A symphony for mouths, ears

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Wednesday night's music for "An Evening at Harwigs/L'apogee" is a fundraiser for the Steamboat Springs Orchestra, and at a cost of $150 per person, it might not be for everyone.

But surely no one who attends will be disappointed in the combined dining and chamber music experience, and the cause is a noble one. The Steamboat Springs Orchestra is our local professional orchestra with a September to May schedule. All but 10 of the 33 musicians are full-time Steamboat residents, and 17 of them are paid to perform. Many already have had careers playing in big city symphony orchestras. Furthermore, the standard of the orchestra's play and programs continues to rise.

Wednesday evening's menus will be a symphony in four courses - beginning with a choice of appetizers: red bell pepper tomato bisque, oysters and mussels, or tuna tartar. Then, a salad of Boston bib lettuce with organic grape tomatoes and roasted beets topped with apple cider vinaigrette. The entree will be prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes and tomato demi glace topped with duxelle and foie gras with hollandaise sauce. Dessert will be pumpkin cake with an apple crown in cider mousse topped with a warm walnut and caramel sauce. Each course is to be accompanied by a specially selected wine by Synergy and Baroness Distributors.

The food is to be relished to the strains of three distinct ensembles of musicians. The first group is the Woodwind Quintet consisting of Mary Beth Norris on flute; Kyle Mendenhall, oboe; Gary Foss, clarinet; Jason Johnston, French horn; and John Fairlie, bassoon. They will play "The Rondo" movement from Beethoven's "Woodwind Quintet in E flat." This piece was composed as a sextet but rearranged to its present form by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Then they will play the "Andante grazioso" movement from "Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon" by Klughardt, who was a well-known late 19th century German composer and conductor. They also will play Ibert's "Trois Pieces Breves" in their entirety. These pieces were composed in the early 20th century but are not 12 tone or at all dissonant.

The second group of musicians will be the string quintet of Teresa Steffen Greenlee, violin; Bonnie Murray, violin; Mary Anne Fairlie, viola; Ernest Richardson, viola; and John Sant'Ambrogio, cello. They will play the "Allegro movement" from a Mozart "String Quintet, in G minor, K. 516." I heard this in rehearsal without the benefit of Ernest Richardson's viola, and it was still a transcendent experience.

The third group is the String Quartet, which is as above but minus Ernest Richardson. They will play the "Modere-Tres doux" movement from Ravel's "String Quartet," a splash of moonlight on lovers.

As of this writing, a few tickets remain for the dinner and performance. Call Steamboat Springs Orchestra's office at the Depot Art Center at 879-9008, ext. 107.

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