Friday, May 15, 2020
Foy Concert Hall, Moravian College
- Mozart: Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat Major, K. 452
- Holst: Sextet in E Minor for Winds and Strings, H. 10
- Schubert: Quintet in A Major, Op. 114, D. 667, “Trout”
Thrill seekers take note. The Frisson Ensemble describes itself as “explosive” and implies, by its name, the delivery of strong feeling and sudden excitement. The nine individually electrifying musicians assembled from some of the best music schools in the United States (Juilliard, Curtis, Yale, etc.) seem well positioned to make good on that promise.
Frisson’s core string and wind ensemble comprises nine instruments: a violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and French horn, although the group also performs in pared down sets of five or six and can beef up to a small chamber orchestra on occasion. The Frisson repertoire is similarly flexible, sometimes broodingly classical (think Beethoven, Brahms, and Barber), at other times broadly popular (from Celtic tunes to film scores). It prides itself on featuring “rarely performed masterworks.”
Frisson is helmed by artistic director Thomas Gallant, veteran oboist and managing director of the General Arts Touring musician agency, along with associate director Caeli Smith, a rising violinist/violist, teacher, and writer with a penchant for jazz and tango. The ensemble was formed in 2017 and has been touring widely throughout the United States (and Bermuda) since then. In fall 2020, the group heads for Germany.