Musicians will honor Park City Beethoven Festival’s namesake in weekend concerts
Leslie Harlow knew that when she renamed the Park City Chamber Music Festival the Park City Beethoven Festival a few years ago, she needed to be prepared to throw in a few Beethoven pieces amongst the other chamber works by Brahms, Mozart and Debussy.
And Harlow, a violist, plans to do just that with guest pianist Pamela Palmer Jones and her husband, Russell Harlow, on clarinet.
“Beethoven is the star this week,” Leslie said. “We’re doing a lot of beautiful works — some people know and some people may not know.”
The musicians plan three performances. The first, a chamber music hour, will start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, at Park City Community Church. The second will be a full salon concert at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4, at Temple Har Shalom, and the last will be an outdoor concert at 6:15 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 5, at City Park.
Each concert will give audiences different experiences, even though some, not all, of the of the works will repeat, according to Harlow.
“We’re doing the Spring Sonata, which was originally written for violin,” she said. “But we’re doing it clarinet and piano.”
The trio will also perform a piano trio that the German composer originally wrote for violin, piano and cello, Harlow said.
“It’s been transcribed for viola, clarinet and piano,” she said
Harlow and Jones will also perform Beethoven’s “Romance No. 1” for viola and piano.
“It was first written for piano and violin, but you don’t hear it often performed,” Harlow said. “The reason is most violinists don’t like to play it, because it’s down in the lower range, which, of course, is where the viola sits.”
Jones also plans to perform some Beethoven solo works.
“These pieces are suited to Pam’s execution, because she is also a harpsichord player,” Harlow said. “She has this crisp and pure classical style that uses a lot of fingers.”
Since the Thursday concert at Park City Community Church is short, audiences will hear movements from the different pieces as well as solos, according to Harlow.
“We had been playing up in the sanctuary, but moved down to the fellowship hall,” she said. “It’s cooler, and it’s a really nice space.”
The Sunday salon concert is a different story, she said.
“We changed our format to include a pre-concert reception, where audience members will get to mingle with each other and meet the musicians,” Harlow said. “So when it’s time to play, there’s already a warm, familiar feeling. It’s very comfortable, and not stuffy at all.”
The food for the reception is donated by The Market Park City and Smith’s, she said.
“We also have some of our Beethoven society members who will donate fruit and beverages,” Harlow said. “Every Blooming Thing also helps us with the decor so everything is elegant and inviting.”
The decor, along with the art that is installed on the walls, make Temple Har Shalom the ideal venue for a chamber concert, according to Harlow.
“It’s all on one level, so it’s accessible, and the acoustics are incredible,” she said.
Monday’s concert will feature Beethoven, but also some other composer’s works as well, Harlow said.
“We throw in some variety because there are some people who will come to all three performances,” she said.
Harlow left it up to her husband to select all the works that would be performed this week.
“Russell is so incredibly familiar with Beethoven,” she said. “These are all pieces that he loves. So he just tells me we should play this piece, this one and that one.”
Jones, who is an associate professor at the University of Utah School of Music, has known the Harlows for years, and the three have compiled a large selection of works they can play when needed, according to Harlow.
“We play outreach programs when we go into schools, and we play senior centers and assisted living facilities,” she said. “We can do shorter recitals and full concerts.”
Park City Beethoven Festival Chamber Music Hour
7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1
Park City Community Church, 4501 N. S.R. 224
Park City Beethoven Festival: An Evening of Beethoven
4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4
Temple Har Shalom, 3700 Brookside Ct.
Park City Beethoven Festival in the Park
6:15 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 5
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