Lenox — Violinist Bonnie Bewick and seven other members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra got together in June to record a recital program as wide-ranging as anything you’re likely to hear in a Tanglewood chamber music performance. In the streaming video, BSO violinist Bonnie Bewick’s three-piece group plays her own arrangements of traditional Celtic fiddle music in addition to her hybrid compositions juxtaposing traditional and classical music influences. BSO cellist Mickey Katz plays a set of newly composed one-minute pieces for unaccompanied cello; and a quintet made up of BSO piccolo player Cynthia Meyers on flute, BSO English horn player Robert Sheena on oboe, BSO fourth horn Jason Snider, BSO clarinetist Michael Wayne, and BSO bassoonist Richard Ranti deliver a startlingly precise performance of selections from Paquito D’Rivera’s “Aires Tropicales.”
Perhaps you heard Bonnie Bewick’s set with her band Frame at Six Depot in West Stockbridge a few years ago. Frame is the ideal vehicle for transporting Bonnie’s fiddle music into the imaginations of classical music listeners. That’s because Bonnie, when she isn’t fiddling Celtic, is onstage with the Boston Symphony Orchestra playing some insanely difficult piece of classical music, as she has done for more years than she’d want you to know, or perhaps one of John Williams’ movie scores with the Boston Pops.
Here’s where things get terribly interesting: Bonnie takes all the things she’s learned from far-flung musical worlds and subtly works them into her own musical compositions. In this recital, she performs two of those pieces (and others she has arranged) with BSO cellist Mickey Katz and BSO assistant principal bass Lawrence Wolfe. In certain of her compositions, Bewick plays off the advanced technical capabilities of her colleagues to produce quirky symphonic accents that pop up here and there throughout passages of traditional fiddling. When cello and violin play fiddle lines in octaves at breakneck speed, the effect is exhilarating. There’s not much rest for the double bass, either. It all amounts to an engaging and novel intermingling of styles.
Mickey Katz’s set of miniatures for unaccompanied cello includes new pieces by six composers: Marti Epstein’s “Wisp,” Lawrence Wolf’s “C,” Sid Richardson’s “Study for Remembrance,” Nico Mugly’s “Just One,” Richard Pantcheff’s “…the field long-slept in pastoral green…” and Andrew List’s “Elegy for a Changing World.” All are world premieres.
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Running time: 53 minutes and 16 seconds
This video will be available for streaming through Friday, Aug. 14, at bso.org.