Celebrating Chamber Music Month with Iridescence

Iridescence3:00 pm • Sunday, May 21st 2017
The Hyde Collection • Glens Falls, NY

As April is Jazz Appreciation Month, May is National Chamber Music Month. Thus, we make note of this annual celebration of small ensemble music and give a round of applause to all the chamber musicians and composers in our region and the numerous presenters who help bring some pretty fabulous music into our lives. Thank you all!

Generally, we know chamber music when we hear and see it. Right? But, do you ever wonder what the term actually means? (sense an Andy Rooney moment about to happen?) Chamber Music America, the service organization for the chamber music field, defines “chamber music as works for small ensembles of 2-10 members, playing one to a part and, in most cases, performs without a conductor. It includes contemporary music, jazz, world music, Western classical, and styles that draw from all of these.” So, we think string quartets, piano trios, wind quintets, a  jazz trio, and the variety of duos… well, you get the picture. However… what about an ensemble such as Black Violin that was recently at The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and who will be at SPAC this August? That infectious hip-hopping plugged-in viola and violin duo backed by drum set and turntable artist that is infused with doses of classical music here and there. It’s a small contemporary ensemble between 2-10 members performing one to a part without a conductor. Interesting, seems to be … but not quite convinced…. Yep, still working on that myself, but I think an argument could be made. So I’m not ready to dismiss that thought quite yet.

CMA_Chamber Music MonthWhile you ponder that in the back of your mind, you’ll notice there is quite a bit of “traditional” classical chamber music happening this weekend. Saturday brings a Tannery Pond Concerts season gala opener (click here for details) and a Classics on Hudson performance in the newly renovated Hudson Hall at what has been known as the Hudson Opera House (click here for details). On Sunday, Capitol Chamber Artists brings its 2016-17 season to a close with quite an interesting program and world premiere by Peter Toth (click here for details). And, the de Blasiis Chamber Music Series also brings its season to a close on Sunday. It’s this concert that’s caught my attention as I have a bit of harp fascination going on at the moment, and the program incorporates a few nods to regional composers reflecting the comradeship that is at the heart of chamber music.

The de Blasiis concert is a performance by Iridescence, the duo of flutist Jan Vinci and harpist Karlinda Caldicott. Perhaps familiar names to many of you as they reside and are active in the Capital Region. Vinci and Caldicott met at the Cleveland Institute of Music where Jan was studying with the world renowned Maurice Sharp and Karlinda with the famous harpist and teacher, Alice Chalifoux. They combined their talents to learn the dynamics and nuances of this beloved instrumental combination and in 1982 Iridescence was founded. Iridescence’s repertoire spans from the Middle Ages to the contemporary and has engaged in commissioning works for the duo and expanded instrumentation as well.

The Sunday afternoon program at The Hyde Collection is one that ranges from C.P.E. Bach to Albany resident Ray Bono:

  • C.P.E. Bach — Hamburger Sonata in G major, Nr. 133
  • Ray BonoTrafficking With Ghosts
  • Robert Muczynski — Three Preludes, Op. 18 for solo flute
  • Vincent Persichetti — Serenade No. 10 for flute and harp
  • Janice Maille Bullard (arr. Karlinda Caldicott) — Fantasies on Celtic Airs
  • Charles Rochester YoungSong of the Lark for flute and harp
  • Bernard Andrès — Epices pour harpe
  • Carmen Petra-Basacopol — Sonata for flute and harp

The full program and accompanying notes can be viewed in advance of the concert by clicking here. However, we’ll pull forward a few notes about the works with local connections:

Ray Bono’s Trafficking With Ghosts (“Honey,” “Attila,” and the “State Street Pub”) was originally written–hastily, during a hectic summer–as a piece for violin and harp at the request of violinist Elizabeth Silver and harpist Karlinda Caldicott, of the Eribeth Chamber Players, who premiered it in Rensselaerville, New York, in July 2002. A brief work, it tries to capture in sound some of the soul-shaking experience of being haunted. This is the first performance of the present version for flute and harp. Although Bono was born in Brooklyn, he has been an Albany resident for quite some time and has worked behind the scenes and onstage in a variety of capacities for a variety of arts organizations. He has written several chamber compositions and arrangements, and some of his short prose and two choral pieces, All We Know and Round and Round, have won awards. He has also provided incidental music for such theater companies as the Actors Shakespeare Company and the New York State Theater Institute.

With a performance of two of Janice Maille Bullard’s Fantasies on Celtic Airs, Iridescence pays tribute to Bullard’s service over the years to the de Blasiis Chamber Music Series Board and community. A longtime resident of Glens Falls, Jan was church organist since a teenager and teacher of many young aspiring piano students. A choral composer, Bullard’s compositional melodic prowess lends itself beautifully to the Celtic songs. Her original is comprised of four songs for flute and piano, and the first two lend themselves to the wonderful sonority of the flute and harp, which has been done by Karlinda Caldicott.

Such a great way to celebrate chamber music and reap the benefits of a sense of community all the way round. Happy musicking this weekend!

Upcoming Events

  • WMHT “No Ticket Required”: Berkshire Lyric Chorus performs Pärt
  • WMHT-FM (Radio Broadcasts), Troy, NY
    Friday, May 26th 2017 at 2:00 pm

  • “WMHT Live!”: Celebrating David Alan Miller & Albany Symphony | Corigliano, Torke, Mallamud, and more
  • WMHT-FM (Radio Broadcasts), Troy, NY
    Friday, May 26th 2017 at 6:00 pm

  • “WMHT Live!”: Albany Symphony and Albany Pro Musica | Tower, Tsontakis, Beethoven
  • WMHT-FM (Radio Broadcasts), Troy, NY
    Sunday, May 28th 2017 at 6:00 pm

  • ASO American Music Festival: Berlin-Spiridopoulos-Krasin | Plog, Ewazen, Clarke, and more
  • Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, NY
    Wednesday, May 31st 2017 at 12:00 pm

  • ASO American Music Festival: Composer To Center Stage Reading Session | Peck, Zare, Park
  • EMPAC at RPI, Troy, NY
    Thursday, June 1st 2017 at 7:30 pm

  • Classics on Hudson: cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley | Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich
  • Hudson Opera House, Hudson, NY
    Friday, June 2nd 2017 at 7:00 pm

  • ASO American Music Festival: Dogs of Desire | Cuong, McKenna Lee, Gould, Haddad, Mallamud and more
  • EMPAC at RPI, Troy, NY
    Friday, June 2nd 2017 at 7:30 pm

  • ASO American Music Festival: Shankar Tucker & Reena Esmail | Original and Improvised Works
  • EMPAC at RPI, Troy, NY
    Friday, June 2nd 2017 at 9:30 pm

  • ASO American Music Festival: Argus Quartet | Cerrone, Honstein, Livengood, Theofanidis, Knox
  • St. Paul’s Church, Troy, NY
    Saturday, June 3rd 2017 at 9:30 am

  • ASO American Music Festival: “This Land Sings” Songs of Wandring, Love & Protest | Daugherty
  • EMPAC at RPI, Troy, NY
    Saturday, June 3rd 2017 at 12:00 pm

  • ASO American Music Festival: Sandbox Percussion with mezzo-soprano Elspeth Davis | Crowell, Akiho, Cerrone, Reich
  • EMPAC at RPI, Troy, NY
    Saturday, June 3rd 2017 at 3:00 pm

  • ASO American Music Festival with Chee-Yun, violin & Shankar Tucker, clarinet | Balch, Esmail, Picker, Theofanidis
  • EMPAC at RPI, Troy, NY
    Saturday, June 3rd 2017 at 7:30 pm

  • ASO American Music Festival: Guitarist Andrew Mckenna Lee | Bach, Mckenna Lee, Reich
  • EMPAC at RPI, Troy, NY
    Saturday, June 3rd 2017 at 9:30 pm

  • ASO American Music Festival: Pianist Findlay Cockrell | Gershwin, Joplin, Gottschalk, Wild Gershwin, Joplin,
  • Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, NY
    Sunday, June 4th 2017 at 1:00 pm

  • ASO American Music Festival: Erie Canal Preview Concert | Schlosberg, Socolofsky, Negrón, Wallace Chase Loiacono, Mallamud
  • Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, NY
    Sunday, June 4th 2017 at 3:00 pm