Irish chamber music in Beaver Creek |

Irish chamber music in Beaver Creek

Kris Sabel
Vail CO, Colorado
AE Kris Sabel 12-28-06 KH

Editor’s note: Director’s Chair is a weekly column in which Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.

Hailed by the press for its “enthralling performances” that “brim with musicality,” Camerata Ireland brings Irish musicians together from all over the world to celebrate Ireland and the wealth of musical talent that abounds in that country and beyond.

The chamber orchestra is under the artistic and musical direction of acclaimed pianist Barry Douglas, and it is entirely comprised of exceptionally talented Irish musicians, many of whom also play in top positions in other premier orchestras. Camerata Ireland is honored to have the joint patronage of Mary McAleese, President of Ireland and Queen Elizabeth II. The ensemble enjoys an active touring schedule, and has presented concerts on four continents, including performances in China, Poland, England, France, Italy and Germany. The Vilar Performing Arts Center is proud to be a part of its most recent U.S. tour, with a performance in Beaver Creek at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The concert will feature some of the best chamber music ever written. The opening selection, Mozart’s “Serenade No. 13 for Strings” in G major (Eine Kleine Nachtmusik) has a second movement that is likely one of the most recognized and beautiful pieces of music in the world. Also included in the evenings program are Prokofiev’s “Andante for String Orchestra” and “Romance for Strings” in C major by Jean Sibelius.

And, in a stroke of programming genius, the concert closes with another “Serenade for Strings,” this time by Tchaikovsky in C Major. Elegant and charming with the soaring atmosphere of the Russian Romantics, this piece is Tchaikovsky at his best.

The centerpiece of this evening will be Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 14” in E-flat major. Douglas will share his immense talent as soloist in this portion of the evening.

What a treat it will be to see him simultaneously perform and conduct from the piano.

Douglas has enjoyed a major career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow, the only non-Russian to do so since Van Cliburn. The Belfast native has performed with leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic and all the major London orchestras.

Camerata Ireland’s recording of Beethoven’s complete Piano Concertos was hailed by Audiophile Audition as “music making of the highest order,” with Gramophone praising the group as “Ireland’s best,” and Fanfare Magazine raving, “Douglas plays and leads superbly; his execution is highly polished and well nigh perfect.”

As always I cannot stress enough how perfectly designed the Vilar Center is for this type of concert ” classical music listening at the highest level. The evening will begin with a pre-performance discussion at 5:30 p.m., which will offer insight into the evening’s performers and repertoire.

I hope to see you at the theater.

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