There was something magical when Alan Chapman read the script for Peter in the Wolf at the November 19 afternoon concert at the Community Methodist Church.
Chapman is an educator, radio host (Classical KUSC, Los Angeles), composer/lyricist and pianist, and is the regular commentator for Chamber Music Palisades.
He explained to the nearly full sanctuary that each instrument represented one of the characters in Sergia Prokofiev’s 1936 composition. Initially the piece was written as a way to introduce children to individual orchestra instruments.
The musicians, Marley Eder (flute), Jennifer Cullinan (oboe) Michele Zukovsky (clarinet) Lieza Hansen Kallin (bassoon) and Jason Beaumont (French horn), were exceptional and this editor and most of the audience tapped and danced along in our seats with the cheerful melody as Peter went into the meadow.
Chapman explained the bird was represented by the flute, the cat with the clarinet, the duck with the oboe, Peter’s grandfather with the bassoon and the wolf with the horn. It was an absolutely delightful presentation.
After the intermission, Animalogy, by local composer Adrienne Albert, was played. She explained that she had written the piece and the music represented animals found in their natural habitat around the Kenai Peninsula. There are numerous birds, bears, moose, sheep, wolves and sea life—and the musicians each represented those animals.
Albert started as a singer in New York performing the music of Leonard Bernstein, Philip Glass, Gunther Schuller and Igor Stravinsky, before she moved to Los Angeles and began composing her own music in the 1990s.
After Albert’s piece, next was Habanera from Carmen by Georges Bizet and then The Entertainer by Scott Joplin.
The hour program closed with Stars and Stripes by John Phillip Sousa. It was absolutely exhilarating listening to flutist Marley Eder “dance” and trill through the familiar march.
The professional musicians were top-notch and have long resumes. They regularly play with the L.A. Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other top orchestras in America.
This free concert was sponsored in part by Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club. Generally, Chamber Music Palisades holds its concerts in the evening, but Chamber co-founder Susan Greenberg wanted to make this concert available for all ages and especially for those seniors who no longer want to drive at night.
Thanks to Greenberg and the Woman’s Club for bringing such a quality program to the Palisades. Let’s hope this is the start of other collaborations.
To learn more about the Chamber Music Palisades, now in its 27th season click here.