A Musical Feast at the Albright
by Jan Jezioro
April 6 2009
A Musical Feast, the chamber music group created by Charles Haupt, the now retired, long-time concertmaster of the Buffalo
Philharmonic Orchestra, concludes its current, peripatetic season with a performance on the free GUSTO at the Gallery series, at 8pm this Friday. Leaving its
usual venue, the Kavinoky Theater at D'Youville College, A Musical Feast presented the initial classical music concert in the
Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium of the new Burchfield-Penney Art Center. That concert, dedicated to the music and the life of former BPO music director Lukas Foss, was
astonishingly successful, playing to a standing room only, overflowing hall, with a couple hundred people unable to get seats. This Friday evening's concert at the Albright-Knox Art
Gallery, co-sponsored by the Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music at UB, and by the Irish Classical Theater Company, marks the first appearance of A Musical Feast
at the Albright-Knox, in an evening billed as a fusion of music, poetry and dance.
The occasion is another first for the musical group, since the program is going to include a dance performance, as well a poetry reading, in addition to the purely musical selections.
Vincent O'Neill is the co-founder of the ICTC and its artistic director. Well known to Buffalo
audiences for his wide range of roles and his mellifluous voice, he will present the poetry reading. The genesis of the dance performance is interesting. Last fall, Mexican composer
Mario Lavista visited UB, where he was impressed by a performance of his works by UB faculty member Jonathan Golove. Melanie Aceto, a visiting assistant professor in the
Department of Theatre and Dance who is the founder and director of Melanie Aceto Contemporary Dance, also enjoyed the performance of the music of Lavista. She asked the
composer if he would agree to allow her to choreograph another of his works, the 1994 Tres danzas seculars, or Three Secular Dances
, for cello and piano. It turns out that a daughter of Lavista has her own dance company in Mexico City, but for whatever reason she had
never approached her father about choreographing this particular work. Lavista graciously allowed Aceto to choreograph the piece, and it duly received its premiere.
Golove is happy that the work is on Friday's program. "Melanie Aceto wanted to be involved
from the beginning with the piece" he said, "and we learned it together. The music is ideally
suited to choreographic interpretation, with the first movement being a moto perpetuo. The alternation of fast and slow passages in the following two movements allows the pair of
dancers, Melanie Aceto and Christina Walsh, to mirror the music of the cello and piano."
Alan Feinberg will perform the piano part for the piece, while Golove will also perform three movements from J.S. Bach's Suite No. 1 in G Major for Solo Cello
. Rin Ozaki performs Frigate, by J.T. Rinker, a work for crotales—small, tuned brass disks that produce a
bell-like, though brighter and more resonant sound. Percussionist Tom Kolor offers Rebonds, a 1988 work by Greek composer Iannis Xenakis that is all about the potency of
rhythm, and that employs a battery of percussion instruments. Charles Haupt is the violinist and BPO principal Valerie Heywood is the violist in Mozart's Duo No. 1 in G Major, K.423
. Mozart wrote the piece to help his friend who had fallen ill, Michael Haydn, younger brother of the far better known Franz Joseph.
In an interesting coincidence, just this past Sunday, the Unitarian Universalist Church on Elmwood presented the highly successful area premier of Michael Haydn's Missa Sancti
Hieronymi, written in 1775, under the baton of Barbara Wagner.
Admission is free. For more information, call 882-8700 or visit www.albrightknox.org.