By now, with Classical Up Close 2016 less than two weeks away, you may have seen brochures popping up all over town. (At least, we hope so!) Perhaps you've checked out the events page with links to every program. Either way, you may be wondering about some of the pieces -- what they're like, where they come from, and why Oregon Symphony musicians chose them for Classical Up Close. We are always fascinated ourselves at the interesting programs that emerge from our process. There are so many factors we can't really control, and yet, somehow the combinations are unfailingly cool!
The first full-length concert, at Trinity Episcopal Church on April 26, has some especially unusual combinations of instruments. First up, you will get to hear the rare combination of trumpet, cello and piano. Principal Trumpet Jeff Work, Principal Cello Nancy Ives, and Cary Lewis will present Semordnilap Number 2 by Charles Knox. This work was commissioned by Cary and his cellist wife, Dorothy, so they would have a piece to play with different friends. (What a perfect fit for Classical Up Close!) This is the second version, rewritten for trumpet to join the piano and cello.
Jeff Work explains the unusual, dare I say, unique, title: "If you know what Semordnilap might mean, then you know what this piece is about! (Try spelling it backwards...) Knox filled the piece with musical palindromes, small and large. Effectively, he only composed half a work because in the middle of the second movement the piece turns around and returns, not for note, back to the beginning! It's a musical puzzle of sorts that you'll enjoy listening to, forwards or backwards."
The first half concludes with special guest China Forbes of Pink Martini, joined by seven Oregon Symphony musicians accompanying her arias with arrangements by Assistant Principal Bassoon Evan Kuhlman. Talk about multi-talented! Not only did he create these arrangements -- he is a very fine composer as well as arranger -- he is playing piano!
The second half will begin with the lushly romantic trio by Klughardt for oboe, viola and piano. Principal Oboe Marty Hebert, Asst. Principal Viola Charles Noble and Pianist and CLUC Friend Extraordinaire Cary Lewis are sure to do it justice! Here's a sample on YouTube.
The final selection of the evening will be the beautiful Mendelssohn Quintet, featuring Concertmaster Sarah Kwak. This ensemble includes two violas, which is only slightly out of the ordinary, but be assured: the music is extraordinary!
Up Close and