Boston Symphony Chamber Players Open 2011-12 Season with All-Czech Program

FEATURING WORKS BY DVOŘÁK, JANÁČEK, and MARTINŮ

The Boston Symphony Chamber Players begin their 2011-12 season Sunday, October 16, 2011, at 3 p.m. in New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, with an all-Czech program featuring the E-major Serenade for strings, Op. 22, by the greatest Czech composer, Antonín Dvořák, as well as Leoš Janáček’s Mládi and Bohuslav Martinů’s Sextet for piano and winds. This all-Czech program is part of the Chamber Players’ region-oriented programming this season: they follow this concert with an all-Viennese concert (Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms) in January, an all-Russian program in March, and an all-English program in April. For further information about the Boston Symphony Chamber Players 2011-12 season, click here.

One of the world’s most distinguished chamber music ensembles sponsored by a major symphony orchestra and made up of that orchestra’s principal players, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players feature first-desk string, woodwind, and brass players from the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The October 16 concert features Boston Symphony Orchestra players Malcolm Lowe, violin; Haldan Martinson, violin; Steven Ansell, viola; Jules Eskin, cello; Edwin Barker, bass; Elizabeth Rowe, flute; John Ferrillo, oboe; William R. Hudgins, clarinet; Craig Nordstrom, clarinet; Richard Svoboda, bassoon; Suzanne Nelsen, bassoon; and James Sommerville, horn. Pianist Vytas Baksys will join the Chamber Players for Martinů’s Sextet for piano and winds.

Written at breakneck speed in just two weeks, Dvořák’s elegant five-movement Serenade for strings is a relatively early work dating from 1875, right around the time the composer was becoming well known. It dates from a happy and productive period of his life, when he was recently married, had a newborn son, and had a steady income for the first time. The music reflects these joyful circumstances and, despite a few wistful moments, rarely strays from its uplifting, contented mood.

Janáček’s Mládi (Youth)—scored for flute, two clarinets, oboe, bassoon, and horn—was written at the height of its late-blooming composer’s celebrity (as he was turning 70 years old) and is the work of an accomplished, established master looking back on his childhood and childhood in general. It is not, however, melancholy music that fearfully yearns for youthfulness. Janáček wrote Mládi in 1924 concurrently with his opera The Makropoulos Case, and both works are characterized by an inventiveness and enthusiasm that attest to a composer still at the height of inspiration. Martinů’s Sextet for piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, and two bassoons, written in 1929 while during the composer’s time in Paris, reveals a French-influenced neoclassical style with the rhythmic energy of jazz and Central European folk music.

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