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Les Inégales, Making Old Ideas New

Classically  trained musicians often have difficulty improvising, although it was a common feature of musical performance until the mid-19th century. But thanks to the Industrial Revolution, even musicians began to specialize: composers composed, performers performed, and it became increasingly rare to find someone like Mozart or Beethoven improvising cadenzas for their concertos in public. In the 20th century, spontaneous music-making flourished more in the jazz and world music fields, but of late there seems to be an awakening of interest in this way of making music.

   One unique ensemble with a new approach to classical music and contemporary improvisation will present Baroque and contemporary music at Music Mountain, Sept. 12, at 3 p.m.

   The ensemble Les Inégales on Baroque period instruments — Rodrigo Tarraza, traverso (Baroque transverse flute) and Christine Gevert, playing
harpsichord are joined by the ensemble Alturas Duo composed of viola, charango and guitar. This group, founded early in 2010, features an innovative fusion of Baroque and modern music, presenting European and Latin American composers, as well as classical, jazz and folk repertoire, along with period instruments, modern electronic instruments like EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) and synthesizer.

The ensemble will present original compositions and arrangements of Baroque works by J.S. Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann, Georg Muffat and Arcangelo Corelli and contemporary works – some of them written for this ensemble.

    A special tribute to Michael Brecker, one of America’s leading jazz innovators, and developer of the EWI, will be presented as “the Art of Embellishment and Improvisation,†featuring Corelli and Brecker’s “In a Sentimental Mood,†two outrageously ornamented solos.

   Tickets are $25 at 860-824-7126; for information, call 860-596-4019.

   Kent Tritle, renowned organist of the New York Philharmonic, will play the tracker pipe organ at Smithfield Presbyterian Church off Route 44, in Amenia, NY performing works by Bach, Buxtehude, Sweelinck, and Walther, Sept. 26, at 4 p.m. to benefit The Oratorio Society of New York. $25 suggested donation. Reservations at 646-404-0947 or email JaneLevi@aol.com

   This season the Metropolitan Opera is expanding its HD live transmissions to 12, beginning with “Das Rheingold,†conducted by James Levine, Oct. 9 at 1 p.m., and “Boris Godunov,†with René Pape, conducted by Valerie Gergiev, Oct. 23 at noon. There are several locations in our area for these events, which generally sell out. Tickets have already gone on sale to members of the respective venues and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and will open to the general public as follows: Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington: Sept. 10, online or in person, Sept. 14 by phone at 413-528-0100; Time and Space: on sale now at 518-822-8448; Bardavon Theater, Poughkeepsie: Sept. 14 online or 800-745-3000.

   Country music legend Loretta Lynn is celebrating 50 years of performing this year, and brings her show to the Warner Theatre in Torrington, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. She’s amassed 51 top-ten hits in her career. Opening for her will be Atlanta born singer/songwriter Sonia Leigh, whose strong sturdy voice has blended with the Zac Brown and Marshall Tucker bands. Tickets are $39.50/74.50 at the Warner box office: 860-489-7180, or online at www.warnertheatre.org.

   Vassar College has begun its season of free concerts in Skinner Hall by faculty and guest artists. On Sept. 10 at 8 p.m., composer, guitarist, and faculty member Terry Champlin will be joined by guest artists playing  works by Mendelssohn, Schumann, Hovhannes and  premiering “Eventual Spring†by Champlin.

   Female composers will be highlighted by the guest ensemble Satori, a mixed ensemble of winds, strings, and piano, Sept. 12, at 3 p.m. The program will include music by Clara Schumann, Madeleine Dring, Rebecca Clarke, Thea Musgrave, and Hilary Tann.

   Satori performs both traditional and contemporary chamber music. For information,  845-437-7294 or go to www.music.vassar.edu.

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