Albuquerque Chamber Soloists closes out its 2017-18 season with Franz Schubert’s Octet for Strings and Winds and Antonin Dvorak’s Quintet for Strings (“American”) at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 6 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1100 Indian School NE. Tickets are $15 general public, $12 seniors and $5 students with valid ID. Tickets are available in advance at http://www.abqcs.com or (by cash or check) at PianoWerkes, 4640 Menaul NE, or at the door. Forty-five minutes prior to the concert, there is a pre-concert reception and a conversation about the program with James Holland in the St. Paul Fellowship Hall.
By David Steinberg
Guillermo Figueroa, the music director of the Santa Fe Symphony and Music in the Mountains, sets down his conductor’s baton and picks up the violin and viola for Albuquerque Chamber Soloists’ Sunday, May 6 concert.
In the concert at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Figueroa will be one of the violinists in Franz Schubert’s Octet for Strings and Winds. In Antonin Dvorak’s Quintet for Strings (“American”) he’s one of two violists.
“We’re lucky to have a musician of his caliber,” ACS president James Holland said of Figueroa.
The Schubert opens the concert.
“It’s Schubert at his most charming,” Holland said. “Schubert’s greatest gift as a composer was his sense of melody. He seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of melodies at his fingertips. This octet combines that with his ability to use instrumental colors, a combination of instruments.
“So what he does here is really mix well the combination of instruments. They all play together, then go into separate subgroups. Everyone gets a chance to be featured.”
In the Schubert will be violinists Figueroa and David Felberg, violist Kim Fredenburgh, cellist Holland, bassist Aaro Heinonen, clarinetist Emily Erb, bassoonist Elizabeth Van Arsdel and hornist Nathan Ukens.
The Dvorak is on the second half of the program.
Holland said Dvorak wrote the Quintet in Spillville, Iowa, in the same summer of 1893 that he composed his famous String Quartet No. 12, also nicknamed “American.”
Figueroa and Fredenburgh will play viola in the Dvorak.
“In the piece it’s got some of the best tunes for viola in the chamber music literature,” Holland said.
“As a whole, the quintet is very much like the Dvorak quartet in terms of character – the same joy and exhilaration. But the quintet is a more complex piece. Adding the extra viola gave him more creative room.”
The other three musicians in the quintet are violinists Megan Holland and Valerie Turner and cellist Joel Becktell.
Figueroa is also well-remembered as the music director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.