On Monday, July 8 at 7:30 pm, two highly popular guest artists will perform with Donald Enos and the Meeting House Chamber Music Festival: Elisabeth Remy Johnson, harp, and Clark Matthews, French horn. The concert will begin at 7:30 pm at Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans, MA. Tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved in advance by phone (508.896.3344) or email ([email protected]). Single tickets: $25 (under 18 free). 6-Concert Series: $95. More information at http://meetinghousemusic.org.
Elisabeth Remy Johnson is one of the most celebrated of Cape Cod’s native-born musicians. She holds the endowed Delta Air Lines Chair with the Atlanta Symphony—the orchestra that snapped her up immediately upon her graduation Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard. Matthews performs as principal hornist with the Cape Symphony, as well as the Indian Hill Symphony Orchestra and Discovery Ensemble.
In this third concert of the season, Enos pulls out all the stops as he continues his exploration of the finest chamber music from around the globe. The audience will be treated to the dramatic beauty of the ballet music from Romeo and Juliet, the light playfulness of a scherzo for French horn, and a panoply of melody and moods in between. And with characteristic creativity, Enos will pair harp, horn, and piano—spotlighting the instruments both individually and together—in a program that reaches technical and expressive heights through works of many styles and periods.
Remy Johnson’s rendition of Romeo and Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) is one of several stand-out pieces in this superb program. Dutch composer and conductor Jan Koetsier (1911-2006) is featured with two notable compositions: Sonata Op.94 for harp and horn and Scherzo Brillante Op.96 for horn and piano. Koetsier was a piano prodigy who developed a passion for brass and created many highly original compositions revered by brass fans for their fresh, conversational character. John Williams (b. 1932)—distinguished American composer of classical music as well as countless magnificent film scores—is represented in the program with the first movement of his Horn Concerto. Williams himself described this work, which premiered in 2003, as a symphonic poem exploring a variety of colors and moods. The harp gem Whirlwind by the French harpist and composer Carlos Salzedo (1885-1961) illustrates well why Salzedo is credited with making the harp into a virtuoso instrument.
Turning back to earlier periods, Prelude, Theme and Variations by Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) gives witness to the spirited and technically-demanding best of the Classical style. The earliest piece in the program is the Concerto in C by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), which was originally scored for two harpsichords—the go-to instrument of the Baroque period. And rounding out the concert’s global voyage will be a movement from Concerto No.1 in C by Antonio Soler (1729-1783), a Spanish Catalan priest and astonishingly prolific composer of more than 500 works.
The festival continues with performances on Mondays throughout July (July 15, 22, and 29) at Church of the Holy Spirit, 204 Monument Road, Orleans, MA. On Sunday, July 14, the festival travels to 1717 Meetinghouse, 2049 Meetinghouse Way, West Barnstable, MA (same program as July 15).