ABOYNE – The Wellington County Museum and Archives hosted the final concert of this season’s Gallery Music Group on March 5 – a program that included five pieces, spanning four centuries.
The performers were Greg Stroh on flute, Judith Douglas on French horn, and Brad Moggach on piano.
The concert began with the Adagio from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto transcribed for horn.
Douglas played the horn solemnly and contemplatively, floating above the rich piano accompaniment.
This was followed by JS Bach’s Flute Sonata in B minor, where Judith’s introductory reference to jazz set the mood for a modern listening experience.
The final Allegro showcased the classic Bach fugue as the piano and flute melody lines chased one another and bounced between the two instruments.
The second part of the concert had a common theme of women, starting with the Adagio and Allegro, Opus 70 by Robert Schumann, composed in 1849 and scored for French horn and piano.
Schumann’s wife Clara played the piano part at its first performance.
Douglas’ performance demonstrated why this is considered one of the most important showpieces for the horn.
This was followed by Ernest Bloch’s Suite Modale for flute and piano, dedicated to Elaine Schaffer, the first flutist to perform the work.
The final work on the program was Concertino for Flute, written by French composer Cecile Chaminade in 1902, and considered an important piece in the flute repertoire.
Stroh and Moggach performed the Concertino masterfully, with the piano providing a meandering background to the details of the landscape picked out by the flute.
As usual, the Gallery Concerts conclude with the audience mingling with the performers and each other while enjoying coffee and biscuits.
During this time, this reviewer had the pleasure of participating in two conversations that revolved around the magnificent grand piano housed at the museum.
In one conversation, Hugh Drew-Brook recounted the history of how the Arts Council purchased the instrument for community use through his fundraising efforts in the 1980s. He and his late wife Lorraine were the founders of the Gallery Concert series, which has continued ever since.
In another conversation, Moggach expressed his admiration for the Arts Council’s piano, noting its lovely and forgiving qualities.
He also praised the attentive audience of the Gallery Music concerts and observed that the art on display can impact the acoustics, but regardless of the surroundings, the piano consistently delivers a beautiful sound.
Preparations are already underway for next winter’s Gallery Concert program, which features six Sunday afternoon performances at the Wellington County Museum and Archives from October to March.
Information on the upcoming concert season will be available on the websites of the Gallery Concert Group (galleryconcertseries.ca) and the Elora Fergus Arts Council (elorafergusartscouncil.ca).