Saturday, July 5, 2008

Kansas City: Day 3


One of the best parts of the shuttle bus ride is passing by the Nelson museum, where one experiences a warped sense of dimension when viewing these giant badminton birdie sculptures. ....But where's the raquet?

Friday morning began with a potpourri recital highlighting local talent in the Kansas and Missouri area. Both new and standard pieces were presented in a variety of ensemble instrumentation. One definite crowd pleaser was a performance by Allison Storochuk of Scott McAllister's piece, X3, arranged for clarinet, violin, and piano. Cheryl Melfi's excellent performance of Chen Yi's Chinese Ancient Dances brought an exotic element to the recital, with its pitch bends and microtones. Due to the overlapping of concert schedules, we weren't able to attend the clarinet music from Brazil, but other festival participants gave it great reviews.

Warming up the subsequent audience in the Spencer Theater, the clarinet duets of Jonathan Cohler and Howard Klug alternated with Robert Spring and Jana Starling. Klug and Cohler began with a premiere of Simon Sargon's Birds of a Feather..., which the audience seemed to really enjoy. Each piece seemed to be exponentially more virtuosic than the last, building to Spring and Starling's thrilling performances of works by Libby Larsen and Roshanne Etezady.




The night concert on Friday consisted of standard works for clarinet and orchestra, plus a premiere of a Charlie Parker tribute work by Antonio Fraioli. Though each of the performances was stellar, the standout seemed to be Michael Wayne's flawless rendition of the Weber Concertino.

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