Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Conneticut's Avery Ensemble Performs Ancient and Modern Music Celebrating and Making Light of Love

Saturday, February 21 at 7:30 pm Avery Ensemble will appear in the second concert of their series entitled All’s Fair in Love and War?! at the Lichtenstein Arts Center, 28 Renne Ave., in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Individual tickets are $20 (student and children’s tickets are half-price). The ensemble’s regular personnel, Adriana Jarvis—harpsichord, Annie Trépanier—violin, Steve Larson—viola, and Hans Twitchell—cello & bass viol, will be joined by special guests mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn and violinist Victoria Ferris.

Featuring music for harpsichord, baroque violin, bass viol, mezzo-soprano, strings and electronics by Rameau, Monteverdi, Caccini, Carlo Farina, Mahler and John Adams, this February concert, Fools Rush In, considers the risks of impulsive commitments to love or aggression in a light, fast-paced and humorous program.

The first half features the ensemble in its guise as an early music consort beginning with Rameau’s Quatrieme Concert—a dazzling virtuoso showpiece for Ms. Jarvis at the harpsichord with baroque violin and bass viol accompaniment. The early baroque set of love songs, as well as Mahler’s Rheinlegendchen, later in the program, will feature glamorous guest mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn.

Carlo Farina’s hilarious and wonderful 1627 Capriccio Stravagante will introduce the fiery guest violinist Victoria Ferris in a work that mocks extravagant caprices of amorous or military nature with onomatopoetic invocations of everything from Il Pifferino della Soldatesca e il tamburo to the peculiar sound made by cats during a certain phase of their hormonal cycle.

John’s Book of Alleged Dances (1994) by America’s most popular living composer of art music, John Adams, is an electronically enhanced romp with which the ensemble celebrates dance’s role in courtship. It is a Saturnalia of syncopation unsurpassed by the best of America’s funk and soul music tradition. The string quartet is accompanied by prerecorded rhythm loops.

The Strad praised the “eloquence of [Avery Ensemble’s] tone and phrasing. . . in every bar.” They have been hailed as "an utter delight" by the Hartford Advocate and as "simply outstanding" by Classical Voice of New England. calls their playing “gorgeous… almost mad with excitement” with “a wonderful feeling of collaboration…even as their hearts are aflame.”

Tickets will be available at the door. To order advanced subscriptions or tickets, call 860-523-8931, email [ ], or send a check to Avery Concerts, 143 Maplewood Ave., West Hartford, CT 06119. Checks should be made payable to Avery Concerts. Please include a phone number and/or an email address to receive a confirmation. Tickets will be held at the indoor unless otherwise requested. For more information about the Avery Ensemble, please visit

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