CAMBRIDGE — One of the most unusual and delightful evenings of this year’s Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival will take place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at Christ Church in Cambridge when oboist Peggy Pearson and pianist Diane Walsh join forces in a recital.
This pairing of instruments and artists is a rare treat, and the program will include a wide choice of composers. The recital, “From Rags to Riches,” will cover such musical favorites as Schubert, Brahms, and Mozart, followed by an introduction to contemporary composers Lilburn and Psathas, before returning to American composers Bolcom and Gershwin.
Schubert’s Rondo in A Major will be a beautiful start to the program. Walsh has said she thinks this is one of the most touching pieces Schubert ever wrote. The Klavierstücke and an Intermezzo by Brahms will follo,w and the audience will hear a superb Mozart Sonata in A Major before the program takes a more contemporary turn.
On her concert tour in New Zealand last year, Walsh learned music by composers Douglas Lilburn and John Psathas, and thought it would be nice to include works by both American and New Zealand composers in this recital program. Lilburn, a student of Ralph Vaughan Williams, wrote his Sonatina for piano in 1946; his early style is spare and somewhat like Copeland’s. One of New Zealand’s most frequently performed composers, John Psathas currently teaches at Victoria University. His “Waiting for the Aeroplane” has a repetitive pattern in the left hand decorated with improvisatory figures in the right hand.
The work of two consummately American artists will round out the concert — William Bolcom’s winsome “Graceful Ghost Rag” and George Gershwin’s “Three Preludes.” The latter, with its familiar and beloved blues motif and jazz syncopation, is played in any number of orchestral, chamber and solo arrangements, but here sounds as if it had been written especially for the combination of oboe and piano. Both of these composers have captured something characteristic about the American experience of their respective times.
“Christ Church on historic High Street will be an ideal setting for this music,” said Don Buxton, executive director of Chesapeake Music. “We are excited to return to this venue this year and look forward to a wonderful recital.”
A reception will follow the recital. For tickets and additional information, visit chesapeakemusic.org or call 410- 819-0380.