OCMS Gets Ready for Their Summer Concert Series

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June 4th, 2014

Omaha, NE — Just before the College World Series kicks off, a concert series promises to bring a world of music to Omaha.

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Omaha Chamber Music Society

Omaha Chamber Music Society

The Omaha Chamber Music Society’s ‘Summer Concert Series’ takes place on Sunday afternoons in June. Soprano Shelby VanNordstrand says the first concert in the series should be quite appealing.

“The idea behind this program is French romanticism and just very beautiful music, music that is easy to listen to and that is inviting,” she said. “I’m really excited for our audience to hear it because I think it’s going to be calming, and soothing, and beautiful, and something that people need in their lives.”

Joining her is harpist Mary Bircher, flutist Leslie Fagan, and cellist Tim Strang performing selections by Ravel, Ibert, and Gershwin. Also on the concert is a pair of French love songs.

“The Reynaldo Hahn piece is a Victor Hugo text…thinking about their lost love,” VanNordstrand said.

The second concert is the following Sunday and features string quartets by Beethoven and Brahms. Violist Thomas Kluge says that Beethoven did much to expand the string quartet and take it to a new level.

“He just really starts taking the idea of a lot of this music, which was written almost as a diversion, and elevated it to a high art form,” he said.

The Beethoven quartet on the program is sometimes called the “Harp Quartet.” It is melodic and pleasant, but also includes an intense scherzo that recalls some of Beethoven’s most dramatic music.

“It doesn’t sound like Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, but it’s the same idea at play, it’s almost an obsessive quality,” said Kluge.

Performing Beethoven’s “‘Harp’ String Quartet” along with Kluge are violinists Anne Nagosky and Juliet Yoshida and cellist Paul Ledwon. They will also perform the “Quartet No. 2 in A minor” by Johannes Brahms, a work that was intended for a wider audience.

“Brahms really thought of these as performance pieces, and wanted people to hear them that way and play them that way,” Kluge said. “They were to be shared with the general public.”

The Omaha Chamber Music Society’s “Summer Concert Series” begins with “Romantic Voices” Sunday, June 8, followed by the String Quartets of “Brahms and Beethoven” on Sunday, June 15. Both performances begin at 3 pm, include a pre-concert talk, and are held at the First Central Congregational Church in Omaha. For more information, you can visit www.omahachambermusic.org.

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