Another Round In The Chamber: The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Comes To Albuquerque

Shhh ... Don’t Tell Santa Fe, But The Chamber Music Festival Comes Here, Too

Patricia Sauthoff
3 min read
Jennifer Frautschi will get to relax ABQ-style when the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival comes to Burque. (Lisa-Marie Mazzucco)
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Musically, Albuquerque is kind of a metal town. Last week there was a full page of ads in the Alibi for rockin’ shows by Korn, Rob Zombie, Scorpions, Tesla, Slayer, Megadeth and Testament. Show me your horns!

But, let’s be honest, some of us don’t want to don sleeveless T-shirts every night of the week. Sometimes we want to put on a fancy dress or a tie (or our nicest Iron Maiden shirt, I’m not one to judge) and go to the kind of performance for which we don’t need earplugs. We want to sit in chairs and just listen, saving both our vocal cords and eardrums for another day.

Enter the
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, which three years ago decided to bring some of its world-class concerts to Burque, saving us the guilt of filling up the gas tank for a night out.

Chamber Music Executive Director Steven Ovitsky, who attends every single show of the season, says the musicians like coming to Albuquerque because they get a chance to explore the city in addition to playing for a different audience.

In the past, performances were at the KiMo Theatre but this year have been moved to
Immanuel Presbyterian Church. Ovitsky says the move was due to “everything from location to acoustics to expense.” The new Nob Hill location will also likely attract some university students to its three concerts.

Oh, and if you think these might not be the same high level of performances the City Different is spoiled with, think again. The Wednesday night Albuquerque concerts, which are produced in conjunction with
Classical KHFM 95.5 & 102.9, are not only the exact same as the Thursday night Santa Fe shows but they’re also cheaper! A lot cheaper. Ha, ha, ha. Take that, Santa Fe.

OK, so we’ve got a bit of history on the series and the whole rubbing-the-price-in-the-nose-of-the-northern-snobs thing. What else? Oh, yeah. What can we expect from the program?

Well, the Chamber Music Fest does a great job getting accomplished musicians from around the country and the world. For the Wednesday, July 28 concert of Schubert, Danzi and Franck, the Chamber Music Festival has called out a variety of talented artists to play some unusual pieces. The lineup includes
Peter Stumpf, lead cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Jennifer Frautschi, who performs on a 1722 Stradivarius violin; and Teng Li, who astonished the Toronto Philharmonia just a few years ago by landing the coveted lead viola chair at only 21 years of age. They will tackle Schubert’s “String Trio in Bb, D. 471,” an unfinished composition that skips along almost playfully as it pays tribute to the Viennese performers who came before him.

For pieces by Danzi and Franck, this same trio is joined by bassoonist
Christopher Millard (Danzi’s “Quartet for Bassoon & String Trio in Bb, Op. 40, No. 2”), violinist Cho-Liang Lin and pianist Jeremy Denk (Franck’s “Quintet in f, M. 7”). Danzi’s “Quartet” is similarly light, but the mood of the evening changes with Franck’s sometimes dramatic, sometimes gently tragic “Quintet.”

The following week, the Chamber Music Festival returns with works by Rossini, Kodály and Dvořák. These concerts may not lead to head-banging in the aisles, but they do offer the same kind of intensity as a heavy metal show, just with a slightly more elegant style.

Schubert / Danzi / Franck

Wednesday, July 28, 7:30 p.m.

Immanuel Presbyterian Church

114 Carlisle SE

$10 to $30

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