Boulder Chamber Orchestra Oct. 29; Takács Quartet Oct. 30–31
By Peter Alexander Oct. 25 at 10:20 p.m.
Guest conductor Giancarlo De Lorenzo and violinist Loreto Gismundi, both from Italy, will launch the 2022–23 season of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra (BCO) Saturday, Oct. 29, in a program titled, unoriginally, “Mostly Mozart” (see concert details below).
In this case, however, the name definitely fits: the program features a violin concerto (No. 4 in D major, K218) and a symphony (No. 29 in A major, K201) by a youthful Mozart, and just one short intro to the concert, Handel’s “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” from the oratorio Solomon.
This concert is part of an exchange between De Lorenzo and BCO director Bahman Saless, who previously conducted the Italian orchestra with which De Lorenzo is affiliated.
The two Mozart works were both written in Salzburg, between the young Mozart’s three trips to Italy as a teenaged opera composer (1769–71, 1771–72 and 1772–73) and his disastrous trip to Paris (1777–79) during which he failed to find a permanent job and lost his mother. He was not particularly happy in Salzburg, but this was a fairly stable period of his life, and these are some his first important, mature compositions.
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Boulder Chamber Orchestra with guest conductor Giancarlo De Lorenzo and Loreto Gismundi, violin
- Handel: “Arrival of Queen of Sheba” from Solomon
- Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K218
- Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A major, K201
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29
Seventh-day Adventist Church, 345 Mapleton Ave
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The English composer Benjamin Britten (1913–1976) comes from a later generation then the Hungarian Bélá Bartók (1881–1945), but in their next CU campus concert the Takács Quartet scrambles the chronology just a little bit by playing the very first quartet by Britten, followed by the last quartet by Bartók, written four year later (1941 and 1945).
That program, which also features Mozart’s String Quartet in D major, K499, will be presented at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, in Grusin Hall on the CU campus. The performance is also available by live stream (see ticket information here).
Due to World War II, both the Britten and Bartók quartets were written in the United States. A pacifist and conscientious objector, Britten left England in 1939, although he returned to his native country before the war was out. He wrote several works in the US, including the String Quartet No. 1 and his first opera, Paul Bunyan. He wrote his popular Ceremony of Carols on a dangerous and stressful return voyage across the U-boat infested North Atlantic in 1942.
Bartók came to the US a year later out of his opposition to nazism, and eventually became a US citizen shortly before his death from leukemia in 1945. In addition to the Sixth String Quartet, other works written in the US include his Third Piano Concerto, his unfinished Viola Concerto, and the Concerto for Orchestra.
The Takács, which started in 1975 as quartet of four music students in Budapest, has long been associated with the music of fellow-Hungarian Bartók. Only one of the original four—cellist András Fejér—remains, but from long history and tradition, the quartet retains its reputation as performers of music by the Hungarian composer, alongside an unparalleled recognition for excellence across the quartet repertoire.
Although the exact CU program is not duplicated elsewhere, all three works do appear on upcoming concerts by the Takács Quartet while on tour in England.
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- Benjamin Britten: String Quartet No. 1 (1941)
- Bartók: String Quartet No. 6 (1945)
- Mozart: String Quartet in D major, K499
4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30
7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31
Grusin Hall, Imig Music Building
In person and live-stream tickets HERE