Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dolci will Return to the First Unitarian Chapel at the End of This Month

Dolci, the “retirement gig” duo of oboist Ted Rust and pianist Viva Knight will return to the Chapel space in the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco church sanctuary at the end of this month. The pair is probably best known for the series of free concerts they have prepared as after-lunch events at the Aquatic Park Center; but, according to their records, they have already performed in the Unitarian Chapel twice, the first time in December of 2015 and subsequently almost a year ago in June of 2016:

A previous Chapel recital by Dolci (photograph provided by Dolci)

The program they have prepared for their next visit will consist entirely of music by Franz Schubert.

The major work on the program will be an arrangement for oboe and piano of the entirety of Schubert’s D. 795 song cycle Die schöne Müllerin (the pretty miller-maid). There are twenty songs in this cycle divided into two parts after the twelfth song, which is actually given the title “Pause” (interlude). The overall narrative of the cycle progresses “from cheerful optimism to despair and tragedy” (in the words of the Wikipedia page for this composition); but it is uncertain that the poet Wilhelm Müller was as serious about the plot as Schubert took it to be. (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau recorded a performance that included the recitation of a “Prolog” and “Epilog,” which make it pretty clear that Müller was having more than a bit of fun with these poems.) In this instrumental version, however, the Dolci duo has a bit more freedom to endow the music with whatever emotional disposition they feel is most suitable.

Rust and Knight have also worked two “encore selections” into their program. The first of these will be “Die Taubenpost” (the pigeon mail), the last of the fourteen D. 957 songs that were published posthumously under the title Schwanengesang (swan song). In addition Knight will give a solo performance of Schubert’s E-flat major impromptu, the second in the D. 899 collection of four.

This concert will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 28. The church of the First Unitarian Universalist Society is located at 1187 Franklin Street on the southwest corner of Geary Boulevard. Admission will be free. The program sheet is available for viewing through a hyperlink on the Dolci Concerts Web page.

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