In The Press

Praise for the Taos Chamber Music Group!

"One of the great treasures of Taos" -The Taos News
"Big magic...silken ensemble playing"
-Albuquerque Journal
“A remarkable concert of juxtaposed styles”
-Horse Fly
“Depth, vitality and inventiveness”
-Spencer Beckwith, KUNM
Taos Chamber Music Group presents "Youthful Exuberance"

The Taos Chamber Music Group’s 2019-2020 27th Season continues on Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15, 5:30 p.m. at the Harwood Museum of Art with a program called “Youthful Exuberance.” Uplifting compositions for flute, clarinet, horn, violin, cello and piano that were written when composers were under 30 include works by Mozart, Vaughan Williams, Judd Greenstein and George Rochberg.

“Music continues to be the balm that we can turn to when the world seems to be spinning out of control, offering solace, inspiration and even exultation,” says TCMG Director and flutist Nancy Laupheimer. “This program was chosen in part for the optimism the pieces express.”

As always TCMG has a stellar lineup of musicians on board, including newcomer Marianne Shifrin on clarinet. Shifrin is principal clarinetist of the New Mexico Philharmonic and a member of the Arizona Opera Orchestra and the El Paso Symphony. She has also performed at the Music Academy of the West, and the Aspen, Sarasota, Chautauqua, and Bowdoin music festivals. Chamber music appearances include the Phoenix Winter Chamber Music Festival, Albuquerque’s Chatter Series, and as clarinetist with the August Winds, a Dallas based wind quintet. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree and a Performer Diploma from Indiana University and her Master of Music degree from Yale University.

Shifrin will be joined by Jeffrey Rogers on horn, Elizabeth Baker, violin, Sally Guenther, cello and Debra Ayers, piano for the program’s centerpiece, Ralph Vaughan Williams little heard “Quintet in D Major.” Composed in 1898 when he was just 26 years old, the “Quintet” is one of the few written for this unusual but melodious combination. After a first performance in 1901, the piece evidently sat on a shelf until it started to be performed again in 2001! More Brahmsian than what came to be Vaughan Williams’ mature style, the work takes a bright-eyed look at Romanticism’s often darker side.

Shifrin will also join Rogers and Ayers for a piece that was first written in 1947 by the American composer George Rochberg, who later became known as a devoted atonalist. Written when he was 29, his “Trio in Bb Major” for clarinet, horn and piano shows more of the influences of his teacher Gian Carlo Menotti, as well as Bartok and Stravinsky, than the father of serial music, Arnold Schoenberg. Mellifluous and contrapuntal, the piece was revised in 1980 when Rochberg’s compositions returned to tonality.

The performances will begin with the most youthful piece on the program, one of Mozart’s delightful flute (violin) and keyboard sonatas, composed when he was just eight years old. Laupheimer will be featured with Ayers on piano and Guenther boosting the bass line on cello.

Laupheimer and Ayers will also join forces for an amazing romp called “Moment of Clarity” by New York composer Judd Greenstein. Written in 2007 when Greenstein was 27, the piece is meant as the first movement of a longer work dedicated to the flutist Alex Sopp. Greenstein began his composition career by making hip hop beats in his Greenwich Village childhood home. Still an incredibly active part of the New York City new music scene, he has composed most of his works with particular musicians and ensembles in mind. Of Sopp and this composition he writes: “I think of the piece as a reflection of Alex’s unique character and musical personality — bright and colorful, but also deeply passionate and intense…Clarity is a cardinal virtue for me, in life and in music, and Alex is a champion in this regard.”

Laupheimer says she slipped one more piece into the program for its exuberance and instrumentation rather than the age of the composer. Gary Schocker’s “Water Music,” written in 2010 for flute, horn and piano, has two movements, Waves and Sun, that are quite descriptive in their flowing form and exultant character. "The piece sounds like the ocean to me, and that is how I titled it," wrote Schocker.

For tickets and more information, visit the Taos Chamber Music Group website at Tickets are also on sale at the Harwood Museum, 758-9826, where there is a discount for museum members. Lambert's Doc Martin's, Martrys and the Gorge Bar and Grill restaurants offer TCMG ticket holders dinner discounts after the concerts. TCMG’s season continues with concerts in April and May.


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