Monday, October 16, 2017

Organist David Schelat Opens Market Street Music's Festival Concerts

By Christine Facciolo

Organist/composer David Schelat explored the Baroque and beyond Saturday, October 14, kicking off a brand new season of Market Street Music at First & Central Presbyterian Church on Rodney Square in Wilmington.

Schelat’s program traced J.S. Bach’s steps back to his admirer Dietrich Buxtehude then forward to  his “rescuer” Felix Mendelssohn as well as offering a sampling of Bach himself.

The first half of the program featured three Baroque “Bs”: Bruhns, Buxtehude and Bach. Their work spanned the years 1664-1750, a time when north German mercantile trade funded both composers and construction of pipe organs on increasingly grander scales.
The music of this period was largely improvisatory and known as stylus fantasticus, characterized by short contrasting episodes and free form. Bruhns’ Praeludium in E Minor exemplifies this style and Schelat delivered it with insight and intelligence, maintaining the thematic material clearly while providing auditory interest in the repeated ornamentation with a variety of colorful registrations.

Buxtehude’s O Morning Star, how fair and bright (Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstern) again showed Schelat’s expertise with the articulation of Baroque musical gestures.
Bach received his due with a rendering of the Prelude and Fugue in G Major (BWV 541) that was both meaty and full of energy. Tucked between them was the melodic simplicity of the chorale prelude Blessed Jesus, we are here (Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier (BWV 730).

From Spain came Juan Cabanilles’ Corrente Italiana, a mixture of Renaissance and Baroque. Schelat added a subtle touch of percussion to good effect.

There were more surprises following intermission, including an organ sonata by C.P.E. Bach, J.S. Bach’s second surviving son. Although much better known for his harpsichord works, Bach did produce six organ sonatas on commission from Princess Anna Amalia, sister of his then employer, King Frederick the Great of Prussia. The writing is for manuals only, because the Princess was — reportedly — unable to play the pedals.

Schelat offered an effervescent rendering of the Sonata No. 5 in D Major (Wq70), indulging in much hopping between the two manuals — and adding a bit of pedal — to create a sheer delight for the ear.

Another pleasant surprise came with a performance of the Andante sostenuto from Charles-Marie Widor’s Symphonie Gothique. This sweet, meditative piece allowed Schelat to reveal a whole other side to a composer better known for the pyrotechnics of his Toccata in a work we rarely get to hear.

The program concluded with a performance of Mendelssohn’s Sonata in B-Flat Major. Mendelssohn had a great love for Bach and played a major role in his revival. While this music is Romantic in its approach, it displays a certain restraint which is very appealing. Schelat obviously loves this music and that affection came through in this assured and sensitive delivery.

Schelat reached into his own catalog for an encore with a performance of Kokopelli, a whimsical piece dedicated to the flute-playing trickster deity who represents the spirit of music and who presides over childbirth and agriculture. Schelat wrote the piece for the Fred J. Cooper Organ Book, which was commissioned by the Philadelphia chapter of The American Guild of Organists to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the organ in the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Grand Celebrates One-Day Ticket Sales Record

This post content courtesy of an October 10 press release from The Grand Opera House...

Photo courtesy of The Grand Opera House.
The Grand staff and board, under the Executive and Programmatic leadership of Mark Fields and Stephen Bailey, is excited to announce that the performance arts company has set a one-day ticket sale record, selling over 6,000 tickets on Monday, October 9, 2017.

“We are bowled away by these results,” says Mark Fields, “it is another example of how The Grand’s quality programming has attracted new and returning patrons to this beautiful building.”

Currently, The Grand has over 70 shows on sale, ranging from America’s Got Talent finalist TAPE FACE (10/14), to long-time comedy icon SINBAD (12/15), music mavens STRAIGHT NO CHASER (11/29), and Broadway’s finest like THE WIZARD OF OZ (11/14-11/19) and MOTOWN (5/1-5/6).

“I highly encourage you to look at our new and improved website at TheGrandWilmington.org to see all of our offerings this season!” says Fields. “The Grand’s website, newly launched on October 1, is much faster and user-friendly than our previous.  It is mobile friendly, removing the need for our Grand Smart Phone App, and it provides search capabilities never before offered to our patrons.  Even better – it combines the two separate sites that were previously The Grand and the Playhouse – providing patrons the ability to buy tickets across our Music & Variety and Broadway series.”


Tickets can be purchased online at TheGrandWilmington.org, by phone at 302.652.5577 or by visiting The Grand’s Box Office at 818 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Music School Opens Season with All-Bach "Thank You" Concert

By Christine Facciolo

If it were possible to gather together composers — both living and dead — and ask them who they thought was the greatest composer of all time, chances are one name would surface more than others: J.S. Bach. And with good reason. Bach is one of the few — maybe the only — composer to succeed in combining masterful craftsmanship with such profound expressivity.

TheMusic School of Delaware used the artistry of J.S. Bach to say thank you to its patrons for their generosity on Wednesday, October 4, as it opened another season of its Music Masters Concert Series with an all-Bach program.

Maestro Simeone Tartaglione led a 15-member chamber orchestra comprised of music school faculty and guest artists.

Tartaglione bookended the program with two works from Bach’s most imaginative and celebrated oeuvre: the Brandenburg Concertos. The concert opened with a formidable rendering of the short but robust third Brandenburg. Bach composed two substantial movements for this work, leaving the players to improvise a transitional movement, for which he provided only two chords.

Tartaglione and his players executed the Allegro movements at an authentically robust tempo. Bach’s contrapuntal mastery was vividly brought out by this ensemble that interacted with each other like the cooperative soloists Bach intended them to be.

Concerto No. 5, however, makes demands on the harpsichord soloist that far exceeds anything else in the repertoire. As Tartaglione pointed out, this work is, for all intents and purposes, the first keyboard concerto.

Bach gives the harpsichord (here in the capable hands of Tracy Richardson) a most unusual role: it starts out playing a basso continuo, proceeds to play solo melodies in dialogue with the flute (Dr. Lynne Cooksey) and violin (Christof Richter) and then gets carried away with virtuosic scales that leave the others in the dust. Richardson delivered with great panache and rhythmic sensibility, showing what top-tier musicianship can bring to a familiar work.

Christof Richter soloed in a polished performance of the Violin Concerto in E Major. The opening is Bach at his sunniest, and Richter and the group exuded pure joy as they eased into the mellow mood this music demands. The expressive Adagio was exquisite as it contrasted a dark intensity with moments of golden light. The finale was cheerful and full of energy.

Dr. Lynne Cooksey was equally impressive in the Suite No. 2 in B Minor. Cooksey played with style and agility, executing the piece’s fast passages with note-perfect ease, playing a lovely duet with the cello in the sixth-movement Polonaise, producing lovely sighing effects in the Menuett and pulling out all the stops in the appropriately fast final-movement Badinerie, earning her a round of enthusiastic applause from the very appreciative audience.    
  

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Mapcap Musical Romp Opens Brandywine Baroque's Season

By Christine Facciolo

There’s no denying Karen Flint’s contribution to the cultural life of our region.

Brandywine Baroque orchestra members rehearse "The Woodman."
Photo courtesy of Brandywine Baroque.
As founding artistic director of Brandywine Baroque, harpsichordist Flint consistently presents programs that feature works by the well-known and not-so-well-known — though no less worthy — composers of the period. Moreover, her collection of rare (and playable) harpsichords draws devotees and scholars from around the country and the world to the Centreville venue, The Barn at Flintwoods.

Flint and company opened the 2017-18 season with a performance of as rare a gem as any: The Woodman (1791) by English opera composer William Shield. This all-but-forgotten work is so obscure that Flint and fellow harpsichordist Janine Johnson had to prepare an orchestration from a piano/vocal reduction, the only existing score for the opera.

Shield is one of those composers whose legacy history seems to have erased. Born in 1748 in Swalwell, Shield arrived in London in 1772 to play the violin in the Coven Garden Orchestra. In 1791, he met Haydn who attended a performance of The Woodman. That meeting inspired him to compose more operas and stage works. Shield’s work as a composer got him noticed in royal circles and in 1817 he was appointed “Master of the King’s Musick.”

Like many of his contemporaries, Shield looked toward folk music for source material. In
fact, it was once thought that he wrote Auld Lang Syne, the melody of which appears toward the end of the overture to his Rosina opera. It is now thought that both he and Burns borrowed the melody — or at least the outline of it — from an old folk tune.

Shield’s work is considered to be the forerunner of the modern musical comedy. The Woodman contains features associated with later English comic opera, including spoken dialogue, a frothy theme and the use of popular and folk melodies. The music is pastoral, even bubbly, with flashes of coloratura.

The plot is a madcap thicket of love found, lost and recovered. Emily (Laura Heimes) has fallen in love with Wilford (Stephen Ng) but his nasty uncle does not approve and sends him off to Europe. When Wilford returns, Emily has fled to the forest where three other men fall in love with her. Mistaken identities and all sorts of mischief follow in this lively romp through the woods capped off by a female archery contest for a price heifer.

Flint assembled a stellar cast of singers and musicians for this superb rendering of this woefully overlooked gem. Heimes is vocally striking — as usual — in her portrayal of Emily. Ng brings a full-bodied tenor and lovelorn urgency to Wilford, her lost love.

Bass Daniel Schwartz excelled in his portrayal of the upright and kindly Fairlop, the woodman, while sopranos Abigail Chapman and Rebecca Mariman were convincing as his daughters, the steady Dolly and coquettish Polly, respectively.

Baritone James Wilson played the lecherous Sir Walter to the hilt accompanied by his ever-loyal sidekick Medley in the capable hands and voice of tenor Andrew Fuchs.Tenor Lawrence Jones displayed a much misplaced confidence as he assisted Wilford in his quest to find Emily.

But it was countertenor Augustine Mercante, wigged in bight orange ringlets, who elicited the most laughter in his portrayal of Miss Dinah “Di” Clackit. Mercante not only possesses a sumptuous voice but also impeccable comedic timing that never missed a beat.

Musicians from the ensemble also took part in the action with non-singing roles: flutist
Eileen Grycky, violist Amy Leonard, double bassist Heather Miller Landin served as archers (Grycky also played Bridget the maid). Violinists Martin Davids and Edward Huizinga played Filbert, the Gardener and Bob, respectively.

Imaginative costumes and props transported the audience from Centreville to an 18th Century English forest.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Audiences Enjoy 'Up Close & Personal' Look at Mélomanie's First Performance

Harpsichordist Tracy Richardson and Violinist Christof Richter
of Mélomanie. Photo by Tim Bayard.
By Christine Facciolo
Mélomanie members Christof Richter (violin) and Tracy Richardson (harpsichord) combined their talents to showcase the versatility of the violin in a program that featured works by the well-know, the not-so-well-known and the downright quirky. The concert, called 'Up Close & Personal: The Violin,' took place on Saturday, September 30, at Old Town Hall in downtown Wilmington.

Despite the role it plays in the modern orchestra and the repertoire that’s grown up around it, the violin was considered a “low-brow” instrument, played largely from memory throughout the late 16th and early 17th Centuries. But once written music appeared, the violin became a major driver in the development of instrumental music as a whole.

Saturday’s performance opened with a performance of Johann Paul von Westhoff’s Partita 6 in D Major for solo violin. Unlike his contemporary Heinrich Biber, little attention has been paid to von Westhoff. But lesser-known hardly means insignificant. In fact, it is very likely that von Westhoff met J.S. Bach during their time in Weimar, and that these Partitas were a direct inspiration for Bach to compose his sonatas and partitas for solo violin.

Richter performed with a natural and effortless charm, concluding with an exhilarating reading of the Gigue.

Heinrich Biber — von Westhoff’s more famous contemporary — was represented with a performance of Sonata 4 in D Minor (The Presentation) from his Rosary Sonatas. This ever-intriguing work is the finest example of Biber’s exploration of scordatura, alternate tunings of the violin strings that produce otherworldly sonic textures and performance challenges. The Presentation is a chaconne and variations tuned to D minor. Tuning the top string down a step and the bottom string up one produced an alto-like quality, where one would expect soprano brilliance. Richter’s execution of these blazing virtuosic variations was breathtaking, making the listener long for a full performance of this work.

The Italian Baroque was represented by Biagio Marini’s Romanesca Variations and Giuseppe Tartini’s Sonata in G Minor (The Devil’s Trill). “Romanesca” is actually a song form popular in the period 1550-1650, characterized by a sequence of four chords which form the groundwork for improvisation (think: Greensleeves). The work consists of four variations and two dances, the gagliarda and corrente. Richter and Richardson took a spirited approach with regard to tempo and meter long before the dance variations impose triple meter toward the end.

Richter imbued Tartini’s Sonata with the appropriate pyrotechnics: delicate turns and swift runs, dark moods, commanding multiple stops and double-note trills. And while the work can be performed solo, the inclusion of the continuo added depth and harmonic texture.

Richter and Richardson made a fine duo in Mozart’s Sonata in G Major (KV 301). Richter’s intonation is always exact and his articulation in the fastest passages clear and precise. These sterling qualities were matched by Richardson’s accompaniment on harpsichord, which she notes was still in use alongside the up-and-coming fortepiano during this time.

No Mélomanie concert would be complete without some contemporary offerings. In an afternoon of surprises, there were some pretty interesting choices. Schnittke’s Suite in Old Style is a wry nod to the Baroque — actually a pre-Classical-style pastiche of movements drawn from the composer’s film scores. Unlike a true Baroque suite, though, there is little for the soloist to show-off. Richter brought a fragile delicacy to the final movement, Pantomime, the only movement performed in this program.

Richter and Richardson offered yet another interesting piece from a most marginalized 20th Century composer, Josef Matthias Hauer. Hauer’s claim to fame (or infamy) is that he developed his own 12-tone system, publishing his findings in 1919 slightly ahead of rival Schoenberg. But whereas Schoenberg manipulated tone rows, Hauer based his atonality on systematically organized chords.

Toward the end of his life, Hauer wrote a collection of short (the longest runs five minutes) pieces called Zwolftonspiel, literally 12-tone games. Richter and Richardson collaborated on the one dated 26 August, 1948. This music is a welcome respite from the angular tones of Schoenberg’s serialism, and Richter and Richardson captured its joy and playfulness in this very capable rendering.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Delaware Theatre Company's 'Wicked' Opener

Jake Blouch, Rob Riddle, Christopher Sapienza (front), and Joelle Teeter, Rajeer Alford,
Clare O’Malley, Kevin Toniazzo-Naughton, and Melissa Joy Hart (back).
Photo by Mark Miller.
By Mike Logothetis
Just after you’ve settled into your seat at the Delaware Theatre Company (DTC), you’ll find yourself staring into a dark tunnel with a train coming toward you at breakneck speed. The locomotive seemingly thunders right into the audience and kicks off the electric new musical, Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Based on the classic best-selling novel by Ray Bradbury, director/choreographer Rachel Rockwell deftly steers this delightful new musical about a traveling carnival’s mysterious visit to a small Illinois town. Neil Bartram (music and lyrics) and Brian Hill (book) have composed this coming-of-age thriller that draws heavily on the supernatural.

The story revolves around young heroes Will (John Francis Babbo) and Jim (Sawyer Nunes), who are constantly bored in tiny Greentown. Compounding their perpetual search for adventure is each boy’s lack of a loving father figure – Jim’s has left and Will’s doesn’t seem to acknowledge the son living under his own roof. Veteran television and stage actor Stephen Bogardus portrays Will’s dad Charles as a quiet and unhappy man who yearns for his deceased wife Beth’s (Clare O’Malley) company, not his living son’s. 


But things are soon to change…

Foretold by a narrator (Steve Pacek), who steps in and out of the stage action, trouble is coming to Greentown in late October 1938. The strange but kind man hands the lads a lightning rod to protect them during the storm that will blow into their lives soon. (Somethin’ is comin’/The wind doesn’t lie)

What’s comin’ is a traveling show that suddenly appears in town and is led by mysterious ringmaster Mr. Dark (Rob Riddle). Mr. Dark seems to prey on human insecurities and the townsfolk flock to the carnival tents to fulfill their inner desires. Riddle is the standout performer in this show. His maleficent actions and full baritone are sinfully delightful. Like in a silent movie, you want to both boo and hiss Mr. Dark while simultaneously cheering the entertainment of his villainy.

Bartram’s music and lyrics work to advance the story and include ballads, upbeat numbers, and operatic melodies which are effective as solos, duets, and chorus numbers. While you won’t go home humming any of the tunes from the show, you will be skipping happily out of the theater from the enjoyment of the experience.

The show is dazzling because of projection designer Shawn Sagady and the technical wizards from Freckled Sky. The multimedia creatives have pulled out all the stops with immersive special effects that will wow any theater-goer. Scott Davis has designed a brilliant set that combines a Norman Rockwell-like town with a sinister carnival. Whether mesmerized in a hall of mirrors or receiving 200,000 volts of electricity or engaged in a rooftop battle with an evil balloonist(!), these technical geniuses have outdone themselves. The action, blocking, and timing have to be perfect for these visual marvels to be successful – and they are. The set, actors, music, and effects are wonderfully synchronized.

The Cooger and Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show song (none of the songs are listed in the program) was a highlight of the show. The carnival is rolled out to the people of Greentown with rousing choruses, snappy movement, and breathtaking special effects.

The ensemble cast is first-rate and most of the actors have secondary roles as townsfolk like barber Mr. Crosetti (Christopher Sapienza), tobacconist Mr. Tetley (Jake Blouch), and schoolteacher Miss Foley (Marian Murphy). Meghan Murphy plays the blind soothsayer known as the “Dust Witch” to wicked perfection.

Through a series of startling discoveries and harrowing experiences, Charles eventually gains self-awareness, faith, and a backbone as the story progresses. The boys fight to save their futures, their relationships, and their lives from all kinds of nefarious attacks the “Autumn People,” led by Mr. Dark, throw at them. In the end, the town is saved as is Charles’ paternal bond with Will. But for this show, it’s the journey not the destination that is most appreciated.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is DTC’s fourth development of a new musical following Because of Winn-Dixie, Tappin’ Thru Life and Diner. This is a World Premiere event, so some tweaking may take place during this initial run or after its completion.

The performance schedule of Something Wicked This Way Comes is: Wednesdays (2:00pm), Thursdays (7:00PM), Fridays (8:00PM), Saturdays (2:00 & 8:00pm) and Sundays (2:00pm) through October 8. Tickets start at $25 with group (10+) and student discounts available. There will be pre-show Viewpoints on September 27 at 1:15pm, plus post-show talkbacks on September 28 and October 5. The running time is just over 2 hours with one 15-minute intermission. 


Call 302.594.1100 or visit DelawareTheatre.org to purchase tickets or for performance information. Delaware Theatre Company is located at 200 Water Street in Wilmington.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

OPENING NIGHT: Delaware Symphony Orchestra

By Christine Facciolo

Delaware Symphony Orchestra
Photo by Joe del Tufo/Moonloop Photography
Classical music devotees savored a Fifth of Beethoven at The Grand Friday, September 15, as the Delaware Symphony Orchestra kicked off what promises to be one of the most ambitious seasons in its 111-year history.

But before the orchestra rolled up its sleeves for the Beethoven, it offered up some lighter fare, courtesy of Prokofiev and Mozart.

Prokofiev subtitled his Symphony No. 1 (1917) the “Classical Symphony,” in homage to Haydn. Prokofiev’s ability to blend his 20th Century voice with the style of the great classicist is indeed remarkable, making this one of his most popular works.
  
The piece is usually performed by a large modern orchestra. But here, the orchestra was pared down appropriately, giving the music a lighter texture. The string work throughout was captivating. The Gavotte proceeded with its dislocated tune and plodding rhythm, while the final movement bubbled along at an exhilarating pace, producing many admiring smiles and enthusiastic applause.

Mozart’s Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra (K.299/297c) was the companion piece on the first half, an apt choice, since Haydn influenced Mozart as well as Prokofiev. Amado partnered DSO principals Kimberly Reighley (flute) and Sara Fuller (harp) who gave a poised yet exuberant reading of this finely wrought work. The orchestra carried out its supporting role with as much commitment as if it were center-stage, befitting the intimate nature of the piece, especially the flowing Andantino.

After intermission, Amado and the orchestra got down to business with a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth, certainly the most well-known – possibly the most beloved – work ever created.

Familiarity can breed contempt but not in this case. As Amado pointed out, there is always something new and interesting to discover in Beethoven’s Fifth. First, were those introductory notes really the hammer blows of fate knocking at the composer’s door? Probably not. A theory developed in the 1990s holds that those famous fortissimo phrases were influenced by Luigi Cherubini’s “Hymn du Pantheon.” Cherubini was a prominent composer during the French Revolution. Beethoven was a passionate supporter of the revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity.
  
Amado also pointed out the symmetry within the symphony’s first eight notes as well as the thematic and harmonic relationships between its movements.
  
If you listen to the Fifth largely on recordings, it’s easy to forget host thrilling a live performance ca be. This was a beautifully focused, fully energized performance of the Fifth with all the necessary elements in place: sonorous strings, flawless brass playing, full-bodied winds and above, a sense of drama and grandeur. The insistent C on the timpani had a palpable presence here, offering am effective set-up for the glorious, fortissimo rising chords that usher in the finale. 

For full season info, see www.delawaresymphony.org

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sisters are Slayin’ It in City Theater Company's 'Lizzie'

By Mike Logothetis

As my theater companion and I rose enthusiastically for a well-deserved standing ovation to City Theater Company's cast of LIZZIE, I smiled and told him, “Sisters are slayin’ it for themselves.”  He laughed and nodded and told me to write it down. It’s a corny homage to the Eurythmics, but it fits.

Darby Elizabeth McLaughlin as Lizzie.
Photo by Joe del Tufo/Moonloop Photography.
We had just thoroughly enjoyed a rock opera that tells the tale of the infamous Borden double murders in Fall River, Massachusetts – for which youngest daughter Lizzie was tried and acquitted. The legend of Lizzie Borden is a part of Americana, but I can’t say the general public knows the gory details. (I didn’t.)  This show covers most of the facts and theories surrounding the 1892 axe murders of Lizzie’s father and his second wife in their home.

But LIZZIE is less a history lesson and more a head-banging rock show that somehow includes incredibly tender moments. Lead actress Darby Elizabeth McLaughlin steals the show from three other amazing actresses by portraying Lizzie as confused, angry, demented, caring, conniving, steely and vulnerable.  

McLaughlin showcases her acting chops and wonderful vocal abilities in a space where the audience is so close it’s almost part of the staged action.  We are right there with Lizzie in her torment and famous act of conflict resolution.  McLaughlin’s portrayal of a young tortured soul is eerie and touching.  She impeccably hints at her character’s understanding of how she can escape her dreadful life through an unspeakable act.

But the three supporting actresses – Jill Knapp (Emma Borden), Kyleen Shaw ('Maggie' the maid) and Grace Tarves (Alice the neighbor) – are also outstanding.  Shaw’s Bridget/Maggie is an opportunist who knows all about the goings on in “The House of Borden.”  Meek neighbor Alice is given depth by Tarves, whose voice melds beautifully with that of McLaughlin in several duets.  Knapp’s portrayal of judgmental but caring older sister Emma is strong and her vocals soar in her solos.  Knapp’s frenzied performance of What The Fuck Now, Lizzie?! is a show highlight.

The six-piece Fall River Band was tight and got our toes tapping and heads bobbing during stand-out songs like This Is Not Love and Sweet Little Sister.  Under the direction of Joe Trainor, the talented band is nimble enough to play rock, metal and gospel – like in the song Watchmen For the Morning, where our protagonist gets fitted with a straightjacket.

The cast of CTC's Lizzie (L-R): Kyleen Shaw, Jill Knapp, Darby Elizabeth McLaughlin,
Grace Tarves.  Photo by Joe del Tufo/Moonloop Photography.
Director Michael Gray allows his actresses to roam throughout the American Horror Story-style set and deliver their lines facing any direction.  The employment of wireless microphones allows the performers to quietly deliver some dialog plus fill the room with their powerful singing voices.  Costumers Kerry Kristine McElrone and Lauren Peters have their women dressed in all white, and while some scenes relay a virginal innocence, others evoke images of witches gathered around a cauldron.  One neat visual was Lizzie walking on stools placed before her every step by the other women while contemplating how to “clean a stain.”

The climax and finale of LIZZIE are superb and mesh the closing songs into a medley of sorts.  Thirteen Days in Taunton recalls the Shel Silverstein/Johnny Cash song 25 Minutes to Go in that it is gallows humor at its finest.  All four principles are strong over the final five songs, which cover the murder trial and aftermath.  Chances are you’ll cheer the outcome and want to dance in the aisles like the audience on opening night.

LIZZIE originated in 1990 as a four-song experimental show by writer/director Tim Maner and songwriter Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer.  It took help from Alan Stevens-Hewitt (and almost 20 years!) to fully flesh out the narrative, music and staging of the rock opera.  The 2009 show was nominated for three Drama Desk awards in New York City during its initial run.  The current two-act version at City Theater Company was arranged by the authors in 2013.

The limited run of LIZZIE ends this week with 8:00pm shows on September 13, 14, 15 and 16 in The Black Box at Opera Delaware Studios (4 South Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE 19801).  Tickets are $28 (general admission), $25 (military), $20 (student), and $15 (child age 15 and under) and can be purchased online or at the box office.  There is also a $40 VIP ticket package available.  

Visit city-theater.org for more information, tickets and the remaining CTC season schedule.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Arts in Media Clients Ready for a Busy Fall ArtSeason!

The following information comes from an Arts in Media press release announcing its clients' fall performance seasons. Check out the organizations' respective web and social media sites for complete details and ticketing information. 

The Arts at Trinity, a free series in the heart of Wilmington hosted by Trinity Episcopal Church, is now in its seventh season of "pop-up" events in literature, drama, poetry and visual arts. This year opens on Saturday, Oct. 7 with the Serafin String Quartet performing works by Haydn, Mendelssohn and American composer William Grant Still. On Sunday, Nov. 5, Trinity Church Choir and an orchestra conducted by Terrence Gaus-Wollen perform sacred music by Bach as part of Trinity’s regular Sunday service. On Saturday, Dec. 2, rising jazz pianist Gil Scott Chapman performs classical and jazz works and his own compositions. All performances are free to attend. For more details, visit facebook.com/TheArtsatTrinity.

Christina leads off its 71st year with its second annual Homecoming Block Party on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 1:00-6:00pm. The free, family-friendly event includes tours, children’s activities and closes with JAMMIN’ @ CHRISTINA, a musicians’ jam session. This fall, Christina unveils a new program called Literary Café, which welcomes New York Times best-selling author and Delaware native Jeff Hobbs on Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21. Hobbs will discuss his work, The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace. CCAC’s focus on intimate live performances returns on Saturday, Nov. 18 with a concert by gospel/soul/hip hop drummer George “Spanky” McCurdy. CCAC then embraces holiday majesty on Sunday, Dec. 10 with the stunning contemporary dance/music/narration production of “Carols in Color” performed by Eleone Dance Theatre. Christina wraps up 2017 with a Student Holiday Showcase on Saturday, Dec. 16.  Full details and tickets for events are available at ccacde.org.

Delaware’s Off-Broadway drops the axe on its 24th season with Lizzie, a blistering rock opera based on the 19th Century legend of notorious accused murderess Lizzie Borden, running Sept. 8-16 (Thursday, Sept. 7, 8:00pm preview and Sunday, Sept. 10, 2:00pm matinee). Four women front a six-piece rock band to tell a tale of murder and mayhem. Lizzie marks the CTC debut of Darby Elizabeth McLaughlin in the title role, alongside Jill Knapp of Hot Breakfast!, Kyleen Shaw and Grace Tarves. The band features Meghan Doyle, Joe Lopes, Dustin Samples, Noelle Picara, Sheila Hershey and Rich Degnars.  CTC‘s Fearless Improv continues Third Thursday shows at Chelsea Tavern through 2017 with performances on Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec 21. Shows are also held at Penn’s Place in Old New Castle on Sept. 9 and Nov. 11. Fearless Improv 101 and Improv 301 — 8-week public workshop series teaching basic scenework and advanced performance techniques —begin Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Delaware Historical Society.  In December, CTC returns to The Black Box to present a stripped-down version of the Sondheim classic, Sunday in the Park with George, running Dec. 1-16. They plan to collaborate with local visual artists to produce a “live” piece of art during each production — delivering a fresh, immersive multi-genre experience every night.  Tickets for all CTC and Fearless productions are available at city-theater.org.

Wilmington’s most affordable and diverse music series presents three full-length Festival Concerts this fall, featuring organist David Schelat on Saturday, Oct. 14; Pyxis Piano Quartet on Saturday, Oct. 28; and Mastersingers of Wilmington on Saturday, Nov. 4. Its much-beloved weekly music fest, Thursday Noontime Concerts, begins Thursday, Oct. 5 with a lineup including regional favorites like Copeland String Quartet, pianist Daniel Carunchio and countertenor Gus Mercante as well as a return appearance by Lyra Russian Choir – the vocal ensemble of St. Petersburg. The Noontime schedule culminates in the holiday tradition of the Cartoon Christmas Trio on Thursday, Dec. 7 and a holiday concert by Center City Chorale on Thursday, Dec. 14. Festival concert tickets and more details can be found at marketstreetmusicde.org.

Delaware’s ensemble known for ‘provocative pairings’ announces its 25th Anniversary Season! On Saturday, September 30, the season begins in a new partnership with the Delaware Historical Society for Up Close & Personal: The Violin – an informal afternoon of music and conversation featuring ensemble violinist, Christof Richter. This landmark season is highlighted by four new works from composers Chris Braddock, Jennifer Nicole Campbell, Mark Hagerty and Thomas Whitman, as well as a poetry and music collaboration entitled United Sounds of America with Delaware's Poets Laureate, The Twin Poets, Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Albert Mills. The ensemble also continues its longstanding partnership with its Wilmington Series home, The Delaware Contemporary, with a performance on Sunday, Oct. 29.  That concert will feature the World Premiere of Up to the Light by Mark Hagerty with guest percussionist Chris Hanning and additional music of Bach and Abel. Full details and tickets for all performances can be found at melomanie.org.

The Music School boasts a busy fall of student and professional performances, beginning with its Opening Night – All Bach! A Thank-You Concert on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 7:00pm at its Wilmington Branch. This concert will feature noted works by Bach including Brandenburg Concertos #3 and #5; B Minor Orchestral Suite & Violin Concerto in E Major, performed by chamber orchestra conducted by Simeone Tartaglione. The Music School’s additional professional concerts will include music of the Revolutionary War; the 10th anniversary of its Music of Many Lands program; and an annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.  The Wilmington Community Orchestra, under the baton of Tiffany Lu, will perform works from Barber to Beethoven. And, the school continues to host its Classical Café sessions, which encourage lively discussion on a variety of music-related topics, quarterly Open Mic Nights, a monthly Bluegrass Jam, jazz and several rock-based student and faculty ensemble performances. For complete details and tickets, visit musicschoolofdelaware.org.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Calling All Artists: The Delaware Contemporary Wants YOU to Participate

The Delaware Contemporary is hosting two exciting 6x6 events featuring artwork from artists of all ages and stages in their creative evolution!

We are excited to host this "community-centric art project" again this year! Sign up now to have your work on display at The Delaware Contemporary 
Friday, October 6 through Sunday, October 8, 2017
FREE to participate, FREE to attend! 
Registration ends Wednesday, August 30.


Small Art, Big Auction
The Delaware Contemporary will host the reprisal of SABA on Saturday, November 11, 2017 to present small works of art donated by emerging, mid-career and seasoned artists as well as students, youth and local celebrities! Help support The Delaware Contemporary by donating your work today! 
Art entries due by Monday, October 30, 2017.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Chapel Street Tells a Dark Tale in "The Pillowman"

By Mike Logothetis

(L-R): John Barker, Steve Connor, Jimmy Van Buren. 
Photo by Peter Kuo.
Somewhere at the confluence of Poe, Kafka and Tarantino lies Martin McDonagh’s spellbinding play,The Pillowman. While some would label this as black comedy, I believe it is more dramatic realism. The feelings I had when processing the Chapel Street Players production on my walk home from the theater dealt more with unhealthy realistic possibilities than with sinister “what ifs.”

But my own petty internal arguments should not stop you from getting a ticket to this week’s final run of shows  because this is a play you should experience. Director J.W. Pukatsch puts his four main actors through a gauntlet of emotions because McDonagh’s script demands authenticity. While all the major players were excellent, the show is anchored by the stalwart performance of Jimmy Van Buren as the protagonist Katurian.

Writer Katurian’s 400 short stories (all but one unpublished) might be described as a how-to guide of “101 ways to skewer a 5-year-old.” The purportedly fictional stories have landed Katurian and his weak-minded brother Michal (Sean McKean) in prison, since the killings described in his simply-told fables have been replicated in the town where they live.

The policemen who interrogate Katurian – the disdainful Tupolski (Steve Connor) and his hot-headed partner Ariel (John Barker) – aren’t necessarily wrong in hating what their prisoner has written. These are sick, demented tales of torture written by a bruised man in a world the audience never sees outside of the prison walls. But do these lawmen deserve to be judge, jury and executioner on top of their detective roles?

Barker and Connor, as Ariel and Tupolski, turn the classic good cop/bad cop formula into a devilish vaudevillian routine. "Good cop" Tupolski toys with Katurian, giving him false impressions of understanding, sympathy and hope. "Bad cop" Ariel is an amalgam of the clichéd combustible, torture-happy cop with a secret past. The two have chemistry and perverse senses of humor that fit their surroundings. Neither seems to care a shred for humanity and force Katurian to continuously jump through hoops of their own manic creation.

Van Buren imbues the arrogant yet thin-skinned Katurian from his mercurial talking in the interrogation room to the more subdued time spent with his weak-minded brother in a holding cell. You want to root for Katurian, but the audience sees that he is not a wholly sympathetic character.

Katurian’s inflated sense of self-satisfaction when he tells a story – especially one of his stories – is pure arrogance. When the police criticize and threaten to destroy his writings, the passion boiling within Van Buren’s Katurian is palpable. Hard evidence, artistic merit, and Katurian’s insistence that the stories are pure fiction are all irrelevant. The police want him gone, but he will do anything save his stories (and their integrity).

The relationship between Katurian and his brother, the childlike Michal, is one where the able sibling has assumed a parental role. (What happened to the men’s mother and father is divulged within the play.)  Michal is at once innocent and unpleasant – a dichotomy captured well by actor McKean. But is Katurian the best role model for Michal? Their relationship is a unique one, to say the least, and the play exposes its lineage.

McDonagh leads the audience down a path, but not a predictable one. Its strength is in its imagery and how the principals deliver. The Pillowman is a difficult story to tell, but everything is executed admirably in this production.

The cast is rounded out by Joseph Pukatsch, Penelope Rose Teague, and Ashley Thompson in minor roles. Kudos to set designer and builder Patrick Brisiel for his inventive and effective backdrop and props.

As a playwright, McDonagh has a casual relationship with murder, mutilation and psychological aggrievement so audiences may be shaken by the events described and simulated in The Pillowman. The show contains strong language and adult situations.
The 2003 play received the 2004 Olivier Award for Best New Play, the 2004-5 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Foreign Play and two Tony Awards.


The limited run of The Pillowman ends this week, with 8:00pm shows on August 3, 4 and 5 at the Chapel Street Playhouse, 27 North Chapel Street in Newark. Parking is available on the street or in the small lot behind the building. Tickets are $18 adult; $12 senior; and $5 student and can be purchased online, via telephone 302.368.2480 or at the box office.  

City-Wide Murals Add Vibrancy to Community 'Scapes

This post comes from a press release courtesy of the Creative District Wilmington...
Photos of each city mural. Photo courtesy of Creative District Wilmington. 
Three of Creative District Wilmington's city-wide mural projects have been huge successes, spanning the communities from Westside to Riverside. CDW is grateful to the residents and supporters of these projects  with a special shout-out to artists Corei and Crae Washington of Smashed Label, James Wyatt, and Eric Okdeh for their creativity and talent — their dedication to the projects is evident in the process.

Each mural began by engaging the residents of the community to join open conversations to express their ideas for the images. The artist then developed a design and presented it to the community for feedback and approval. Once the final image was established, the artist scaled the image to the size of the wall, breaking the image into multiple panels on special cloth, known as parachute cloth, for painting.

The community was then invited to attend the paint days — everyone was welcome, no experience was necessary! For this city-wide mural project, each mural community had 3 scheduled paint days in June. A "mural squad" of 10 dedicated local artists participated in all the community paint days, even the Mayor stopped by to add to the mix!

Two  out of the three murals have been installed. The mural located at Kingswood Community Center will be installed by the end of July.

Dedication ceremonies for each mural will be announced soon!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Once More unto DelShakes, Dear Friends...for Henry V

L-R: Carlo Campbell as Exeter, Emilie Krause as Henry,
Savannah Jackson as Ely and Guillermo Alonso as Canterbury.
Photo by Alessandra Nicole.
By Mike Logothetis

In his time, William Shakespeare became the toast of London theater circles by pleasing critics and the masses with popular plays which contained exceptional turns of phrases. Centuries later, his words remain steeped in the English lexicon. But did you know The Bard was also a motivational speaker? Actually, he wasn’t…but he wrote some extremely stirring speeches.

In America, we have “Give me liberty, or give me death!” (Patrick Henry) and “Let’s win one for the Gipper” (Knute Rockne). These are powerful words from our history which moved politicians and collegiate football players to greatness.

In Henry V, Shakespeare wrote not just one, but three superb speeches which continue to stir passion and urge listeners to action – sometimes beyond their apparent means and abilities.

“O ceremony, show me but thy worth!” (Act IV, Scene I)

But the power of these speeches and other lines of script mean little without context and delivery. The 15th annual Delaware Shakespeare production of Henry V provides its audience with those parameters of success (plus wine!). Director Jessica Bedford has assembled an excellent cast of nobles, soldiers, and other players to bring the 16th century show about the trials of leadership to life for a contemporary audience.

The most notable is the role of the titular king, played with fiery depth by Emilie Krause. Yes, the king is really a queen of the stage in this gender-blind production. Because the words are so strong and the direction so polished, you don’t dwell on “Harry” being played by a woman. (You shouldn’t anyway.) Krause wrestles with decisions, lashes out at traitors, fraternizes with common soldiers, and courts a French princess like any good Shakespearean hero king would. She’s the foundation on which this lovely outdoor
L-R: Adam Altman as Fluellen
and Guillermo Alonso as MacMorris.
Photo by Alessandra Nicole.
production sits.

Along with Krause, Leonard Kelly stands out playing three disparate roles to perfection: Bardolph, Erpingham, and the King of France. Kelly’s ability to transition from the drunken common man in the trenches to a king trying to control his nobles, son, and armies against English invaders is impressive.

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more” (Act III, Scene I)

If you are unfamiliar with the play, the story focuses on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years’ War between England and France. Characters on both sides scheme for power, jostle for political and economic position, and steal for profit. The scene where Henry confronts those who conspire to murder him is a powerful one. The audience can feel the walls closing in on those who wish to depose their king.

Don’t be frightened of Shakespeare’s famous wordplay – the actors convey more than their scripted lines with their actions and reactions to events taking place on stage. The pacing is tight and the plot is clear to follow. Even if you miss some nuance due to language, you can follow the story and empathize with the heavy situations King Henry must weigh in his mind.

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers” (Act IV, Scene III)

The raised circular stage has four entrance and exit passages which makes the audience feel part of the action, especially during the climactic battle. This intimacy also allows those delicate lines delivered with passion or humor or anger or pathos to draw you closer to identifying with certain characters and circumstances. It is an ideal venue and setting to enjoy Shakespeare’s work. (It's also beautiful when you settle into a chair and soak it all in.)

Only three actors play single roles and the well-drilled cast of Guillermo Alonso, Adam Altman, Nathan Bunyon, Carlo Campbell, Macy Jae Davis, Kristin Devine, Nico Galloway, Savannah Jackson, Annette Kaplafka, Marcellus McQueen, Adam Pierce Montgomery, David Pica, and Cristina Riegel are a worthy Shakespearean troupe.

Attending performances outside in the round (under the stars!) at Rockwood Mansion is a delight that longtime area theater-lovers and burgeoning fans should make plans to experience. Henry V runs from July 14-30 with gates opening early for pre-show entertainment and picnics. For the first time, bottles of wine will be available for purchase this year, courtesy of Swigg. Concessions featuring foods from Janssen’s Market will also be on sale. Patrons are encouraged to bring picnicking items plus lawn chairs and blankets to the park for the performances.

General admission is $18 with discounted tickets for seniors and active military ($16) as well as students ($14). Children age 5 and under are free and each Sunday is Family Night. Curtain is at 7:30 from Wednesdays through Saturdays and at 6 on Sundays.

The 2017 Delaware Shakespeare season will include two full productions – the current Summer Festival (Henry V) and a fall Community Tour (As You Like It) from October 25 through November 9. There will also be three ticketed performances on November 10-12 at OperaDelaware Studios.

“The game's afoot: Follow your spirit” (Act III, Scene I)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

DSO Concludes Its 2016-17 Season Celebrating Beethoven

By Christine Facciolo
A Beethoven overture followed by a Beethoven concerto followed by a Beethoven symphony. It doesn’t get much better than — that unless you factor in solid performances in a lush garden venue on a perfect early summer evening.

The Delaware Symphony Orchestra under the direction of David Amado gave a post-season performance in the open-air theatre at Longwood Gardens that continued the orchestra’s year-long exploration of the works of Ludwig van Beethoven.

The opening offering, the Coriolan Overture, was written in 1807 intended for Heinrich Joseph von Collin’s tragic play Coriolan, which was about the semi-legendary Roman figure Gaius Marcius Coriolanus. The work loosely follows the course of the play, beginning with some emphatic declamatory chords followed by an anxious scurrying motif. The first part is cast in a minor key depicting a bellicose Coriolanus and his intention to invade Rome. The move to a gentler theme in a major key suggests a softening of his attitude as he yields to his mother’s pleas not to invade the city. He has, however, brought his army to Rome’s gates and cannot turn back, so he kills himself. The performance was as fierce as the music, allowing Amado to demonstrate to perfection his control of the orchestra and its dynamics.

The highlight of the evening was Peter Serkin, one of the great pianists of our time, playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. It was hard not to feel starstruck by such an accomplished musician, and when he walked onstage with a relaxed smile, he seemed not only confident but relaxed and generous.

This work, which Beethoven wrote before the first piano concerto, features some of the composer’s most famous tunes. Serkin, who is obviously very familiar with this concerto, gave the first movement a delicate and elegant reading. He captured the serenity and spirituality of the second movement with a personal and beautifully touching interpretation. The third movement was all fun as it introduced the theme in an off-beat rhythm. (Later when the theme is played on the beat, it almost sounds wrong.) The tempo was well-judged and the interplay between orchestra and soloist was well-nuanced under Amado’s direction.

After the break, the evening continued with the Symphony No. 4, an Amado favorite but one that continues, unfortunately, to be underrated given its position between the “Eroica” and the ubiquitous Fifth.

The first movement opened with a tension-filled Adagio which gave way to a vigorous Allegro with striking dynamic contrasts, including some mellow sounds from the woodwind section. The Adagio was beautifully sculpted with some very effective soft-playing mid-movement. The finale scampered along with a strength and brio that characterized the entire performance.

See their new website! www.delawaresymphony.org.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Delaware Chamber Music Festival Closes 32nd Season with More Brahms & Jazz

By Christine Facciolo

The Delaware Chamber Music Festival continued its celebration of the music of Johannes Brahms June 23 through 25 with complementary works by Beethoven, Stravinsky, Mozart and Turina.

The Festival Quartet includes: Barbara Govatos, violin & DCMF Artistic Director; Hirono Oka, violin; Che-Hung Chen, viola and Clancy Newman, cello.  Guest artists this season were: Kristen Johnson, viola; Marcantonio Barone, Julie Nishimura & Natalie Zhu, pianistsDouglas Mapp, bass; Tina Betz, voice and Jonathan Whitney, arranger and director of Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency. 

Friday, June 23’s concert opened with a performance of Beethoven’s String Quartet in F major, Op.18, no. 1. The instrumental Brahms owes much to Beethoven, who brought many innovations to his musical genres, not the least of which was the systematic use of interlocking thematic devices to achieve intra- and inter-movement unity in long compositions.

The six quartets that make up the Op. 18 set were Beethoven’s way of announcing to the world that he was to be taken seriously as a composer. It was evident that the musicians viewed the work not as the apogee of 18th Century Viennese Classicism, but rather as a transitional work that looked forward to the composer’s middle period.

That approach was made plain in the slow movement, which was presented as a deeply felt lament. Here Beethoven goes far beyond Haydn, writing in an emotional intensity — the movement is his musical depiction of the tomb scene of “Romeo and Juliet” — that must have shocked his contemporaries. The finale was energetic and incisive, elegant and charming.

Guest artists Hirono Oka (violin) and Marcantonio Barone (piano) collaborated in a tour de force rendering of Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, a 1930s work arranged from the ballet Pulcinella. Stravinsky based Pulcinella on music that had been attributed (probably erroneously) to the 18th Century Italian composer Giovanni Pergolesi. The result is not an antiquarian piece but a seamless fusion of the old and the new. Stravinsky maintained the courtly character of the Baroque melodies but spiced up the music with pungent harmonies and updated rhythms.

Oka and Barone respected the 18th Century influences in a refined performance full of spongy Baroque rhythms. But they also played with ample color and expression, making the music sound decidedly contemporary. Oka’s tone was both sweet and luminous and decisive.

The lighthearted character of the Suite Italienne gave way to the symphonic grandeur of Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34. Brahms published the work when he was 32 years old, but by then it had gone through several transformations: it began as a string quintet in 1862 and was rescored as a work for two pianos until Brahms gave it its final form.

This is a work of surging passion, tempered only momentarily by the softer-edged Andante. Govatos, Oka, Chen, Newman and Barone conveyed the full-bodied Romanticism of the two outer movements and the driven Scherzo and a plaintive, soulful rendering of the slow movement. Yet as heated as the music got, the ensemble kept the texture remarkably transparent. Viola and cello lines were never buried yet the group produced a solid, powerful sound.

On Saturday, June 24, concertgoers headed to the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew in downtown Wilmington for a free concert, marking the first collaboration between the DCMF and the residents of the Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency. Six residents were given a week to compose a work that incorporated a classical string quartet 
 a first for these talented young artists.

Each composition was noteworthy but Sasquatch by vibraphonist Grady Tesch brought down the house. Tesch also excelled as a featured player in Mike Talento’s Half and Half and as lyricist and vocalist in Ike Spivak’s Plot Twist, which recounted the musical journeys of jazz luminaries.

Jazz vocalist Isabel Crespo gave a plaintive rendering of her composition Hide and Seek, while trombonist Kristin Monroe ably combined elements of jazz and classical in Coasting Equilibrium, her contribution in the tradition of Astor Piazzolla’s nuevo tango. Libby Larsen kept the musicians moving — especially pianist Julie Nishimura — with the kinetic energy of Four on the Floor.

Tina Betz, also executive director of the Light Up the Queen Foundation, applied her dramatic contralto to a powerful rendering of Strange Fruit, a song about lynching made famous by the late Billie Holiday. Douglas Mapp, associate principal bass with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, joined the string quartet to accompany. The song was arranged for this performance by Boysie Lowery director, Jonathan Whitney.

Sunday, June 25’s program opened with Mozart’s Divertimento in D major, K. 136, the first of a group of works known collectively as the “Salzburg” symphonies. The work was performed at the request of DCMF Board President Carolyn Luttrell. Govatos, Oka, Chen and Newman played with a nimbleness and precision that underscored the decorous elegance of a work that can only be described as a masterpiece on the smallest possible scale.

Pianist Natalie Zhu joined Govatos, Chen and Newman in a seductive and sensitive performance of Joaquin Turina’s Piano Quarter in A minor, Op. 67. Composed in 1931, this gently melancholic work resonates with the vivid harmonies and impetuous rhythms of Spanish folk music yet at the same time bears the imprint of impressionists’ influence in its spacious, colorful textures.

The program — and season — concluded with a performance of Brahms’ breathtaking Quintet in G major, Op. 111. Orchestra in conception, this piece creates the effect of far more than five players. This was a passionate performance. Cellist Newman was more than equal to the full opening of the first movement. The Adagio was rapt intensity; the Allegretto wistful and the finale, robust.

See www.dcmf.org