Wednesday 23 Apr

IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Chamber-made


Brightmusic begins a note-perfect new season of chamber classics, starting with ‘Twilight of Romanticism.’

Tory Troutman September 7th, 2011

7:30 p.m. Monday
Casady School
9500 N. Penn
7:30 p.m. Tuesday
St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral
127 N.W. Seventh
$10, free for students

Brightmusic, the city’s shape-shifting classical ensemble with a boundless, dynamic repertoire, starts its new season Monday. The season’s lineup is as varied as one would expect, simultaneously comfortable and challenging.

“We’ve done something very different. This year, there will be no sixth concert, but a four-concert festival instead,” said David R. Johnson, Brightmusic president. Each concert will be performed twice, Mondays at Casady School, Tuesdays at the group’s ancestral home of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

right Chad Burrow and Amy I-Lin Cheng are among Brightmusic’s performers.

“Twilight of Romanticism,” the first concert, will feature the Quartet for Piano and Strings in A minor, an unfinished piece by a then-teenage Gustav Mahler, written in the 1870s. This only surviving movement of his sole attempt at chamber music has been performed around the globe since the mid-1960s and reflects the self-doubt and old-before-his-time weariness that makes him a sort of spiritual forebear to all the doomed romantics who followed.

Alban Berg sometimes was criticized for the coldness of his work. He wasn’t a musician per se, so perhaps his built-in aloofness meant he couldn’t quite communicate his work, and he didn’t conduct, either. Brightmusic will interpret the Adagio from Chamber Concerto, rarely performed. One of the unique features of the piece is that the music reverses about halfway and makes its exit. Satanic madness? No, likely just a device Berg employed discretely to depict the comings and goings of a certain lady.

Austrian composer Carl Frühling’s Trio in A minor, op. 40, qualifies as the tall, dark stranger of the evening. Known mostly in his day as an accompanist, Frühling also was quite a talented composer.

“His work has been lost in the vapors of history,” Johnson says. “There’s an interesting story behind him, which you’ll hear at the concert. You know, the canon changes sometimes, and Frühling is an example of that.”

Johnson also noted that renowned cellist Steven Isserlis has performed Frühling of late, bringing the composer even later notoriety. The influence of Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner can be heard easily by the novice, but Frühling’s own instrumental abilities serve him well.

Ernst von Dohnányi was something of a star in Hungary in the early 1900s, and was in great demand as a virtuosic pianist, conductor and teacher. Although he championed Hungarian nationalist composers like Béla Bartók, his own early work reflects the long shadow of Brahms. Brightmusic will perform his Piano Quintet No. 1 in C minor, op. 1.

Brightmusic artists who will perform “Twilight of Romanticism” are Gregory Lee and Katrin Stamatis, violins; Royce McLarry, viola; Tomasz Zieba, cello; Chad Burrow, clarinet; Amy I-Lin Cheng, piano.

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