Local musicians shine at Cactus Pear Music Festival
The Cactus Pear Music Festival shifted Friday night to local talent after last week’s national- and international-level performers — with absolutely no loss in quality.
Three San Antonio Symphony principal wind musicians were featured: flutist Mark Teplitsky, oboist Paul Lueders and clarinetist Ilya Shterenberg.
They each performed separately during the concert’s first half at Concordia Lutheran Church before an audience of more than 450 people.
Teplitsky was the leader for Mozart’s Quartet No. 3, K. 285b, which started like a concerto for flute and strings in the first movement before the roles evened out between the flute and string players. Teplitsky’s flute was smooth and clear as the quartet’s main theme surfaced in several variations through the four-movement work.
Lueders performed as a soloist in two sections of Benjamin Britten’s “Six Metamorphosis after Ovid,” Op. 49. His oboe was gentle and lilting in “Niobe,” adding more flow and ripple in “Arethusa.” His playing was nimble and precise.
A centerpiece for the program, however, was presented by Shterenberg, the Clarinet Quartet by Krzysztof Penderecki, composed in 1993. The modern work by the Polish composer is bleak, underscored by the fact that the four musicians played together only in brief spots. Most of the piece was carried by one or two players at a time.
In remarks before starting, Shterenberg spoke of the work’s darkness, desolation and desperation. The performance accordingly was intense and highly emotional, ending with a stark, plucked note from cellist Holgen Gjoni, also of the San Antonio Symphony.
Lueders returned after intermission for a more tuneful composition, Franz Krommer’s Oboe Quartet, No 1. Lueders led the way with graceful melodies. Krommer was a contemporary of Beethoven and Haydn. The quartet sounded classical with a touch of rococo.
The concert’s other centerpiece, Antonin Dvorák’s “Terzetto,” Op. 74, was the only work without a wind player, featuring two violins and a viola. Dvorák’s typical polyphonic magic entered quickly, as performed by violist Bruce Williams and violinist Sandy Yamamoto, both of Austin, and led by violinist Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, herself a former San Antonio Symphony concertmaster and the festival’s founder.
The trio was wonderful throughout the lively “Terzetto,” but they were best in the high-spirited, fast-paced scherzo that relaxed during the middle section.