Rutter's Suite Antique for Flute, Harpsichord and String Orchestra, performed by Cobus Du Toit, Flute, Alicia Rigsby, Harpsichord, and the Boulder Chamber Orchestra. Conducted by Bahman Saless, December 2009.
This season, our selection of music is more diverse than ever. The collection as a whole could be thought of as magical elements in an Alchemy laboratory, each having powers beyond human knowledge. For this reason, I thought it would be fun to associate each concert with an experiment involving elements whose combinations will lead us to Gold, the ultimate metal.
In September we begin with mature Mozart, whose works in this concert are represented by Salt, the symbol of perfection, followed by the delightful, rarely played Rondo for Piano and Orchestra written by Beethoven at just 23 years of age—the symbol of what’s to come, the eventual perfect Stone.
Our October concert, titled Ablution and Alkahest, features Poulenc’s magnificently unique Organ Concerto, which was inspired by “music from above”—that of Johann Sebastian Bach—and by “music that cleanses the soul”—the dark, the sad, and the scary (woohoooohahaha!). This concert could have been called “Spookfest,” as it is intended to energize the thrill of the upcoming Halloween weekend.
The concert we will play in November calls to mind both the element Ankh, represented by compositions of Puccini and Pergolesi that deal with the ascendancy of the life force, and the element Basilisk, which is signified by the emotionally rich and complex Divertimento of Béla Bartók.
Our Holiday and New Year’s concerts will take us outside the laboratory for a breath of celebration and jubilation.
In February we turn to the lighter side of Alchemy. Scheduled just after Valentine’s Day, this concert features the ultimate romantic interlude, Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll—a musical analogue of Conjunction. Much the same can be said about Mendelssohn’s first symphony, a collection of elemental motifs comprising a whole greater than the sum of its parts. The Crown is Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto—a symbol of the achievement of the magisterium.
Our April concert, with Andrew Cooperstock, reflects Azoth, a mercurial and universal spirit that can be described as circumscribing the beginning (Bach) and the end (Bloch) of three remarkable centuries of music.
And finally, in May, we arrive at the music of Beethoven; the perfect combination of Spirit and Gold!
Enjoy this amazing season!
Bahman Saless, Music Director and Conductor
May 9, 2013
An Article by Peter Alexander, Boulder Weekly Classical Music Writer
"Saless is particularly struck by the composer’s ability to manipulate his listeners’ emotions, recalling a story told by one of Beethoven’s students, Carl Czerny. Beethoven’s piano improvisations, in the salons and homes of his patrons, were “most brilliant and striking,” Czerny wrote. “He knew how to produce such an effect upon every hearer that many would break out into loud sobs.” But Beethoven often followed his most moving improvisations with raucous laughter, telling his listeners they were fools for allowing their feelings to be so easily controlled." Read more.
September 30, 2012
An Article by Robin McNeil, Opus Colorado Music Critic
"This performance was completely fresh in so many ways: the clarity and transparency in the way the BCO performed these classical period pieces was absolutely breathtaking. Their phrasing was meticulous, as were their attacks, which were quite stunning because there were no ill-defined entrances whatsoever. The entire orchestra seemed very excited to get the season underway after all of the rehearsals, and there was a marked vigorousness and uniformity of purpose in the way they played." Read more.
September 16, 2012
An article by Kelly Dean Hansen, Camera Classical Music Writer
"When music director Bahman Saless considered the theme for the Boulder Chamber Orchestra's eighth season, he realized he wanted to do many diverse pieces that were difficult to put together in a semantic sense. He also realized he wanted to experiment with concerts that created interest through extreme contrast." Read more.
Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony, performed by the Boulder Chamber Orchestra conducted by Bahman Saless.
Boulder Chamber Orchestra (BCO) is a non-profit organization committed to providing exceptional chamber music programming, education, and outreach, as well as an outlet for talented local artists in the Boulder community.
"I did not exaggerate above when I said this was one of the best performances of the Mozart Requiem that I have heard. Perhaps due to the surroundings, it had a very intimate feel, but the choir, the orchestra, and the soloists all gave the impression that they were performing for just a select few. It was so very clean and clear that every note (from everyone) could be heard., says Robin McNeil, Opus Colorado Music Critic.