The 2015 Fall Chamber Series, featuring various ensembles formed by the musicians of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra, will begin at 2 p.m., this Sunday, Oct. 4, with its first of four concerts in the series. The performance, coordinated by harpist Master Gunnery Sgt. Karen Grimsey, will take place in John Philip Sousa Band Hall at the Marine Barracks Annex in southeast Washington, D.C.
“This program features a variety of beautiful, nostalgic, and fun music that will take the audience on an emotional ride, from lovely days gone by to simple beauty and downright fun,” Grimsey said.
The program will begin with violinist Staff Sgt. Christopher Franke performing Niccolò Paganini’s Caprice No. 9, Opus 1, “The Hunt.” Paganini, a virtuosic violinist and composer, was an idolized stage performer and garnered an almost cult-like following during his time. He also often composed pieces that were simply unplayable by any other violinist. His first and best known publication was his set of Twenty-Four Caprices. His ninth Caprice, “The Hunt,” imitates the sounds of hunting horns and ricochets through the surrounding forest to take the audience on the thrill of the hunt.
The program will continue with Arthur Honegger’s Sonatina for Violin and Cello, H. 80, followed by three duets featuring the harp: Maurice Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte for harp and horn; and Marcel Tournier’s Deux Préludes romantiques, Opus 17 and Fritz Kreisler’s Schön Rosmarin, both for harp and violin. Ravel’s and Tournier’s selections are both beautiful pieces with a nostalgic feel, while violin virtuoso Kreisler’s Schön Rosmarin was an oft heard encore that is filled with bravura.
The second half of the concert includes two works by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla: Three Tangos for Violin and Bass and Fuga y misterio from María de Buenos Aires. Piazzolla had a strong influence on Tango music and was responsible for Tango Nuevo, or New Tango, which fused the traditional tango with newly learned compositional styles and techniques taught by legendary composer Nadia Boulanger, with whom Piazzolla had studied.
The program will conclude with the beautifully melodic Elegies for Clarinet and Piano by Peter Schickele, also known in music circles as Johann Sebastian Bach’s fictional last son P.D.Q. Bach, followed by Milton Barnes’ Divertimento for Harp and String Quartet, a fun and rhythmic piece to close the afternoon performance.
The Fall Chamber Series concert is free and no tickets are required. The Marine Barracks Annex is accessible by Metro via the Navy Yard or Eastern Market stations. Free parking is also available under the overpass on 7th Street, across from the Annex.
Complete program and notes
Directions and parking