“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven,” declares Koheleth in chapter 3 of the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes.”
Thanks to Pete Seeger and The Byrds, you are probably filling in the next line: “Turn! Turn! Turn!” And this summer, Summerfest will give you a new line to sing as we present four concerts dedicated to the musical experience of the seasons.
Please join us on any of the following weekends. Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. at White Recital Hall, 4949 Cherry, Kansas City, MO. Sunday performances begin at 3 p.m. at Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO.
A Time to Remember
Saturday, July 12 & Sunday, July 13
Antonio Vivaldi: Trio Sonata in D Minor, Op. 1, No. 12, RV 63, La Folia for two violins and basso continuo
Paul Reade: Victorian Kitchen Garden Suite, for clarinet and harp
Gernot Wolfgang: Common Ground, for bassoon and cello
Paul Hindemith: Quartet for Clarinet and Piano Trio
Week one opens with Paul Reade’s charming Suite from the Victorian Kitchen Garden, a selection of pieces that underscored a British garden through all four seasons for the BBC television program that was a hit to rival Downton Abbey in 1987. Gernot Wolfgang finds “a time to embrace” in his Common Ground that reconciles blues, popular music, and Igor Stravinsky in startling ways. No trip through the seasons would be complete without Antonio Vivaldi, but instead of his ubiquitous concerto, we present La Folia, a small sonata based on one of the most popular tunes ever composed. And the week ends with “a time to speak” as Paul Hindemith chronicles his last months in Nazi Germany and flight to the United States in his powerful Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano.
A Time to Love
Saturday, July 19 & Sunday, July 20
Dominick Argento: 6 Elizabethan Songs, for soprano, oboe, flute, violin, cello, and harpsichord (Gwendolyn Coleman Detwiler, soprano)
Francis Poulenc: Leocadia, for clarinet, piano, soprano, bassoon, double bass, violin
Johannes Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34
Week two shows that there is certainly “time to love” by opening with songs by two of the most popular composers in the genre, Dominick Argento and Francis Poulenc. Argento contributes Six Elizabethan Songs from texts by Shakespeare and Ben Jonson among others that remind us of the sounds of “Spring” and “Winter.” Poulenc’s popular Les chemins de l’amour forms the centerpiece of his music for Jean Anouilh’s romantic comedy Léocadia, a delightful and mischievous musical romp. And Johannes Brahms’s monumental Piano Quintet in F minor, subject to so many revisions throughout his lifetime, reminds us that there is a “time to heal” by taking a single melody through the struggles of life, ultimately allowing it to emerge triumphant.
A Time to Dance
Saturday, July 26 & Sunday, July 27
Robert Paterson: Embracing the Wind, for flute, viola, and harp
Samuel Barber: Dover Beach, for baritone and string quartet (Dan Belcher, baritone)
Timothy Jansa: Three Miniatures for flute, bassoon, and piano
Astor Piazzolla: Verano Porteño (Summer) from The Four Seasons from Buenos Aires, for piano trio
W.A. Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581 for clarinet and string quartet
Week three demonstrates there is a “time to dance” with the return of Astor Piazzolla to Summerfest with The Four Seasons from Buenos Aires. Taking Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as a starting point, Piazzolla imagines that famous work in his native Argentina complete with tango infusions that will have you moving your feet. Robert Paterson and Tim Jansa, two young composers new to the series, bring us music depicting the wind with Embracing the Wind and the calmness and solitude of night with Three Miniatures. Samuel Barber’s melancholy Dover Beach paints the tide’s relentless advance as a metaphor for life’s uncertainty. And Mozart’s monumental Clarinet Quintet caps off the week by bringing us an instrumental opera. Highlighting the clarinet’s low range, the Quintet features some of Mozart’s most charming and powerful instrumental music, the perfect antidote to a hot Kansas City summer.
A Time to Plant
Saturday, August 2 & Sunday, August 3
Jennifer Higdon: wisssahickon poeTrees, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, and piano
Ping Jin: Yangtze! Yangtze! for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, and piano
Robert Schumann: Piano Trio No. 2 in F major, Op. 80
Jennifer Higdon’s wissahickon poeTrees reminds us that there is a “time to plant” as she tracks the hanging seasons in Summerfest’s fourth week by depicting the growth of a Philadelphia-area park. We hear trees grow and flowers fade, a celebration of nature that is the antithesis of Ping Jin’s Yangtze! Yangtze! Ping’s work, based on a folk song from the Three Gorges region, memorializes the natural and cultural destruction wreaked by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. Robert Schumann’s powerful Piano Trio closes out our series with a strong and idiomatic piece for piano, violin, and cello. That Schumann’s music is so justly celebrated today is a reminder that not only is there a “time to keep,” but summer is the perfect time to remember the powerful impact music makes on our lives no matter the season.
*Composers subject to change.