REVIEW POTPOURRI: The Atlantic Music Festival

Lorimer Chapel at Colby College.

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

The Atlantic Music Festival

Presented annually at Colby College

Since 2008, our local, world-renowned Colby College has been hosting the Atlantic Music Festival for the month of July. The festival brings composers, instrumentalists and vocalists together to make music and perform concerts free of charge to the public.

Because of my abysmal laziness and stupidity, even though I knew about the AMF, I had not attended any of its previous concerts until the season’s final two this past Friday and Saturday at the College’s Lorimer Chapel. I now stand duly admonished because of what I had been missing the last 11 years.

Friday’s program consisted of chamber music that involved the four groups in most every orchestra – strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. Complete pieces and select movements from works of Karel Husa, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gabriel Faure, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Charles Gounod, Sigurd Berge, Johan Halvorsen, Mikhail Glinka, and composers in the festival received splendid renditions.

Ones that stood out were Faure’s 1st Violin Sonata, Ravel’s Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano, and Violin and Cello Sonata, Debussy’s Sonata for Harp, Viola and Flute, Gounod’s Petite Symphonie for 2 Oboes, Clarinets, Bassoons, and French Horns and 1 Flute, Mozart’s K.493 Piano Quartet, and one major discovery, Glinka’s Grande Sextet.

The Festival Symphony concert on Saturday was led by the very gifted Dean Whiteside, a conductor to reckon with later, along with other participants, and we heard riveting performances of Verdi’s Nabucco Overture, the Dvorak 8th Symphony and an extraordinary Violin Concerto composed by the festival’s director, Solbong Kim, in its world premiere. The soloist was Sojin Kim, no relation.

Attendance at future July festivals couldn’t be more highly recommended!


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