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Music Festival closes this weekend with variety and brilliance

By Camie Sands

The Atlanta Chamber Players will present beloved masterworks and premieres side by side in what is certain to be an exciting close to the 2012 Chamber Music Festival. The group is a mixed ensemble of strings, winds and piano, founded in 1976. Many of the seven musicians are principals with the Atlanta Symphony and have earned a reputation as a pioneer among chamber groups. They have toured extensively in Europe and the United States, demonstrating their virtuosity with beloved traditional masterpieces as well as premieres of music by living American composers.

Final weekend 34th Annual Chamber Music Festival
Fri, Aug 17, 7pm & Sun, Aug 19, 5pm
Teatro Ángela Peralta
Cnr Hernández Macías & Mesones
350 and 450 pesos for reserved seats, 150 non-reserved balcony seats

On Friday, August 17, they will present a rare performance of the outstanding theatrical masterpiece by American George Crumb — Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale.) Inspired by the singing of the humpback whale, this ethereal and moving piece is for amplified trio of flute, cello and piano, with the performers instructed to wear black masks and perform on a stage bathed in blue light. The work traces the development of life through the ages and beyond… to the end of time. Also on Friday’s program are Dohnanyi’s exuberant Serenade for String Trio and Brahms’s sublime Trio in A minor for Clarinet, Cello and Piano.

The Atlanta Chamber Players return Sunday evening for the Grand Finale festival concert at 5pm, concluding with the world premiere of Michael Kurth’s Latin –Americana fused Alallal. “We are excited to present a world premiere, commissioned especially for our debut in San Miguel, to close the festival on Sunday, August 19,” said Paula Peace, artistic director and pianist with the group.  “It’s a very rewarding work, full of infectious Latin rhythms plus famous American melodies. We think of it as a perfect way to blend and celebrate our two cultures.”  Alallal gets its catchy name because Atlanta composer Michael Kurth composed it for all a’ y’all in the Atlanta Chamber Players.  Anchoring Sunday’s program is Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in C minor, a brilliant romantic tour de force, preceded by the Latin American premiere of American Ned Rorem’s Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s lyrical Kegelstatt trio for clarinet, viola and piano.

This final weekend of the 34th Annual San Miguel International Chamber Music Festival is a time to savor the intimacy of chamber music, accessible to all and performed by world-class musicians. Tickets are on sale at the Peralta Theater Box Office, corner of Mesones and Hernandez Macias (side door), from 10am-6. Telephone: 415-152-2200. Prices 450 to 150 pesos.

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