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A Far Cry’s Approaching “Storm of Guitars”


The Criers with Parasols

This weekend audiences will be treated to the Boston premier of the string orchestra arrangement of Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout by the young American (of Lithuanian, Jewish, Peruvian, and Chinese descent) composer Gabriela Lena Frank.  She has been hailed as a “Peruvian Bartók.” Commissioned by the Chiara Quartet in 2001, the piece consists of six movements depicting Peruvian panpipes of various sizes and tonalities, several Inca personalities, and concludes with what the composer refers to as a “storm of guitars,” glissando tremolo figures in the violas and second violins sandwiched between complicated rhythms in the lower strings and a bold flirtatious love song in the first violins. Also on the program are the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings and the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 11 in F Major, with guest soloist Joel Fan.

Founded in 2007 by 17 young musicians bent on making music according to their own rules, the groundbreaking, self-conducted, cooperatively-directed string orchestra A Far Cry operates out of a store front on South Street in Jamaica Plain. This season marks its first as Chamber Orchestra in Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. A Far Cry has been reviewed on these pages here. For a peek behind the scenes as A Far Cry prepares this unusually scored, challenging piece click on the link to YouTube here.

Three performances will be offered this weekend: Friday, February 4, at 7:30pm at Cochran Chapel, Phillips Academy, Andover; Saturday, February 5 at 4pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Jamaica Plain; and Sunday, February at 1:30pm at the Gardner Museum’s temporary venue, the nearby Pozen Center, Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Check BMInt’s “Upcoming Events” for details.

Mary Lincoln is an amateur violinist who serves on the boards of several Boston-area musical organizations and is a resident of Jamaica Plain.

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