and Bartok. The concert is at the United Methodist Church; 5th Avenue & Henning Road; Saratoga Springs, NY, just off Northway exit 14.
Jill Levy, Artistic Director and concertmaster of the Albany Symphony Orchestra will present a concert with an unusual mix of oboe, clarinet, violin, viola and double bass and with nationally recognized, award-winning musicians: Melanie Feld, oboe; Jo-Ann Sternberg, clarinet; Keats Dieffenbach with Jill Levy, violins; Jessica Troy, viola; and John Feeney, double bass. Ms. Dieffenbach was last in Saratoga as a member of ACJW’s Skidmore residency. Sternberg, Troy, and Feeney are frequent participants in the SCP “family”. Ms Feld is a newcomer this season, although a seasoned performer, having served as principal oboist with the Stamford Symphony since 1980.
Most unusual on this program is Morton Gould’s jazz-inspired set of duos for clarinet and double-bass, collectively titled Benny’s Gig, written in 1962 to celebrate Goodman’s upcoming tour of what was then the Soviet Union. The eighth and last duo of “Benny’s Gig” was added in 1979, on the occasion of Goodman’s 70th birthday.
The program also includes two dance selections, transcribed by bassist John Feeney for 2 violins, viola & double bass.The very lively Brahms Hungarian Dance #1 is most often scored for orchestra or piano. Bartok’s Romanian Dances was composed as a suite of six short piano pieces. It is based on seven Romanian tunes from Transylvania, originally played on fiddle or shepherd’s flute. Feeney has taken these dances and given them a delightful new vigor with his transcriptions.
Sergei Prokofiev’s Quintet in G minor, Op. 39 (1924) is another gift since it is not often performed. Scored for oboe, clarinet, violin, viola and double bass, it contains some of the jazzy themes of the 20‘s.
There are two classic works on the program. Mozart’s Oboe Quartet in F major, K. 370 (K368b) was written in early 1781 while in Munich where Mozart renewed an acquaintance with Friedrich Ramm, a virtuoso oboist in the Munich orchestra. It was for Ramm that Mozart composed the quartet. The other classic piece is Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 9, no. 2 in Eb Major.
Tickets may be purchased on-line at www.saratogachamberplayers.org or at the door: $18 adults, $15 seniors, $12 students and free to accompanied children. The concert is sponsored in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.