Steve Schwartz wrote:
>For example, I heard a wonderful concert by Gary Grafman that
>included Balakirev's Islamey and Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit -- the two
>related by the fact that Ravel consciously composed Gaspard with the
>intent of outdoing Islamey in the piano virtuosity demanded.
That must have been a long time ago (gee, Steve, you must be nearly as
old as I am), since Graffman's been playing left hand only for decades.
If he played a lot of programs like that, it's no wonder that he blew
out his right hand!
>I'd like to see a range of forces - for example, not just piano,
>solo instruments, and strings, but vocal ensemble, Lieder and chanson,
>percussion music, winds, guitar, etc. Ideally, they'd be mixed on the
>same concert. I admit this would be expensive.
There seem to be several of listers involved with local chamber music
presenters, myself included. As you note, putting more than one group
on per concert could be a budget buster. We have done what we can to:
for example a string quartet concert, with a clarinetist added for the
Brahms quintet; or a second string quartet brought on post-intermission
for the Mendelssohn octet.
Mostly our variety comes in sprinkling the season schedule with various
sorts of groups. String quartet and piano soloist are standard, but
beyond that we have had brass groups, wind quintets, guitarists (and
guitar duos/trios), organists (our concerts are held in a church with a
fine Casavant instrument), early music/baroque ensembles, and assorted
duo & trio combinations. Also, one of our five concerts is a "wild
card", not necessarily classical: Celtic harpist Patrick Ball, the Nuclear
Whales sax group, Melody of China, Dvoika (Russian folk chorus), and
Dick Hyman are examples.
Deciding on the musical mix for each season is a lengthy and sometimes
contentious process. At times it seems a thankless task; but the grumbles
vanish on those evenings when we catch musicians at the top of their
Del Valle Fine Arts