Sunday, June 18, 2006

Scandinavian chamber music in the Heights

For the second Sunday in a row, I've happened upon musicians from the New York Scandia Symphony performing a free concert in Fort Tryon Park, in the grassy area overlooking the Hudson River below the Heather Garden. So I ended up having some musical accompaniment to my Sunday paper reading. Today, there were pieces for flute and clarinet in addition to the string quartet repertoire. The musicians are accomplished, and very amenable to the laid-back setting and audience. The planes flying overhead, the people occasionally coming and going, the clapping between movements—all of these things are easily forgiven. The concert series is free and sponsored in part by some of the local stores and restaurants. The third and final performance is next Sunday, the 25th, at 2 p.m. On the program, Rued Langgaard's Lenau Moods for voice (mezzo contralto) and string quartet, H.C. Andersen's "The Princess in the Pea" read by a narrator with music by Edvard Grieg, some Norwegian fiddler folk tunes, and two pieces by Jean Sibelius: Winter Song for voice and strings and a movement from Intimate Voices. There might even be refreshments from the 181st Street Starbucks next Sunday, although the sponsor of today's concert—Billy's Original Barbecue—was a no-show.

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