Nationwide Public Radio as soon as known as classical music Houston’s best-kept secret. However Grand Teton Music Pageant audiences have recognized for many years concerning the deep pool of expertise House Metropolis has to supply. Drawing from some 64 ensembles and 47 establishments of upper studying, the pageant has lengthy relied on the Houston Symphony, the Houston Grand Opera and the Shepherd College of Music at Rice College, in addition to numerous chamber ensembles and freelancers, to pack its orchestra — 20 musicians out of 2019’s roster of 222 — together with among the group’s longest-serving members.
It’s becoming, due to this fact, that at the least considered one of this winter’s “GTMF on Location” digital concert events ought to emanate from Houston and that it ought to characterize a broad vary of instrumentation and repertoire.
The January installment of the six-concert collection — the pageant’s response to the coronavirus pandemic — turns into accessible to observe and listen to at 7 p.m. Thursday on the pageant’s Fb web page and YouTube channel, with 10 Houston string, wind and keyboard gamers combining for 3 chamber ensembles to current 4 works from St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. “GTMF on Location” movies then stay accessible for on-demand viewing.
Recorded and filmed on Jan. 5, this system begins with actions from Brahms’ Piano Quartet in F minor — with violinists Marina Brubaker and Anastasia Ehrlich, violist Joan DerHovsepian, cellist Christopher French and pianist Scott Holshouser — and from Mozart’s Flute Quartet with Brubaker, DerHovsepian, French and flautist Judy Dines.
“We simply wished it to be a diverse program,” stated DerHovsepian, a Houston Symphony violist with 20 Music Pageant seasons underneath her bow. “The actions we selected appeared properly contrasting, they usually function a few the musicians who’re concerned in a significant approach,” Dines and Holshouser.
The second half of this system is dedicated to the wind part, with Dines becoming a member of oboist Elizabeth Priestly Siffert, clarinetist Thomas LeGrand, bassoonist Amanda Swain and horn participant Nancy Goodearl for Anton Reicha’s Wind Quintet in E-flat Main and Ferenc Farkas’ Early Hungarian Dances from the seventeenth Century.
“Anton Reicha is pretty vital in his time,” stated LeGrand, who has performed with the Pageant Orchestra for 34 years, “forward of his time, even.”
Born in Prague in 1770 and educated in Bonn, he outlined the wind quintet style, writing 25 works for the ensemble.
“He’s to the woodwind quintet what Haydn is to the string quartet,” LeGrand stated.
His Opus 88, No. 2, which LeGrand and associates will current, is “in all probability his greatest recognized and perhaps his greatest total,” he stated. “All the devices are prominently featured, and it’s technically good. … It’s the guts of our classical repertoire.”
Farkas’ Hungarian Dances brings this system into the twentieth century (1959, to be exact) whereas taking listeners again to the seventeenth century. Prolific however not notably well-known right this moment, Farkas (1905-2000) adopted the lead of contemporaries like Bela Bartok, Zoltan Kodaly and Ralph Vaughan Williams in amassing folks songs of his place of birth and utilizing them as the premise of classical compositions.
“They might be very recognizable to the folks accustomed to that historical past,” LeGrand stated.
The quintet will current 5 of 12 dances.
“Three are very animated, very excited,” LeGrand stated, “and two are sort of unhappy, mournful. The distinction is gorgeous.”
Not like many different orchestras world wide, the Houston Symphony has continued to current concert events all through many of the pandemic, albeit with some changes.
“We shut down from March till the start of July,” LeGrand stated, then began enjoying concert events for livestream.
Town of Houston, which owns the corridor the place the orchestra performs, ultimately gave its permission to herald a stay viewers — simply 75 folks at first — for applications that used fewer musicians than most symphonies, works by Mozart, Beethoven, early Schubert, even some Stravinsky.
“We’re up extra now,” he stated of audiences, maxing out at maybe 400 within the 2,200-seat corridor for three-concert weekends. “So we’ve performed constantly since then.” Although the group continues to program for smaller ensembles, no greater than within the low 30s, “folks have stepped up and supported it,” he stated.
However, DerHovsepian and LeGrand agreed it’s nonetheless a deal with to carry out in Houston with their GTMF associates.
“Three of us on this group” — Dines, Goodearl and LeGrand — “have performed in a quintet for a few years,” the clarinetist stated of the wind quintet, and the entire string gamers work collectively within the Houston Symphony.
“However I like to step out of the orchestra and play chamber music with them,” DerHovsepian stated.
Whereas not the identical as stay performances, the Music Pageant’s digital concert events have been selecting up steam, stated Emma Kail, the nonprofit’s new government director.
“Our view depend on Fb and YouTube in November, out of New York, is over 7,000 views,” she stated. “And in December … it was effectively over 10,000.”
Plans are afoot, with funding from the Group Basis of Jackson Gap, to repackage the performances into shorter segments for academics to make use of in colleges and even for fogeys to make use of for his or her kids at dwelling.
“We need to proceed to satisfy folks the place they’re,” Kail stated.
Three extra “GTMF on Location” applications are on the best way, with musicians from Salt Lake Metropolis in February, Atlanta in March and Berlin in April. Then, after just a few months, the pageant will have fun its sixtieth season (a 12 months late, as a result of the 2020 season was canceled) with actual, stay musical shows, with a full orchestra, visitor conductors and soloists convening for 2 weeks of out of doors concert events adopted by 5 weeks inside Stroll Pageant Corridor in Teton Village.
Kail stated particulars of the 2021 season would possible be introduced in February. Within the meantime, go to GTMF.org for information concerning the “On Location” collection and updates concerning the summer time of 2021. ￼