Saturday, October 17, 2015

Vallejo Symphony Orchestra features Spanish classical music

   Compared to German or Austrian classical music, Spanish classical music isn’t nearly as well-known. However, Spain has been home to plenty of great classical composers, and audience members will get a taste of it  at the First Presbyterian Church in Vallejo on Oct. 18. 
   The Vallejo Symphony Orchestra will be presenting “Dancing Across Espana,” a concert featuring the musical sounds of Tres Musicos, a trio out of Sacramento. The group consists of Anita Felix on violin, John Cozza on piano and Curtis Kidwell on oboe.
   “Anita and I play in Folsom Symphony,” Kidwell said. “We had been playing Bach’s ‘Double Concerto’ and decided that we worked really well together, so we decided to make it a more permanent thing.”
   The two then recruited Cozza, and Tres Musicos was born. When trying to come up with music to perform that featured violin, piano and oboe, they found there wasn’t much.
   “A friend of mine from Spain brought me a CD of some music there,” Kidwell said. “I listened to them and really loved them and thought ‘This would be ideal.’”
   Afterwards, the trio brainstormed some pieces, and they went over really well in concert, Kidwell said.
   Tres Musicos will be performing the works of eight composers who were mostly active in the late-19th and early-20th century, including Isaac Albeniz, Enrique Granados, Joaquin Turina and more.
   “The rhythms of Spanish orchestral music are very interesting,” Kidwell said. “There’s a lot of syncopation, flourishes and fast tempos.”
   He also noted that Spanish composers were big on what Kidwell referred to as “an extreme emotional rollercoaster.”
   “Some movements are fast, fiery and exciting, and others are very introspective and very sweet and melancholy,” Kidwell said. 
   He further described the music as “the antithesis of Bach,” noting that the compositions are less rigid and more freeform.
   In addition to the music he’ll be performing, Kidwell expressed appreciation for his bandmates.
   “Anita and John are accomplished, technically superior musicians,” he said. “We complement each other very well.”
   Kidwell is the principal oboist for the Vallejo Symphony Orchestra, Folsom Symphony Orchestra and Auburn Symphony Orchestra. To him, working in a smaller group presents a lot of differences.
   “We can do interesting things that you just can’t do with an orchestra because there’s so many players that the conductor has to keep everyone on track,” Kidwell said. “In chamber music, you have a lot more freedom.”
   However, Kidwell said, trio performers’ mistakes are a lot more exposed when less people are on stage.
   “If you make a mistake or fumble, it’s much more obvious,” he said.
   Kidwell hopes audience members will forget about their problems that day and enjoy an evening of music. He also hopes they will dance.
   “I encourage the audience to move around in their seats because most of this music is intended to be danced to,” he said. “There’s so many great melodies that you’re probably going to start whistling multiple tunes.”
   “Dancing Across Espana” will begin at 4 p.m. Oct. 18 at First Presbyterian Church, 1350 Amador St., in Vallejo. Tickets are $10 for students ages 13 and older, and $20 for adults. 


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