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A year ago, referring to the Brussels Chamber Orchestra in this Cary Arts Center venue, the reviewer listed some facts that still hold true this year as the players observe their fifth annual visit to the area: “They provide mentoring for many young players. They collaborate with musicians from the North Carolina Symphony. They invite music lovers to numerous free open rehearsals. And during this two-week stay they produce concerts featuring truly world-class artistry.” These twelve honored visitors have once again made the Cary Cross Currents Chamber Music Arts Festival a reality, enhancing the Triangle area with their musicianship.
How would you go about assembling the proper contingent for Beethoven’s Sextet in E-Flat for Two Horns and String Quartet? You might start by drafting four string players from the Brussels Chamber Orchestra, say, violinists Nana Kawamura (Concertmaster) and Katelijne Vinkeroye (second violin leader), violist Florian Peelman, and cellist and BCO founder Mario Villuendas. For the horns, simply choose two top-drawer players from the North Carolina Symphony, say, Christopher Caudill and Rachel Niketopoulis. Also, you might ask these latter two to play horns specific to the composer’s generation.
Although this was not your everyday combination of instruments, the resulting sound was sterling Beethoven. Some of the most appealing strains came from the Adagio movement when the horns and the cello formed such a surprising and alluring trio.
Intermission provided an entr’acte of sorts. The audience was invited to wander the many interstices and halls of the elegant old (new) Center. There one could view the numerous art attractions, thereby reinforcing the fact that the Cary Arts Center is verily a multi-media facility.
Mozart’s huge Divertimento No. 15 employed the full twelve-member BCO, powerfully augmented by these same two horn players. Of the six movements, only in the Adagio were the horns silent, demonstrating for the afternoon the excellence of this string ensemble. In all of the other movements, the horns were prominent, providing piquant and flavorful spice to that extraordinary Divertimento stew.
As Cultural Arts Manager Lyman Collins reminded the audience, this offering marked the midpoint of the Festival. So be well advised that it’s not too late to participate.