Sommarfest Series Continues with Mozart and Sommarfest Trio Posted on July 8th, 2005 by

After an exciting opening night with Minneapolis-based Artaria String Quartet, the 2005 Minnesota Valley Sommarfest continues its celebration of the music of Mozart on Thursday, July 14, with a performance by the Minnesota Valley Sommarfest Trio. The series’ second concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on July 14 in Jussi Björling Recital Hall on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus.

Thursday’s performance features the Minnesota Valley Sommarfest Trio, the series’ resident trio since its beginning in 1990. The members of the trio, Mary Horozaniecki, violin, Harry Dunscombe, ‘cello and John McKay, piano, have presented a trio performance in each season of the series 16 years. In addition to impressing audiences in the summer series, the trio has presented numerous concerts in the region apart from the summer season and each member has been featured in sonata or solo performances in other concerts during Sommarfest’s history.

For the performance this week, the members of the trio will be joined by guest Violist Laurel Browne, a familiar face to Sommarfest audiences. The trio opens the performance with Mozart’s Trio No. 2 in B flat major, K. 502 and continues with a work commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and written in 1986 by Minnesota composer Paul Schoenfield, Café Music.

Schoenfield’s Café Music draws on many genres of classical and folk music, including 20th Century American, Viennese, light classical, gypsy and Broadway styles. It was originally written as “high class dinner music,” according to the composer, that might actually “just barely” find its way to the concert hall stage. The work made its way to one of the grandest stages in Minnesota when the SPCO performed the work at Ordway Hall in January of 1987 — very “high class dinner music” indeed!

Following the intermission, the Sommarfest Trio will be joined by Violist Laurel Browne to perform Mozart’s Quartet No. 2 in E flat major, K. 493. Recognized as one of the master composer’s master works, the E flat quartet is one of the first quartets written for piano trio (violin, ‘cello and piano) and viola. Mozart regarded this work so highly that he had it played for Franz Josef Haydn’s brother, who, in turn, presented it to his brother. After hearing the quartet, Haydn wrote to Mozart’s father. “Your son has the highest taste, and, what is more, the most profound knowledge of composition.” This was a great compliment indeed from one of the premier composers of the day.

Tickets for this 7:30, Thursday, July 14, performance of Minnesota Valley Sommarfest may be reserved by calling 507-933-7013 or may be purchased at the door beginning one hour prior to concert time. Tickets for this performance are $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens and, as an incentive for parents to bring their school-aged children, a family ticket for $25.00.


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