Berkshire Bach Society Presents Orchestra of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble
Presented by Berkshire Bach Society
September 21, 2013
The Berkshire Bach Society presents Grammy award-winning Orchestra of St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble's debut performance in the Berkshires with a concert of works that epitomize classical elegance and Baroque influence. The program showcases the clarinet in Mozart’s popular Clarinet Quintet; Beethoven’s elegant and lyrical Septet reveals the influence of Mozart; and, movements from Partita #3 and Orchestral Suite #3 by J.S. Bach – an inspiration for both Mozart and Beethoven – complete the program. Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, written for clarinetist Anton Stadler, is one of the earliest and best-known pieces written especially for this instrument. Mozart had a lifelong fascination with the clarinet’s mellow sound and wide range, and showcases both with ever-shifting moods and rich melodic lines in his quintet. The Beethoven Septet, composed just a decade later, is an elegant, six-movement divertimento featuring colorful dialogues that beautifully highlight each of the seven instruments: clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello, and bass. Beethoven’s virtuosic writing gives each instrument a chance to shine. Mozart and Beethoven were both great admirers of J.S. Bach, and his “Air” from the Orchestral Suite in D Major and “Gavotte en Rondeau” from the Partita No. 3 are majestic examples of late Baroque music at its best. The “Air” is a tranquil, soulful aria for strings that unfolds slowly while revealing subtle, intricately woven harmonies. “Gavotte in Rondeau” displays both vigor and poise, as the solo violin contrasts lively dance music with a cheery refrain. PROGRAM NOTES to be provided by Steven Ledbetter. ABOUT ST. LUKE’S CHAMBER ENSEMBLE: St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble consists of 22 virtuoso artists dedicated to the mastery of a diverse repertoire spanning Baroque to contemporary. The ensemble forms the artistic core of Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL), one of America’s foremost and most versatile orchestras. OSL was formed at the Caramoor International Music Festival in the summer of 1979, after evolving from St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, which was established at The Church of St. Luke in the Fields in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1974. OSL regularly collaborates with the world’s greatest artists and performs approximately 70 concerts each year—including its Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series, Chamber Music Series at The Morgan Library & Museum and Brooklyn Museum, and performances at the Caramoor Music Festival, where OSL is the official Orchestra-in-Residence. OSL’s discography of more than 90 recordings includes four Grammy Award-winning albums and seven releases on its own label, St. Luke’s Collection. Pablo Heras-Casado is OSL’s Principal Conductor. OSL’s Community & Education programs have introduced audiences across New York City to live classical music. OSL brings free chamber concerts to the five boroughs; offers free interactive music programs at its home, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music; provides chamber music coaching for adult amateurs; and reaches 10,000 public school students each year through free school concerts and in-school instruction. In July 2013, OSL and Police Athletic League (PAL) launched Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL), an after-school orchestra and instrumental coaching program emphasizing musical excellence and social development. For more information, visit OSLmusic.org.