Two mid-week concerts at the Music Academy of the West are worth circling on your program booklet.
First, at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Hahn Hall, the academy will present a recital by Mosher guest artist and internationally acclaimed pianist Ingrid Filter. The following evening, the Academy Brass Ensemble, featuring all brass and percussion fellows and conducted, with one exception, by Mark Lawrence, will offer a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, also in Hahn Hall.
Filter will perform two sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven — the Sonata No. 17 in D-Minor, Opus 31, No. 2, “The Tempest” and the Sonata No. 23 in F-Minor, Opus 57, the “Appassionata” — and three pieces by Frederic Chopin — the Nocturne in Db-Major, Opus 27, No. 2, the Mazurka in C#-Minor, Opus 50, No. 3 and the Ballade No. 4 in F-Minor, Opus 52.
This program sells itself, by and large. Nobody with the least awareness of classical music will be utterly unfamiliar with these two composers and most of their works. For me, the most exciting entry is the first, “The Tempest.” Once the third movement begins, one remembers how much one loves Beethoven — and why.
The Brass Ensemble will play the “March and Procession of Bacchus” from the ballet Sylvia, 1876 by Leo Delibes; the Sonata Pian’ e Forte, 1597 by Giovanni Gabrieli; Anton Bruckner’s setting of the Ave Maria; the “Ricercare à 6” from A Musical Offering by J. S. Bach; Sensemayá, 1938 by Silvestre Revueltas (with Joseph Morris on Eb clarinet and Nathan Lutz on bass); 3 Madrigaux Slaves for brass quintet, 1983 by Ivan Jevtic (Conrad Jones and Nina Dvora on trumpets, Trevor Nuckols on horn, Steven Warren on trombone and Joseph Alvarez on tuba); and A Little Russian Circus, 2000 by Anthony DiLorenzo. Paul Merkelo will conduct the Gabrieli piece.
This program covers a lot of time and space — from late 16th-century Italy and 18th-century Germany to 19th-century France and Austria, 20th- to 21st-century Serbia and 21st-century America. I’m glad to see the Revueltas on the list — I was wondering if we would ever hear from him again, after the departure of Gisèle Ben Dor from the symphony helm.
The six-minute Sensemayá is a short, exciting tone poem based on Mexican mythology. As different as Jevtic (1947- ) and DiLorenzo (1967- ) are from each other — very different indeed! — they have in common that their music is mostly tonal and highly accessible.
Reserved seats to the Filter recital are $40 (including Miraflores facility fee), and reserved seats to the Academy Brass Ensemble are $29 (including Miraflores facility fee). Tickets for both performances are available from the Music Academy Ticket Office at 805.969.8787.