As sometimes seems to be the case, I committed a “sin of omission” in my effort to account for the options available during the third weekend in November. The seriousness of that omission is, of course, a matter of personal taste. However, since it involves one of the more innovative chamber ensembles in San Francisco performing at one of the best venues we have for chamber music, I feel a strong need to compensate.
The ensemble is CMASH (Chamber Music Art Song Hybrid), whose Artistic Director is soprano Ann Moss. They have made it a practice to give annual performances in the Old First Concerts series at Old First Church, and their sixth annual appearance will take place during the weekend in question. This year’s recital will be somewhat different, however, since it will feature the five selections from the CD Currents, released last month, all of which involve Moss performing the works of different composers in a variety of instrumental settings. The instrumentalists for the Old First recital will be pianists Karen Rosenak and Steven Bailey, along with the members of the Hausmann String Quartet, violinists Isaac Allen and Eric Chin, violist Angela Choong, and cellist Jeremiah Shaw.
The program will feature the three original compositions on the CD, a set of seven songs for soprano and string quartet composed by Vartan Aghababian in 2003, for Love, a set of three songs for soprano and piano composed by John Thow in 1980 and revised in 2003, and Liam Wade’s song cycle Silver Apples, composed in 2008 for soprano and piano. Wade will also contribute to the program with an arrangement for soprano and string quartet of “Practice Your Flamenco” by Weslie Brown, which Moss sings with guitarist Jeremias Garcia on the Currents CD. Wade and Moss also collaborated on arranging five songs by Joni Mitchell using a variety of different instrumental resources.
In addition to featuring all of these selections from Currents, the Hausmann String Quartet will perform Arnold Schoenberg’s Opus 10 in F-sharp minor. Completed in 1908, this was Schoenberg’s second published string quartet. It was distinguished by its last two movements, each of which involves a poem by Stefan George. These will, as expected, be sung by Moss.
Old First Concerts events take place in the Old First Church at 1751 Sacramento Street (on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue). This recital will be held on Friday, November 15, at 8 p.m. General admission is $17 with a special $14 rate seniors aged 65 and older and $5 for full-time students. These may be purchased through the event page on the Old First Concerts Web site. Further information may be obtained by calling 415-474-1608.