I try to keep my hand in as a pianist, and have been fortunate to help start a local music group that rehearses almost every week. Our Maricopa Music Circle is made up of performers who studied on either East or West Coast in the US or in Russia, and who are active professional performers, retired music teachers, and dedicated amateurs who love classical music.

Our sessions are marathons, often lasting more than four hours, and encompass a wide, wide variety of music – in addition to composer ‘regulars’, our rep. is a moveable feast, including everything from A. Scarlatti through Cui, Bonis, Reinecke, Howard Hanson, Cole Porter, Jobim, etc. You name it, we’ve played it.

Our instrumentation is eclectic – high and low strings, flutes, baritone horn, sometime clarinet and guitar, and piano — so we do a fair number of tailored arrangements. We gather in 2 different rooms, rehearsing smaller-forces pieces, then come together for up to 2 hours of ensemble music. Last Friday’s rehearsal was a good cross-section:

6 of Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives arranged for vln and pno
Adagio from Korngold’s Violin Sonata
Bach E major violin Concerto, mvt. 1
Brandenburg No. 4
Poulenc Sonate (pno. 4 hands)
Debussy Petite Suite, two mvts.
Mendelssohn Midsummer Night’s Dream arr. for 2 flutes
Dvorak Slavonic Dance Op. 46 no. 2 (from orch. version + 4 hands original)
Brahms Intermezzo Op. 118 n. 2 original arrangement
Fauré Sicilienne (from orch.version + pno. solo)
Lerner and Loewe “Almost Like being in Love” org. arrangement
Free improv
Messiaen “Le merle noir”

We are faithful visitors to the web’s IMSLP/Petrucci Library and neat discoveries there include works like the Niels Gade Piano Trio, Mel Bonis Serenade, Ippolitov-Ivanov violin Sonata. A terrific side benefit has been to play and discuss what could be considered potential pairs of pieces, like Felix’ and Fanny’s Piano Trios in d minor.

We’re passionate about all music, fearless in what we attempt — and have a good time!

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