MOTHER LODE FRIENDS OF MUSIC
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The Mother Lode Friends of Music, the classical music performance society of the central Mother Lode, opens its new season with a program of music for Baroque chamber orchestra, featuring the music of Georg Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach. The concert takes place on Sunday, October 16 at the Pine Grove Community Church, 14045 Ponderosa Way, in Pine Grove, starting at 3 pm.
The concert opens with the Water Music Suite No. 1 of Handel, for two horns, two oboes, bassoon, and strings. One of the most popular pieces of music of all time, the Water Music was composed by Handel to entertain King George I and his entourage on royal barges floating up and down the Thames River. At its debut in 1717, the king was so pleased with the music that he had it repeated at least three times.
The program continues with the Concerto in E major for violin of J. S. Bach, one of only two concertos Bach for solo violin, with string and harpsichord accompaniment. After intermission, the orchestra performs the Concerto Grosso Op. 3, No. 2 in B flat of Handel, for 2 oboes, bassoon, and strings. The work, in six short movements, features two violins (concertino) playing solo parts in some of the movements. The program concludes with the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 of J.S. Bach, for solo violin, solo flute and solo harpsichord, with string accompaniment. One of six concertos written by Bach for the Brandenburg court, they remain one of classical music’s all-time favorites.
The concert is performed by the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of the Mother Lode Friends of Music, some 21 players drawn from the top instrumentalists of the Mother Lode and surrounding metropolitan areas. Corina Stoian, the Romanian-born concert violinist who has appeared frequently in local performances since establishing residency in the United States in 2006, is the violin soloist in the two Bach concertos. Sandra Betti, the Sonora-based flutist who is a featured player in local concerts of classical music, is joined by Friends of Music President and harpsichordist Ron Brickman in the concluding Brandenburg concerto.
The conductor is Hank King, replacing the previously announced Henrik Jul Hansen, who withdrew due to illness. King has been a prominent member of the Mother Lode’s musical community for decades. In addition to his services as head of the music department of Amador High School in Sutter Creek, he was the first conductor of the Friends of Music Orchestra before the appointment of Hansen. He was for many years the conductor of the Sierra Symphony in El Dorado County and continues as conductor of the Brass and Reed Wind Ensemble. As a virtuoso recorder player, he is thoroughly familiar with Baroque music and was a featured player in the Friends of Music’s concert of Baroque small ensemble music two years ago.
Tickets to the concert are $20 for adults. In an effort to introduce young people to the glories of Baroque music, the Friends of Music is offering free admission to young people under the age of 18.
Tickets may be purchased at Mother Lode Music in Martell and at the door. Call (209) 293-4227 for more information. Another performance of this same concert will be presented as part of the Sonora Bach Festival, on Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 pm at the Cowboy County Church, 14888 Peaceful Valley Road, in Sonora. Call (209) 536-6330 for more information.