|Music filled Founders Auditorium at the University of La Verne Nov. 30 as the Avenel Chamber Players performed. Among the musicians were Jennifer Adrian on the French horn, Stephen Thiroux on the bassoon and Lori Musicant Kosh on clarinet. Other chamber players included Holly Patterson on the oboe and Sean Stackpoole on flute. The group performed pieces that ranged from Beethoven to Francis Poulenc. The musicians ended the night with requests for an encore.
Maria J. Velasco
For a generation that only listens to classical music in the background of films, the University of La Verne’s music department provided a different way to enjoy classical music through the Avenel Chamber Players.
About 40 people attended the concert Nov. 30 in Founders Hall to hear the Avenel Chamber Players, a sextet of classical music players.
“I never expected classical music to be entertaining, I’m really surprised I enjoyed it,” Victoria Elias, a sophomore at Cal Poly Pomona, said.
The sextet consists of Jennifer Adrian on French horn, Lori Musicant Koch on clarinet, Holly Patterson on oboe, Stephen Thiroux on bassoon, Paul Wiesepape on piano and Sean Stackpoole on flute.
The night started with Beethoven’s Quintet in E Flat for Piano and Winds, Op. 16, for which Stackpoole did not perform.
The next piece, however, was all about the flute and the piano with Francis Poulenc’s Sonata for the Flute and Piano.
Stackpoole walked on stage and introduced the piece and the writer, and explained the history behind each movement.
The second movement in the piece, “Cantilena,” is a sweet and slow song that offered dark moments at times.
Stackpoole said that the song really showed Poulenc’s sense of humor.
“It was written as an ode to an ancient prostitute,” he said.
The last movement in the piece, “Presto giocoso.”
The piece was a complete contrast from the other two movements, which were slow and had an air of romanticism to them.
“Presto giocoso” is the sound of a family quarrel, Stackpoole said.
The song was fast and the piano and flute seemed to be battling.
Every note played by the piano was answered with the flute.
The final piece of the night was Poulenc’s Sextet for Piano and Wind Instruments.
All six of the Avenel Chamber Players were present for the finale.
The final piece was also in three movements, “Allegro vivace – Tres vite et emporte,” “Divertissement-Andantino” and “Finale-Prestissimo.”
“Allegro vivace” was the sort of song that would be used in a suspense film, like where a character is running, and then gets caught by the murderer and killed.
Right through the middle of the song a melancholy sound took hold of what had previously sounded suspenseful.
“Prestissimo” was a fast love song with some mystique to it.
“It had a mysterious sound to it,” Angela Munoz, a liberal studies freshman said.
In the end, after being applauded for several minutes, the Avenel Chamber Players played one final piece by Brazilian composer Julio Barbosa.
The piece was the only song that excluded the pianist.
It was the fastest and shortest song of the night, and probably the most enjoyed by the audience.
“The encore they did was a real threat,” Munoz said.
The night, however, did have its faults.
Without the proper assistance to move things smoothly in between pieces, the members of the Avenel Chamber Players themselves moved chairs, stands and instruments between songs.
The concert would have flowed more smoothly if the musicians did not have to stop in between performing each of their pieces.
However, Stackpoole was able to lessen the awkward in-between moments with some comedy.
“It is customary for the bassoon player to come in the middle of songs and do the set up,” Stackpoole said.
Because of this humor, the concert attendees were able to enjoy the music above all else.
Many of the audience members present were first timers at a classical music concert.
“It was a really good first experience,” Harvey Vallin, a student at Redstone College, said.
“The last movement had the sound of a happy ending,” Munoz said.
Maria J. Velasco can be reached at email@example.com.