Romantic week for Bay Chamber Concerts

Jul 19, 2014
Jose Franch-Ballester, left, and Ran Dank

Rockport — Bay Chamber Concerts’ summer season continues Thursday, July 31, at 7:30 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House, 6 Central St., with music for clarinet and piano by Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Brahms and Weber performed by pianist Ran Dank and clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester. The following evening, Aug. 1, the featured musicians will perform an intimate program featuring works by Debussy, Chopin, Poulenc and Novacek as a 21-and-older Friday Café Concert beginning 9 p.m. at Union Hall, 2 Central St.

Dank deploys brilliant technique with astonishing energy, intellect and intensity, captivating audiences and critics alike. In the past season of New York concerts alone, he has performed Beethoven sonatas at Merkin Hall, Prokofiev's Concerto No. 2 in his debut with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Alice Tully Hall, and gained critical acclaim for the Tobias Picker Concerto at Columbia University's Miller Theatre and for his performance of Ravel's piano trio at the Chelsea Music Festival.

Franch-Ballester, a native of Moncofa (Valencia, Spain), is one of the most promising clarinetists of his generation. In 2008, he received the highly coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant. The year before, he was one of a handful of participants selected for a Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop with Emmanuel Ax and Richard Stoltzman; and selected as one of the year's most prominent emerging soloists by the American Symphony League Magazine.

Thursday night’s program offers Robert Schumann's Three Romances, originally written for the oboe but transcribed for clarinet; Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Sonata No. 2, the 1931 condensed version; Johannes Brahms' Sonata in E-flat major; and Carl Maria von Weber's Grand Duo Concertant, which makes concerto-like demands on both instrumentalists.

On Friday night, the musician will breathe life into some of chamber music's most beloved and time honored pieces: Claude Debussy's Premiere Rhapsodie; Frederic Chopin's Polonaise in C Minor and Polonaise in A-flat; Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano; and John Novacek's “4 Rags for 2 Johns.”

Thursday tickets are $45, $10 younger than 21; and 21-and-older-only Friday tickets are $35. They can be purchased in advance by calling 236-2823 or by stopping by Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School, 18 Central St. Tickets also are available in limited quantities at the door prior to concerts. To avoid a $5 per order fee, purchase online at baychamberconcerts.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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