Grace Notes: The familiar and unfamiliar from Boulder orchestras

World premiere from Boulder Symphony, chamber music from BCO

By Peter Alexander Jan. 12 at 3:10 p.m.

The Boulder Symphony and conductor Devin Patrick Hughes will start the new year with a new piece—the world premiere of the Oboe Concerto by CU graduate John Clay Allen.

John Clay Allen

The premiere will be included on concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Jan. 13 and 14) in the Gordon Gamm Theater of the Dairy Arts Center. Other works on the same program are the much loved “New World” Symphony of Dvořák, the Overture to The Song of Hiawatha by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and music from the film Jurassic Park by John Williams.

Allen, who received his DMA in composition in 2019, has been active as a pianist and conductor in addition to his work as a composer. The soloist for the concerto will be the Boulder Symphony’s principal oboist, Ingrid Anderson.

One of the most familiar works in the symphony repertoire, the “New World” Symphony includes music inspired by Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha. The poem was familiar to Dvořák, who once planned an opera on the subject. That connection is highlighted by the inclusion of Coleridge-Taylor’s Overture to his trio of cantatas, The Song of Hiawatha.

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Boulder Symphony, Devin Patrick Hughes, conductor
With Ingrid Anderson, oboe

  • John Clay Allen: Oboe Concert (World premiere)
  • John Williams: Themes from Jurassic Park
  • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Overture to The Song of Hiawatha
  • Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”)

7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 and 14
Gordon Gamm Theater, Dairy Arts Center

TICKETS

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David Korevaar. Photo by Matthew Dine

Pianist David Korevaar returns for the second of two chamber music concerts with members of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra (BCO) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 14) at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Boulder.

The program comprises two sextets for piano and woodwind quintet, one by the obscure composer Ludwig Thuille and one by the much more familiar Francis Poulenc. The third and final concert of Korevaar’s chamber series with the BCO, comprising quintets for piano with winds, will be April 8.

Thuille “is even more obscure than (his teacher) Rheinberger, which is saying something,” Korevaar says. Apart from the Sextet, his music is very rarely performed.

“The piece is wonderful, but it sounds very much of its time and place. (It represents) a nice late-Romantic idiom, with some occasional adventurous harmonies, (but) it doesn’t push boundaries in any way.

Poulenc’s Sextet is very popular with players and audiences alike. “It’s a classic,” Korevaar says. “If you think of one piece for piano and wind quintet, this is the piece you’ll think of. it’s very popular for good reason, filled with good infectious Poulenc-ey tunes, and the writing is brilliant for all the instruments. It’s just a marvelous, successful piece.”

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David Korevaar, piano, with members of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra

  • Ludwig Thuille: Sextet in B-flat major for piano and wind quintet, op 6
  • Francis Poulenc: Sextet for piano and wind quintet

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14
Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 345 Mapleton Ave., Boulder

TICKETS


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