Arts & Culture

A final 'Phantasy'

Chamber Music Hilton Head will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday at All Saints Episcopal Church on Hilton Head Island. This concert will bring to a close 13 seasons of music-making by the ensemble.

Artistic director Bob Shamo said that from its beginning, the group had a specific mission.

"All along, we've had several goals in mind," he said. "First was to assemble a core group of musicians who would become familiar to our audiences by appearing in a variety of duos, trios and quartets. Second, we've made a point of balancing less familiar and unusual pieces with recognized masterpieces by the famous composers. And third, we've taken care to perform in agreeable spaces, homes and public spaces that favor these small-scale, intimate pieces."

Of the six musicians in Monday's concert, several are Hilton Head residents and longtime members of Chamber Music Hilton Head. The music includes pieces that were favorites of the musicians and audiences when they were performed in prior seasons.

Lauren Stuligross, Hilton Head oboist, will be heard in "Phantasy Quartet" by Benjamin Britten. The music begins quietly with a distant cello pulsation, soon joined by violin and viola, setting the stage for an oboe entrance. Twelve minutes later, the piece concludes as it began, quietly, with the instruments exiting in reverse order.

Among the many pieces soprano Laura Sutton Floyd has sung with the ensemble is "Vocalise" by Andre Previn. It pairs the soprano and cello as partners in melody, while the piano offers a transparent chordal texture. Joining Floyd, as they did originally, are cellist Angel Maleh and pianist Jean Shamo. Following without interruption will be a selection of songs by Robert Schumann.

The concert begins with "Romance" by Antonin Dvorak. Originally for solo violin with orchestra accompaniment, the piece is often played as a chamber piece by violin and piano. Violinist Melissa Barrett is associate concertmaster of the Jacksonville Orchestra and a regular with Chamber Music Hilton Head.

Schumann's "Piano Quartet" -- a 19th century masterwork -- concludes the concert and the Chamber Music Hilton Head series. Joining the musicians in the brief reception that follows will be Sandra Nikolajevs, executive director of Chamber Music Charleston. The Charleston group is a repertory ensemble like Chamber Music Hilton Head, and it is planning a three-program series next season, with performances to continue at All Saints Episcopal Church.