Aspen Choral Society’s spring concert melds music and poetry

John Stroud
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“The Pond” by poet Amy Lowell always reminded Aspen Choral Society Composer and Music Director Ray Adams of walks in the woods as a kid.

“‘Cold, wet leaves. Floating on moss-coloured water. And the croaking of frogs – Cracked bell-notes in the twilight.’ Something about that just brings me back to childhood,” Adams said of one of the inspirations behind “The Poets Landscape,” his composition of original music set to the words of poems by Lowell, along with William Blake, E.E. Cummings and Emily Dickinson.

This weekend’s Aspen Choral Society Spring Concerts in Glenwood Springs and Aspen will be a marriage of words and music.

The concerts will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 16, at the Glenwood Springs United Methodist Church, 824 Cooper Ave., and again at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 17, at the Aspen Chapel, 0077 Meadowood Drive.

The program opens with the Choral Society String Quartet performing Beethoven’s Quartet No. 1 Op. 18.

Members of the quartet are Carlos Elias, Grand Junction Symphony concert master and conductor of the Symphony in the Valley, along with Aaron Lande on violins, Daniel Furth on viola, and Betsy Furth on cello.

“This was the first quartet Beethoven ever wrote,” Adams said. “It’s a good way to break things up and keep it interesting.”

The Valley Chamber Choir, combining singers from Glenwood Springs to Aspen, will then team with pianist Terry Lee to perform excerpts from Randall Thompson’s “Frostiana,” a score based on the poetry of Robert Frost.

Concluding the evening will be the world premiere the “The Poets Landscape,” for which Adams composed original music around six poems by the four featured poets, to be performed by the choir and the string quartet.

“It’s a good opportunity for locals to hear a very good string quartet and a wonderful choir,” Adams said.

A $15 donation is requested at the door. A reception will follow Saturday night’s concert in Aspen. For more information, call 925-3685.

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