Larson performs on oboe for the Music Club

Published 1:24 am Saturday, October 17, 2009

Erik Larson, a faculty member at the University of West Alabama and the principle oboe for the Chicago 21st Century Music Ensemble and the Oak Ridge (Tenn.) Symphony, was the featured performer at the October meeting of the Demopolis Music Study Club on Wednesday.

Larson performed “Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra in C Major” and “Down a River of Time” by Eric Ewazen, who was born in 1954.

The latter was a piece written in memory of the father of a friend of Ewazen, and held a special meaning for Larson himself.

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“Ewazen has become one of my favorite composers,” Larson said. “I didn’t know him until a couple of years ago, when I started to be exposed to his music.

“Honestly, a lot of music that is currently being written is not accessible to the average concert-goer or musician. Ewazen is not like that. He holds the tonal tradition of music, which goes back hundreds of years, while still sounding fresh with some late 20th-Century or early 21st-Century composition and technique to kind of spice it up a little bit.

“This piece in particular, I would rank it with the best two or three oboe concertos that have been written. It is really an outstanding work, and is destined to become a major part of the oboe repertoire in the future.”

Larson was accompanied on the piano by Dr. Manley Blackwell, also on faculty at UWA.

Blackwell will be the featured performer at the Music Study Club’s next meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 3:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church.