Concordia Plays Schubert With Soul

By Roy Ziegler

Photos by Ray Kinlock

It was a Schubert birthday celebration that would certainly have delighted the “composer of songs” by the sheer variety and virtuosity of the performance. On Sunday the Concordia Chamber Players not only treated the audience to scrumptious birthday cake in a festive ambience, but they dazzled the crowd with original works by the fast-rising star soprano, Dana Hanchard blended with the top classical compositions of Franz Schubert.

Ms. Hanchard opened the concert with the song, Die Forelle with energetic accompaniment by pianist, Phillip Bush ranging in emotions from joy and delight to anger and resentment. Todd Palmer, clarinetist, provided brilliant dialog with Hanchard that explored dueling melodies from top to bottom ranges.

Dana Hanchard, soprano, Phillip Bush, Piano, and Todd Palmer, clarinet, rehearse the Schubert song before the concert. Candice Jones helps by turning pages.

Following the Schubert Trio Number 1 in B flat major elegantly performed by the cellist, Michelle Djokic, violinist, Carmit Zori and Robert Rinehart on the viola, Ms. Hanchard thrilled the audience with three of her original compositions including “Here In This Place”, a celebration of the joy of two people meeting; “Spirit Song” a blue and almost ethereal utterance, then closed with “October Victory”, a soulful plea for rational thought in a world on the brink of war.

Returning to the original theme of the afternoon, Schubert’s Die Forelle, the Trout Quintet in A Major, the Concordia ensemble played with keen precision and varying depths of expression as they performed the popular and colorful work. Pianist, Phillip Bush, juggled contrasting tones with the violinist, Carmit Zori, cellist, Michelle Djokic and viola, Robert Rinehart while the bass, John Deak, set the tone for enduring tranquility. The finale included dramatic flourishes of cheerful themes with playful and coy punctuations followed by a dramatic pause that nearly tricked the audience into premature applause. A standing ovation rewarded the players for an afternoon of delightful world class performance.

Concertgoers enjoy a festive birthday celebration for Franz Schubert during intermission

The Concordia Chamber Players will continue its season on April 6, 2003 with works by Beethoven, Piston and Schumann in the acoustically pleasing Stephen Buck Theater at the New Hope-Solebury High School, 180 West Bridge Street in New Hope at 3 PM. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door or by calling 215-297-5972. Children are welcome and are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

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