Excellent Performance By Chamber Orchestra

Gazette Telegraph
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Monday. Oct. 8, 1973

Music Critic

It was gratifying to see the
Colorado   Springs   Chamber
Music Society give a Sunday
afternoon concert at the Colorado
College's Armstrong auditorium
featuring professional musicians
and a challenging program of
contemporary music.

This group of musicians is
mainly from the NORAD and
Air Academy establishments.
It has been in existence two
years, under the direction of
Michael Gibson. Such a group
gives a creative community out-
let for some of these excellent
musicians, drawn from all over
the nation.Although in a previous
concert we have heard this group
play Baroque music with finesse,
the concert at Armstrong
Sunday was devoted to more or
less contemporary works, but
while often a "modern" concert
can be a trial for listeners, this
one, with the pieces chosen
judiciously, proven entertaining

and  enlightening, played by
brasses woodwinds, piano and
string bass in various com-
binations, smaller groups, and a
large ensemble which filled the

A  William Walton Fanfare
opened the program, followed
by a Brass Suite (also opening
with a Fanfare) by Nicolai Ber-
ezwosky, known to professional
musicians  for his association
with the Columbia Broadcasting
System. The Russian influence
is unmistakable, since he is a
Russian by birth, and although
written in a lighter mood, does
have some greater depth into
which to sink the musical teeth.

After a Fanfare Heroic by
Bozza, the ensemble played a
nicely credible  Scherzo,  sub-
titled "Over The Pavements," by
the Americaa insurance execu-
tive Charles Ives, who also hap-
pened to be one of the most im-
portant American composers of
this centry. The difficult Ives
music was done with skill and
was quite amusing.

This was followed, with good
musical logic, by the Circus
Polka by Stravinsky which
Stravinsky dedicated to Bessie,
the Ringling Brothers elpehant.
And here it might be appro-
priate to say that the Chamber
Music Ensemble prayed this,
and the other works of the af-
ternoon concert with the kind of
musical competence which
other groups might find too
great a challenge; it performed
with precision and feeling for
the rhythmical qualities.

After intermission, a Walter
Piston Fanfare was followed by
an original composition by a
member of the ensemble,
Charles T. Neal, the bassoonist.
A work by Rolf Johnson had
bwa originally scheduled, but
because of some circumatance,
had to be substituted. We would
have liked to hear the premiere
of Rolf Johnson's work;  we
have heard his music before,
and it is highly competent and
impressive. But the Neal work,
entitled Second Symphony for
Band, was just as interesting.
Gibson read an introduction by
Neal, in which the composer
flatly came out against the
atonal and serial fads, ascribing
them to senility.

He opts for the melodic. After
the brave words, Neal proved to
be a composer who has every
justification  for taktng his
stand: Not only is his music
melodious, with certain allow-
able modernisms, but has emo-
tional impact. This takes it out

of the light-aired light-hearted
and puts it into the serious cate-
gory. This work which should
definitely be transcribed for full
Symphony orchestra, where it
could become an audience fa-

The program concluded with
the Symphony in B Flat by
Paul Hindemith. In this work
we should give credit to the en-
semble for clear delineation of
the  musical material,  for a
grasp of the rhythmic qualities
which in lesser hands would not
have come through, and for in-
fusing am emotiomal quality, so
that Hindemith does not sound
any more as merely a logical
construction, but as a musically
intriguing work. .And that's say-
ling a great deal for the per-

The  refreshing  thing about
I this concert, arranged under the
sponsorship of Dr. Albert Seay,
himself a veteran bassoonist,
was that it was an informal
concert, played, so to speak in
shirt-sleeves, with the members
of the orchestra dressed In in-
formal dress of the most vari-
ous colors, establishing a friend-
ly atmosphere. There waa no
formality or grandstanding: the
musicians presented the concert
first and last for the music
alone, placing the music in the
immediate present. These musi-
cians, deserve a full house in
this community, and we hope
they will get it as the good
word spreads.

Chamber music group gives light, spry debut

Colorado Springs, Colo.
Monday. Oct. 8, 1973

Special to The SUN

Like a bright sun-glazed after-
noon. the Colorado Springs
Chamber Music Society gave us
a light, spry debut performance
yesterday at Armstrong Hall on
the Colorado College campus.

Adequately symbolizing the
performance was "A Fanfare"
by William Walton. This bright
piece swept over the concert hall
like a refreshing ocean wave
beating rhythmically against our
senses The concert, under the
youthful and exuberant guidance
of Michael Gibson, was a tribute
to joy.

SUN review

The Colorado Springs
Chamber Music Society very
probably presents more fun to
its audiences than any music
group in the ciy. The fun is
produced by the dedication of
the musicians witnessed by the
fact that many of the pieces per-
formed were written by
members of the group.

Mainly because of the
exurberance and fast-paced
movement of the group, the
program stumbles on occasion,
but ironically the same reasons
remove most obstacles in the

The first concert of the season
was a wonderful evening with an
excellent program that leaves us
waiting for the second.

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