MARLBORO -- Poland’s Krzysztof Penderecki is 2013 Resident Composer at Marlboro Music and will have two of his chamber works performed on Saturday at 8:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., at Persons Auditorium on the Marlboro College campus.
Thirty-three of the 75 participating artists, who spend two months exploring works that they have suggested, with the rare opportunity of unlimited rehearsal time, will be heard on the third weekend of concerts.
Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. program offers the Penderecki Sextet for piano woodwinds and strings, the Brahms Piano Quartet in G Minor and a rarely-heard work for flute, violin and viola by the early 20th century Dutch composer Jan Van Gilse.
The Mozart Divertimento in E flat for six woodwinds, K. 252 opens the program on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., and shares the first half with the romanticism of Reger’s Quintet in A, Op. 146 for clarinet and strings. The clarinet is also featured after intermission with the Penderecki Clarinet Quartet, and the program closes with the rarely-heard Britten Sinfonietta, Op. 1 for woodwind quintet, string quartet and double bass. The Van Gilse and the Penderecki Clarinet Quartet will be first Marlboro performances.
Tickets for the concerts are available at www.marlboromusic.org or by calling 802-254-2394. Concerts continue through Aug. 11, which has been sold out for months. A new geothermal air conditioning system is making its debut this summer to cool the stage for the musicians and the hall for the audience.
A regular Marlboro participant, the noted french horn player Radovan Vlatkovic who will be heard in the Penderecki Sextet with pianist Michael Brown, clarinetist Alicia Lee, violinist Michelle Ross, violist Maya Papach and cellist Nathan Vickery, performed in the premiere of the piece at the Vienna Musikverein in 2000.
He wrote about that experience: "Originally written for a group of musicians around the great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, the Sextet is an exciting composition in two movements. It is music full of contrasting character. An anecdote from the first performance: in the weeks before the concert, single pages of the uncompleted score and transposed parts were reaching us, the six musicians travelling around the world. It seemed almost an impossible task to get us all together and yet after a few intense days of rehearsal in Vienna, the powerful message of the work had brought us closely together, every piece of the puzzle came into place."
For Vlatkovic and his Marlboro colleagues, "Images come to mind quickly as one rehearses the work. We were both entertained by the Capriccioso character of the virtuoso writing as well as touched by the intimacy of the lament in the slow movement. It was like a journey into the composer’s inner world, and it brought our group of wonderful young musicians closer together."
Penderecki, who will celebrate his 80th birthday in November and is working on an opera based on Racine’s "Phedre," first came to international attention at age 26 and a year later, using innovative compositional techniques, he wrote "Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima" for 52 string instruments. It is probably his most performed work.
In the 1970s, he taught at the Yale School of Music and, in a career marked by numerous honors, he received a Grammy earlier this year for Best Classical Compendium. In addition to performances of his orchestral, choral, chamber music works and operas worldwide, some of his music has been adapted for a number of films including "The Exorcist" and "The Shining."
Penderecki joins a number of eminent composers who have been in residence at Marlboro in recent years including Thomas Ades, Lera Auerbach, George Benjamin, William Bolcom, Robert Cuckson, Marc-Andre Dalbavie, Alexander Goehr, Osvaldo Golijov, John Harbison, Tigran Mansurian and Jorg Widmann.