Mes Amis! All Things French in the Catskills and at SPAC


Four Nations Ensemble
8:00 pm • Saturday, August 23rd 2014
Doctorow Center for the Arts, Catskill Mountain Foundation • Hunter, NY

3:00 pm • Sunday, August 24th 2014
Spa Little Theatre at SPAC • Saratoga Springs, NY

It seems there is a little bit of French in the air, mais oui?  Friday (Aug 22nd) was Claude Debussy’s birthday and strains of various works of his were plenty across the airwaves. This weekend also brings two French-centered programs that are worth highlighting.

Four Nations Ensemble: Before the Déluge: Music from Versailles and Paris

The Four Nations Ensemble has established itself as one of New York’s most imaginative early-music ensembles and is recognized for its adventuresome programming with invitations to play an active role in planning chamber music offerings at major festivals around the country. Led by harpsichordist Andrew Appel, the program description for Saturday night’s program at the Doctorow Center for the Arts is too inviting and delectable not to share:

On the 250th anniversary of the death of Jean-Philippe Rameau and  murder of Jean-Marie Leclair, experience the uniquely beautiful and sensuous music of the Court of Louis XIV and XV as well as music from the first public concerts in Paris in the 18th century with one of America’s most imaginative and compelling early music ensembles. The melancholy and noble sentiment of Francois Couperin and the harrowing drama of Louis Nicolas Clérambault’s cantata Medea, will modulate your sense of music at court from images of a pretty minuet into something by turns grand, touching, and exciting!

Soprano Pascale Beaudin joins the Four Nations Ensemble. For more information on the program, click here.

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at SPAC: Colors of France

On Sunday afternoon, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center brings its palette of  French colors to the Spa Little Theater.

The sensuous and seductive aesthetic of Impressionism is perfectly captured in this program which combines familiar French classics by Fauré and Debussy with other works by Saint-Saëns and Tournier.  The program includes:

  • Saint-Saëns — Fantaisie in A major for Violin and Harp, Op. 124
  • Debussy — Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp
  • Tournier — Suite for Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Harp, Op. 34
  • Fauré — Quartet No. 2 in G minor for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello, Op. 45

The charismatic flutist Tara Helen O’Connor and virtuoso harpist Bridget Kibbey, join a quartet of strings—Kristen Lee (violin), Arnaud Sussmann (violin), Yura Lee (viola) and Paul Watkins (cello)—and pianist Wu Han.

Hope you get to savor some of the wonderful fare … bon appétit!

Upcoming Events

  • The Sembrich: “Stephanie Blythe Sings Kate Smith”
  • Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum, Bolton Landing, NY
    Saturday, August 30th 2014 at 6:30 pm

  • Maverick Concerts: Pacifica Quartet
  • The Maverick, Woodstock, NY
    Sunday, August 31st 2014 at 4:00 pm

  • Albany Symphony Orchestra with Joshua Bell: Needham, Elgar and Bruch
  • Palace Theater, Albany, NY
    Saturday, September 6th 2014 at 7:00 pm

  • Ji, piano: Bach, Debussy, Stravinsky, Mendelssohn, and Prokoviev
  • Tannery Pond, Mount Lebanon, NY
    Saturday, September 6th 2014 at 8:00 pm

  • Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto
  • Emmanuel Baptist Church, Albany, NY
    Friday, September 19th 2014 at 7:30 pm

  • Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto
  • Emmanuel Baptist Church, Albany, NY
    Sunday, September 21st 2014 at 4:00 pm

  • Paul Huang, violin and Louis Schwizgebel, piano: Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Kreisler, and Corigliano
  • Tannery Pond, Mount Lebanon, NY
    Saturday, September 27th 2014 at 6:00 pm

  • Windham Festival Chamber Orchestra
  • Doctorow Center for the Arts, Catskill Mountain Foundation, Hunter, NY
    Saturday, November 29th 2014 at 8:00 pm