Arts and Entertainment

Chamber music series takes a spiritual turn

Michael Werner, Seattle Symphony’s principal percussionist, will perform at the Vashon Chamber Music’s concert Sunday. - Courtesy Photo
Michael Werner, Seattle Symphony’s principal percussionist, will perform at the Vashon Chamber Music’s concert Sunday.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Vashon Chamber Music’s third concert in its 2011-12 series will have a somber and spiritual tone.

The anchor of the concert’s repertoire will be Bach’s cantata, “Ich habe genug,” (“I have enough”), a work for baritone, oboe and strings.

According to Vashon Chamber Music’s artistic director Rowena Hammill, the piece is especially meaningful to her.

“I chose the cantata because ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved the oboe,” she said. “This cantata has one of the most beautiful oboe solos.”

The subject matter of the piece comes from the New Testament account of how an aging man, Simeon, saw baby Jesus at the temple and declared he was then ready to die, because he had seen the Messiah.

According to Hammill, the story closely echoes King’s “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech made shortly before his death.

Hammill has invited Dan Williams, oboist and faculty member of the University of Puget Sound, to solo in “Ich have genus” along with Vashon opera star and baritone Andrew Krikawa.

The concert will also include Telemann’s trio sonata in G minor for violin and oboe, giving Williams another chance to shine in the concert. Islander Karin Choo will perform the violin solo in the piece.

Works by two contemporary Baltic composers, Arvo Pärt, from Estonia, and George Pelecis, from Latvia, will fill out the program.

In addition to Williams, Krikawa and Choo, the concert’s cast will include Seattle Symphony violinist Artur Girsky, local violinist Gaye Detzer, Seattle Symphony principal percussionist Michael Werner, violist Heather Bentley and cellists Douglas Davis and Hammill.

“It is a more spiritually themed program than we usually do,” said Hammill. “It’s going to be a tour de force to pull it off.”

The concert takes place at 3 p.m. Sunday, at Vashon Methodist Church. Tickets, $18 and $21, are on sale at the Blue Heron, Vashon Bookshop, and by calling 463-5131.


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