Sunday, April 30, 2017
Cathedral Church of the Nativity
- Charles Lefebvre Suite, Op. 57
- Eric Ewazen Roaring Fork Quintet
- Nino Rota Petite Offrande Musicale
- Barber Summer Music, Op. 31
- Nielsen Wind Quintet, Op. 43
The Borealis Wind Quintet returns to the CMSOB concert series after fifteen years, and we are excited about welcoming them back and also introducing this widely known ensemble to new Lehigh Valley listeners. Maybe it is the Moravian tradition of trombone choirs that provides local audiences with a practiced ear for the wind repertoire and a deep appreciation for its purveyors. This group is one of the best.
Although the quintet aptly compares itself to the aurora borealis in deed as well as name, describing its own musical output as “a brilliant array of sparkling color and magic” (with a Grammy nomination to support the boast), its name, of course, derives from Boreas, the name the Greeks bestowed on the god of the cold north wind. This wind ensemble does, indeed, blow in from our north—New York and New England—though tours since its 1976 founding have circled the nation many times.
Classical music lovers with a, perhaps, secret yen for popular musicals will note an even more specific northern base: Broadway. Three of the Borealis musicians have played in the pits of The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, or Beauty and the Beast. The New York Times has described the group as “polished,” “elegant,” and “scintillating”; The Philadelphia Inquirer as “demonstrat[ing] the sort of rapport that characterizes the very best chamber playing”; and The Washington Post as “sensitive,” “sophisticated,” and “cosmopolitan.” After 40 years of experience in pleasing audiences, the quintet promises ours a thoughtful and moving program, friendly commentary, and a few surprises.