Concert Artists' versatility will be tested with new season

October 26, 1990|By Ernest F. Imhoff | Ernest F. Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff

THE VERSATILITY of Concert Artists of Baltimore, its signature card so far here, will be tested tomorrow when its 60 musicians play scores inspired by spiritual concerns, Bohemian folk roots and French Resistance to the Nazi occupation.

Pulled together under a title, "Expressions of the Spirit," the 8 p.m. program begins the group's fourth season of eclectic music at the Friedberg Concert Hall, Peabody Conservatory, under Edward Polochick, artistic and music director. A September concert of Schubert songs began its Walters Art Gallery series of five programs.

"We continue to search out orchestral and vocal music . . . scores of different periods . . . music for one or more than 60 players . . . different periods of the same composer," Polochick said.

The group also plays Baroque to rock in settings outside its homes at Friedberg and the Walters. New Year's Eve, for instance, 20 orchestra members and 20 vocalists are playing at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

Players and singers of Concert Artists come from as far away as New York and Virginia as well as from the Baltimore-Washington area.

Soloists this year will include pianist Paul Maillet, a Peabody Conservatory graduate, Feb. 9, and Daniel Smith, bassoonist, specializing in Vivaldi concertos, May 11.

Tomorrow's program, the first of four at Friedberg, begins with Samuel Barber's "Prayers of Kierkegaard" for chorus, orchestra and solo by Deborah Kent, soprano. The doing of good deeds expressing faith is the theme, based on the words of Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, and the American Barber's score.

Another spiritual work is Ralph Vaughan Williams' Mass in G Minor, composed in the early 1920s, for a quartet of soloists and unaccompanied double choir.

Arthur Honegger, born in France of Swiss ancestry, wrote his Symphony No. 2 for string orchestra in 1941 as both a protest to the Nazis in France and his personal conviction that peace and freedom prevails in the end.

Finally comes Antonin Dvorak's "Czech Suite," deeply rooted in Czech folk dances and patriotic idealism. "Deep, almost spiritual feelings about people were at the heart of almost everything Dvorak wrote," Polochick said.

Tickets for the concert are $15, seniors and students $10 and free admission for those under 18. For information and tickets, call (301) 628-0027.

The schedule

After tomorrow, the Polochick people have three more performances at 8 p.m. Saturdays at the Friedberg Concert Hall. They are as follows:

Feb. 9, Mozart Bicentennial Program, Symphony No. 41, PianConcerto No. 21 in C Major (soloist Paul Maillet) and Mass in C Major. Marks 200th anniversary of Mozart's death.

March 23, Bach Birthday Program, Cantata No. 196Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, Concerto for oboe and violin and Cantata No. 4.

May 11, Vivaldi's ''Gloria'' and Concerto for Bassoon anOrchestra No. 25 (soloist Daniel Smith), Argento's ''A Royal Invitation-Homage to the Queen of Tonga,'' Swingle favorites for virtuoso vocal ensemble and Ibert's Divertissement.

Four other concerts at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoons at the WalterArt Gallery are:

Nov. 25, Russian and French composers' trios, quartets and arsong.

Feb. 17, Woodwind and string works from Mozart to RicharStrauss.

March 24, Bach trios, duos and solos.

April 28, "Love and Nature Throughout the World," a sprincollection of vocal, string and piano music.

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