Welcome To Our 16th SeasonFrom the Artistic Director
On behalf of the Michigan City Chamber Music Festival, our esteemed musicians, our brilliant board of directors, our talented staff, and the entire area artistic community, I welcome you to our 16th season, “The Natural World!”
I have pondered and planned this year’s theme for years, now. Musical presentations that offer selections that have been inspired by nature are hardly a rarity. I have performed many types of these programs in my 30-year career. I’ve enjoyed hearing, preparing, and playing such concerts for enthusiastic audiences countless times.
Composers have always had a special connection with nature, but I wanted to explore this “connection” more than is usually done. WHY did the composers that we offer this season take such strong inspiration from the natural world? HOW did they incorporate what they felt from this inspiration into the musical language? I started to contemplate such thoughts on a more cerebral plane, perhaps, than I had before. In studying the musical offerings of these great masters, I started to realize that there was far more at play here than our common interpretation of “artistic inspiration.”
Music occurs, of course, from sound vibration. When I really thought about these vibrations of creation, I felt a very direct connection between music and nature. Composers weren’t “inspired” by nature, they were actual conduits of the natural world, creating great musical works of art THROUGH nature.
From the opening “appoggiaturas” (musical ‘tear drops’) of Antonio Vivaldi’s “l’Estate” (‘Summer’), which erupt into an exciting and life-giving thunderstorm, to Olivier Messiaen almost obsessive exploration of bird calls in “La Merle noir” (The Blackbird) our Opening Night concert; to Aaron Copland’s 3 note chant-like ostinato, which later evolves into a joyous recitation of a Shaker Hymn, in his beloved “Appalachian Spring” to George Crumb’s haunting whale song in “VOX Balaenae,” we discover an undeniable connection between ALL musics and nature. From Baroque to Contemporary, music and nature are inseparable, music becomes, and IS, itself, a natural force.
Sit back and enjoy songs by Jules Massenet, Andrea Clearfield, and Albin Fries, that define nature’s direct role on our very emotions. Let yourself be swept away by Robert Schumann’s and Franz Schubert’s ultimate quintet landscapes. Listen to and experience masterworks by Ludwig van Beethoven and Maurice Ravel that were not dedicated to natural forces, but inspired future audiences masses to think of and feel a connection to nature AFTER they were premiered!
As always, I think YOU, our faithful audience, for being there for this festival. For grasping your role as an indispensable “natural force” in these high, cultural, artistic events.
VIVA LA MUSICA
Nic Orbovich, MCCMF Artistic Director, Co-founder, and violinist