Renowned harpist Elizabeth Hainen comes to Breckenridge Wednesday for an intimate chamber concert at Father Dyer Church featuring music by French composers for harp, violin and flute.Considered one of today's foremost virtuoso harpists, Hainen became principal harpist of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1994. She returns to Breck joined by Jeffrey Khaner, principal flutist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Bertrand Cervera, solo violinist of the Orchestre National de France. "This concert will be a passage through the Impressionism era," said Hainen. "Around 1915, Paris was alive with many expats, and artists discovered their greatest creativity." Part of the Breckenridge Music Festival's 2012-13 Encore Winter Series, the program will include works from favorite French composers including "Romance" for Flute and Harp by Camille Saint-Saens, "L'enfance du Christ" by Hector Berlioz, "Cantique de Jean Racine" by Gabriel Faure and "Pice en Forme de Habanera" by Maurice Ravel."What distinguishes the Impressionist French music from all other classical music is that it represents a pivotal change in harmony and color," Hainen said. "It also brought the symphony orchestra to its current paradigm in the 20th and 21st centuries." The program starts with the Trio Sonata by Jean-Marie Leclair, a Baroque violinist and composer. Originally written for baroque flute with accompaniment by viola da gamba and harpsichord, the Trio Sonata will be performed using the descendants of the original instruments to create a fuller version with rich sonorities and colors. The composer, organist and conductor Saint-Sans is best known for "The Carnival of the Animals" and his Cello Concerto No. 1, though "Romance" has remained a repertoire staple. Ravel originally composed "Habanera," a song without words, for bass voice and piano in 1907, modeling it on the slow, sultry dance of the same name. Like most French composers of the period, Ravel was fascinated by the music of Spain and used it as the basis for a difficult virtuoso exercise for the bass voice. Transposed for many instruments over time, the piece is now a favorite in the violin-piano repertoire. On Wednesday, Hainen and Cervera will perform it on violin and harp. Among Hainen's favorites is Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun," which she described as "a major turning point in the history of music." The group composed their own arrangement of the piece to include the three instruments - flute, violin and harp - along with "colorful percussion accents" added by David DePeters, Hainen said. "This is a rare opportunity to hear this piece performed by not only one of the most famous violinists in France, Bertrand Cervera, but the most renowned flutist of the symphonic world, Jeffrey Khaner," she said. "His interpretation of this work is not to be missed."
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