Classical music: Sunday may offer too many options for local listeners

Classical music lovers may be in a quandary on Sunday. How do you choose among concerts that present

Classical music lovers may be in a quandary on Sunday. How do you choose among concerts that present Bach, opera, violins or a wind ensemble? It makes it all the harder when three of the concerts start at the same time. Here is some information to hopefully help in a decision.

Capital Region Wind Ensemble

This is Schenectady County Community College’s ensemble-in-residence made up of many area teachers and skilled college students and is conducted by SCCC’s own Brett Wery. The concert will feature tubist Charles Guy, the tuba professor from Crane School of Music in Potsdam, in a program called “Age of Heroes” — so-called because many of the pieces deal with Greek myths and some of their heroes, Wery said.

Guy will perform Rolf Wilhelm’s Concertino for Tuba. The CRWE will perform Lawrence Odom’s arrangement of Offenbach’s Overture to “Orpheus in the Underworld” and Wery’s “Mortals, Gods and Heroes” (2007). What adds interest and volume to the afternoon is that this will be a side-by-side concert with 30 high school musicians who were recommended by their band directors and music teachers. With each seated next to one of the pros, everyone will play in Alfred Reed’s “The Hounds of Spring.” 3 p.m., SCCC’s Taylor Community Auditorium. $8, $6. 381-1231.


Soprano Kelly Hutchinson started this arts organization a little over a year ago and it has quickly become a fixture in the arts community, known especially for its innovative programming. This concert, which is called “It Once Was Opera,” explores the common themes that are shared between opera and musical theater.

“Where there is ‘Rent,’ there once was ‘La Boheme.’ Where there is ‘Miss Saigon,’ there once was ‘Madama Butterfly,’ ” Hutchinson said in an email.

The hour-long program will feature arias and songs from both. 5 p.m. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 262 State St., Albany. Free. 630-3854.

Renaissance Musical Arts

Rare treats are what Dr. Richard Balsam likes to present, and this concert is no exception.

Three of the string world’s most celebrated players will give a concert of solos, duos and trios: violinist Emanuel Borok was the concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for 25 years before retiring in 2010; violist Michael Zaretsky is a 33-year member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; and 16-year old violinist Anna Lee is the latest phenom. She debuted last year with the New York Philharmonic.

Their program will include works by George Rochberg, Ysaye, LeClair, Penderecki, Mozart and Dvorak. 3 p.m., Colonie Country Club, Voorheesville. $30. 482-5334. A Dutch-treat dinner is also available at the club. Call 765-4100.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Music director Steve Rosenberry has been celebrating Johann S. Bach’s March 21 birthday for three years. This, the fourth year of the event, will present Bach’s Cantata No. 4 (“Christ lay in death’s dark prison”) with the church’s 27-voice choir and a small chamber ensemble, which Rosenberry will conduct.

Written in 1708, the cantata is based on a Martin Luther hymn, which in turn had been based on a 12th century chant. What is unusual is that Bach stuck with Luther’s words and used a different verse for each movement. Later, in 1724, Bach reworked the piece as one of the 58 cantatas he was expected to compose each year as part of his job at Leipzig’s Thomaskirche.

This is the first time the church’s chorus has done the cantata, which will be sung in German, although Rosenberry said he had conducted the work many years ago. Organist Gail Archer, who is the director of music at Barnard College and the organist at Vassar College, will also play several of Bach’s organ works. They include his Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Concerto in C Major, and “Komm Heiliger Geist.”

Archer will also perform Liszt’s Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H. 3 p.m., 21 Hackett Blvd., Albany. $15, $12, students free. 463-2257.

Categories: Life and Arts

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