A Musical Feast returns to the Kavinoky
Artvoice, January 23, 2008
By Jan Jezioro
The last time
the BPO performed the Bruckner Symphony No. 9, back in 1979, violinist Charles Haupt was the orchestra's concertmaster. Having retired from the BPO a couple of years back, Haupt is
now devoting his efforts to the chamber music ensemble that he founded called "A Musical Feast." Co-sponsored by the Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music at the
University at Buffalo, and making its home at the Kavinoky Theater on the D'Youville College Campus, "A Musical Feast" has made a strong impression on the local classical music scene
in its short lifetime.
Known for its innovative programming, "A Musical Feast" offers a program on Tuesday, January 29 that features a performance of Igor Stravinsky's L'histoire
du soldat (The Soldier's Tale). Based on a Russian folk tale about a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil in return for a book that predicts the future, the 1918 theatrical work
is "to be read, played and danced." The talented young conductor Christian Baldini will lead the rhythmically challenging piece scored for a septet of violin (Haupt), double bass
(Edmund Gnekow), clarinet (Jean Kopperud), bassoon (Martha Malkiewicz), trumpet (Jon Nelson), trombone (John Lombardo) and percussion (Rin Ozaki). Because three different actors
usually play the soldier, the devil and the narrator, it might give one pause to learn that one actor is taking on all three parts, but not in this instance, since the actor in
question is Paul Todaro, who is perhaps the most versatile young actor on the vibrant Buffalo theatrical scene.
Violinist Charles Castleman will perform the Preludio movement from
J.S. Bach's Partita No. 3 for violin solo. Castleman will also offer the third installment in his traversal of the fiendishly difficult sonatas for violin solo by the great Belgian
violinist and composer Eugene Ysaye, playing the Sonata No. 2 in A minor, Obsession. Jean Kopperud will play the Abīme des oiseaux (Abyss of Birds) movement for solo clarinet from
Olivier Messiaen's Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps. With no written time signature, it is implied that the performer is to play "out of time" but not out of rhythm, with the extremely
slow pulse challenging even the most talented clarinetist.
Tickets are $25, seniors $20, students $10. For more information visit amusicalfeast.com or phone 829-7668.