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Williams Chamber Players

Fri, September 6th, 2019
7:30 pm

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Williams Chamber Players present their first concert of the season with wonderful mixture of styles and genres. Free and open to the public, the Williams College Department of Music also wishes to draw the attention of our loyal audiences to a new standard starting time for all evening concerts. All concerts, including the four scheduled concerts by the Williams Chamber Players, will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Inspired by the mobiles of Lee Bontecou and Alexander Calder, La Forma dello Spazio (2010) by Zosha Di Castri is a study in sound travel, paying attention to how vibrations move through the concert hall from source to listener. The title is borrowed from a short story by Italo Calvino and translates to The Form of Space. Befitting these themes of music, space, and motion, the ensemble surrounds the audience with sound instead of occupying their usual posts on stage. Matthew Gold conducts the ensemble, with Joanna Kurkowicz, violin; Jacqueline DeVoe, flute; Paul Green, clarinet; Nathaniel Parke, cello; and Doris Stevenson, piano.

Also on the program are wonderful vocal selections featuring Erin Nafziger, soprano, and Edwin Lawrence, harpsichord, who are joined by colleagues Muneko Otani, violin, and Ronald Feldman, cello. They perform Tornami a vagheggiar from Handel’s opera Alcina, as well as “Se pietá di me non senti,” from Giulio Cesare.

The next selection features the newest member of the Williams Chamber Players, oboist Catherine Weinfield-Zell. She performs the Mozart Oboe Quartet with Muneko Otani, violin; Ah Ling Neu, viola; and Ronald Feldman, cello.

In the second half of the evening the Williams Chamber Players present Trio No. 2 in E Minor, op. 67 (1944) by Shostakovich, and feature Joanna Kurkowicz, violin, Nathaniel Parke, cello, and Doris Stevenson, piano. The work emerged during a dark period of history, and a dark period of the composer’s life: the death of Sollertinsky, who Shostakovich described as his best friend. Sollertinsky died of a heart attack in February 1944, filling the composer with grief for his friend, and despair for the state of the world. The work radiates with Shostakovich’s genius for weaving sound and feeling, bursting with his kaleidoscopic musical vision.

The Williams Chamber Players is a faculty chamber ensemble that presents concerts for the college and community throughout the academic year. Repertoire for concerts is drawn from the standard chamber music with special attention to music of the 20th and 21st centuries, and to music by Williams composers. Musicians are normally drawn from the ranks of artists in residence, artist associates, and other faculty members and visiting artists at Williams.

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