Serenata to feature winds in concert - Albuquerque Journal

Serenata to feature winds in concert

Flutist Diva Goodfriend-Koven will perform with Serenata of Santa Fe.
Flutist Diva Goodfriend-Koven will perform with Serenata of Santa Fe.

Showcasing wind instruments is behind the programming of Serenata of Santa Fe’s “Windstream” concert Sunday in the Scottish Rite Center.

“Beethoven’s ‘Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 16’ is one of the classic pieces in the quintet repertoire,” said oboist Pamela Epple, who is Serenata of Santa Fe’s artistic director. “It was written for oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano. It’s kind of like a little piano concerto with winds supporting the piano part. There’s a solo cadenza for the piano in the third movement.”

Bassoonist Toni Lipton and horn player Scott Temple suggested that Epple include Ludwig Thuille’s “Sextet for Piano and Woodwind Quintet, Op. 6” in the concert. It’s a romantic work that was written in 1888. Thuille, who studied at the Bavarian Royal Conservatory, became a friend of composer Richard Strauss when he was 10 years old and continued the friendship throughout his life. Strauss was instrumental in arranging the premiere performance of Thuille’s sextet.

The work begins with a soft horn solo in an atmospheric allegro movement. The larghetto movement that follows also begins with a horn solo. The dancelike third movement is followed by a lively, melodic vivace movement.

“I’ve played the piece once before,” Epple said. “It’s a work that’s not programmed very often, but Toni and Scott have played it several times and really enjoy it.”

A popular woodwind work by Francis Poulencc, “Sextet for Wind Quintet & Piano in C Major,” completes the program. This three-movement work is scored for piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn. It was written in 1932 and revised in 1939.

The piano is featured prominently and given a part equal to those of the woodwind instruments. A wide range of instrumental colors depict a range of musical emotions.

“It’s really a gorgeous and exuberant piece,” Epple said. “Poulenc did his own thing in composition. He went his own way. His music is succinct, simple, thoughtful and expressive. It grabs you unexpectedly.”

Joining Serenata of Santa Fe regulars Epple, Temple, Lipton, clarinetist Keith Lemmons and pianist Debra Ayers is New York-based flutist Diva Goodfriend-Koven, who has performed worldwide with major orchestras and as a soloist and chamber music recitalist. Goodfriend-Koven has appeared regularly as an associate musician with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic and is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra, the American Ballet Theater orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra.

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