Music Festival returns to Cambridge on June 13

Pianist Diane Walsh

CAMBRIDGE — One of the most unusual and delightful evenings of this year’s Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival will take place in the second week at Christ Church in Cambridge on June 13 at 5:30 p.m. when oboist Peggy Pearson and pianist Diane Walsh join forces in a recital. This pairing of instruments and artists is a rare treat, and the program includes a wide choice of composers.

The recital, “From Rags to Riches,” covers such musical favorites as Schubert, Brahms, and Mozart, followed by an introduction to contemporary composers Lilburn and Psathas, before returning to American composers Bolcom and Gershwin.

Schubert’s “Rondo in A Major” will be a beautiful start to the program. Ms. Walsh has said that she thinks this is one of the most touching pieces that Schubert ever wrote. The “Klavierstücke” and an “Intermezzo” by Brahms will follow and the audience will hear a superb Mozart “Sonata in A Major” before the program takes a more contemporary turn.

On her concert tour in New Zealand last year, Ms. Walsh learned music by composers Douglas Lilburn and John Psathas and thought it would be nice to include works by both American and New Zealand composers in this recital program. Mr. Lilburn, a student of Ralph Vaughan Williams, wrote his Sonatina for piano in 1946; his early style is spare and somewhat like Copeland’s. One of New Zealand’s most frequently performed composers, John Psathas currently teaches at Victoria University. His “Waiting for the Aeroplane” has a repetitive pattern in the left hand decorated with improvisatory figures in the right hand.

The work of two consummately American artists will round out the concert — William Bolcom’s winsome “Graceful Ghost Rag” and George Gershwin’s “Three Preludes.” The latter, with its familiar and beloved blues motif and jazz syncopation, is played in any number of orchestral, chamber, and solo arrangements, but here sounds as if it had been written especially for the combination of oboe and piano. Both of these composers have captured something characteristic about the American experience of their respective times.

According to Don Buxton, executive director of Chesapeake Music, “Christ Church on historic High Street will be an ideal setting for this music. We are excited to return to this venue this year and look forward to a wonderful recital.”

A reception will follow the recital. Sponsors of this year’s Festival include the Talbot County Arts Council, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Talbot Spy. Open rehearsals are free to the general public.

For tickets and additional information, visit chesapeakemusic.org or call 410- 819-0380.

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