Those who follow this site and/or the activities of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble (LCCE) regularly know that the program they prepared for last week featured music for both oboe and English horn, the seventh of Luciano Berio’s “Sequenza” compositions for the former and “The Sensation of Disarray,” the world premiere of music by Richard Chowenhill, for the latter. Both of these pieces were performed by Andrea Plesnarski. The title of the next concert in LCCE’s 2015–2016 season will be entitled Oboe Bliss; and it will feature the other LCCE oboist, Tom Nugent (who also happens to be Plesnarski’s husband). The title has a double meaning, since the program was inspired by a quintet for oboe and strings by the early twentieth-century English composer Arthur Bliss, his Opus 44. Bliss composed this quintet in 1927; and, as Nugent observed, the score is a “lush quintet, with French impressionistic and English pastoral sonorities that combine as a counter point to 20th century outburst. It would seem that Bliss in this 1927 work is entering the 20th century kicking and screaming but always coming back to his tonal and stylistic roots.”
In addition to performing Bliss’ quintet, which will be the final work on the program, Nugent will give the world premiere performance of a quintet by Bay Area composer Elinor Armer scored for English horn and string quartet. In addition LCCE composer Kurt Rohde has prepared arrangements of Manuel de Falla’s seven Spanish folksongs for flute, oboe, and string quartet. Since Rohde is no stranger to writing for voice, he has brought a perceptive understanding of the vocal nature of Falla’s composition in preparing his arrangements. Finally, LCCE will revisit “Five, Six, Heaven,” a string trio composed by Anthony Porter on a commission by the LCCE Intersection Workshop.
The San Francisco performance of Oboe Bliss will take place at 8 p.m. on Monday, February 1. The venue will be the Recital Hall of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, located at 50 Oak Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni station. Single tickets will be on sale at the door at $35 for general admission and half price for those under the age of 35. However, there is a discount ($5 for general admission, $2.50 for those under 35) for tickets purchased online through a Vendini event page. Through this Web page subscribers may also purchase extra tickets at $10 apiece, but verification of subscriber status will be required at the box office. Those wishing further information may call 415-617-5223 (LCCE).