Chamber Music at the Barn is ready to show off some local talent. Six accomplished musicians will perform four chamber pieces Wednesday through Friday for the venue’s final summer concert.
“The festival was started based on the local musicians because the quality was so high here,” artistic director Catherine Consiglio said.
These nationally known musicians will show off their talents with a chamber concert featuring French composers whose music spans from baroque to 21st century — a short history ride through French chamber music.
Consiglio is principal violist for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and viola professor at Wichita State University. The show’s flutist, Frances Shelly, has worked for more than four decades as the principal flute player at the symphony and as a professor at WSU. Andrea Banke and Scott Oakes have the roles of principal oboe and bassoon players and teach at WSU as well.
“When I’m programming, I try to do a variety of music and think who would it be fun to feature and make music with,” Consiglio said.
For piano and harpsichord, Consiglio is bringing in James Knight, a Valley Center High School graduate who now teaches piano at Friends University.
Knight, who has performed at the Barn several times, is bringing along two of his highly accomplished students to play the final selection, Claude Bolling’s “Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio.” Knight used Bolling’s composition at a student recital at Friends this spring where Jonathan Consiglio played bass, and his twin, David, played drums. These talented brothers are Consiglio’s sons.
Bolling is one of France’s most prolific jazz composers. His suite is a mix of jazz and classical crossover music — one of his specialties. In this composition, the piano and flute represent classical music, while the drums and bass focus on jazz.
“The flute can enter into the jazz world a little bit,” Shelly said. “It feels a little jazzy playing it (Bolling’s composition) even though the flute represents the classical side.”
The other works in the concert are by Francis Poulenc, Jean-Baptiste Loeillet and Maurice Durufle, under whom Bolling studied. These classical works feature trios and quartets using the bassoon, flute, harpsichord, oboe, piano and viola. The harpsichord will be brought in for Loeillet’s “Trio Sonata in A Minor for Oboe, Viola and Continuo.”
This trio sonata opens with the viola, which is echoed by the oboe. The instruments have almost equal voices throughout the piece. The harpsichord also joins in.
Knight said this work is typical of the baroque period.
“It has kind of that light rococo French sound,” he said. “The viola adds a nice rich texture. It’s a wonderful piece.”
The oboe is featured in Poulenc’s “Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano.”
“Poulenc has a neo-classic sound,” Knight said. “It’s a light cafe kind of sound. It’s very 20th century.”
Knight said the audience will love this piece because the melodies are easily discernible and the piece is “short and fun.”
Durufle’s “Prelude, Recitatif et Variations for Flute, Alto, and Piano” follows Poulenc’s work.
“He has a lot of influences of impressionism,” Knight said. “He was also influenced by early church music as well as early 20th-century techniques.”
The Barn’s atmosphere lends itself well to both an inside air-conditioned intimate performance space and an outdoor European cafe-style atmosphere where guests can sip wine, munch on brie and crackers and watch the concert on a large-screen monitor.