BMF showcases ‘Cultural Odyssey’
summit daily news
The Breckenridge Music Festival takes audiences on an acoustic “Cultural Odyssey” with chamber music for harp with Elizabeth Hainen, principal harpist of The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Hainen performs with her husband, David DePeters (percussionist of the Philadelphia and New York Philharmonic orchestras) and Jeffrey Khaner, principal flutist in The Philadelphia Orchestra. The couple has performed worldwide as a due, and Hainen and Khaner also play together frequently.
“I think one of the great things about our playing together is the mutual respect we have for each other as musicians and performers,” DePeters said. “In my mind, these two are the very best at their instruments.”
The trio drew inspiration from Murray Schafer’s “Crown of Ariadne,” which reinterprets the myths of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur. As a result, tonight’s concert delivers one of the most eclectic programs of the season, presenting chamber music from four rich cultures.
Pieces include: George Gershwin’s “Three Preludes for Harp and Vibraphone,” Claude Debussy’s “Clair de lune,” Esteban Benzecry’s “Horizontes Inexplorados,” Georges Bizet’s “Deuxime Menuet,” Maurice Ravel’s “Piece en forme de habanera,” Camille Saint Saens’ “Romance, Op. 37” and Aaron Copland’s “Variations on a Shaker Hymn.”
The program has two distinct halves: One showcasing Hainen and DePeters playing music of American and French composers and the other showcasing Hainen and Khaner performing pieces by French and English composers. The trio ends with Copland’s composition because it’s something they can all play together.
They chose the repertoire based on audiences’ appreciation of it in past shows and music the artists themselves enjoy. From there, they worked with the program until they were happy with the beginning, middle and end, DePeters said.
“I think all of these pieces are interesting to listen to and idiomatic for the instruments,” DePeters said. “I think people really like getting up close to the instrument, especially the harp. Most don’t understand what goes into playing the harp. But I think the people really sense the enjoyment we all feel when we are on stage and performing for others. Also, this is a very interesting mix of instruments. It’s not every day you see a harp and flute and percussionist playing together. The music is varied, some of it will be familiar, but all of it works well for the instruments and the colors created by joining the instruments.”
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