This preview has been provided by the Cary Cross Currents Chamber Music and Arts Festival.

The Cary Cross Currents Chamber Music Arts Festival, upcoming July 30 – August 11, promises unusual music in its twelve concerts.

Unusual Collaborations

The festival is bringing four outstanding ensembles to Cary:  The Brussels Chamber Orchestra (BCO), the Lipkind Quartet from Europe, the Will Scruggs Jazz Fellowship from Atlanta, and New Music Raleigh. Each will perform alone, but the Festival will also bring three of these groups together in musical collaborations, and these concerts will be some of the most interesting of the whole Festival. 

August 1st will see the combination of chamber music and jazz in a concert called “Chamber Jazz.”  Small ensembles drawn from the BCO will perform classical selections to which the Will Scruggs Jazz Fellowship will respond with original jazz interpretations.  These classical/jazz pairs will center on five of the Bartok Violin Duos (numbers 16, 26, 35, 37, and 41), the finale of the Beethoven String Trio, Op.9, n.3, and the opening movement of Mendelssohn’s first string quartet, Op. 12.  As part of the program, the BCO will present its own jazz interpretation of Karl Szymanowsky’s Prelude No. 19.

The August 8th concert brings together the BCO and the Lipkind Quartet for another exciting collaboration.  We will hear Vaughn Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht, Lekeu’s Adagio for String Trio and Orchestra, and Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for String Quartet and Orchestra.  The evening explores the melding of a quartet’s forces and those of a chamber orchestra.  To varying degrees, the four pieces advance the concept of the classical concerto grosso into the 20th century.  Throughout the evening the Lipkind Quartet passes from section leaders, to soloists, to featured quartet accompanied by the BCO. 

Choice Rarities 

The Festival is now in its fifth season.  The BCO doesn’t want to repeat performances, so this year’s concerts will reach into fairly unfamiliar parts of the chamber orchestra repertoire, for instance, Boccherini’s La Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid, programmed for August 3rd.  And on August 11TH, the BCO will be presenting the rarely performed musical battles of Biber’s Battalia a 9, some with 20th century atonalities, and Galzunov’s Five Novelettes.  

The Lipkind Quartet concert on August 2nd will also take us away from the well-trodden with quartet compositions by Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky, but then it will return us to the more familiar with the “American” quartet by Dvorak and the Barber quartet that includes the original version of the famous and beloved Adagio.

We are in for real treats of musical growth throughout the Festival.

Musical Bookends

The Festival will also offer two very special concert collaborations with outstanding area musical organizations, New Music Raleigh and the North Carolina Opera.  These programs, on consecutive days near the end of the Festival, will bookend the four hundred years of classical music we love and listen to. 

August 9th, the Festival will welcome New Music Raleigh in a program devoted solely to living composers, specifically Brett William Dietz, Gavin Bryars, Tristan Perich, Missy Mazzoli, and Judd Greenstein.  Two violinists and two percussionists from the ensemble will perform in various combinations, including all four in the closing selection.  

August 10th brings opera to the stage.  The BCO, augmented by winds and harpsichord, will accompany arias and duets by soprano Rachel Copeland (with a very powerful and beautiful voice) and counter-tenor Anthony Roth Costanzo (with a three-octave range).  The first half will bring us Handel, the second half Mozart.

All in all, the Cary Cross Currents Chamber Music Arts Festival holds great promise this year.  We will hear plenty of music that connects us with our dearest musical memories of past performances, but we will also have the chance to stretch and grow and discover many new and unimagined musical forms, combinations, and compositions. 

We hope you will come to several concerts or even buy a bargain-priced festival ticket.