This year's Sunday-afternoon series of chamber music concerts by the Richmond Chamber Players intends to transport listeners to four different musical cities around the world. John Walter, artistic director and pianist for the group of professional musicians, chose Vienna, Moscow, New York and Prague. "I had to narrow it down," he says. "I wanted to do Paris and Budapest, and what about London "
Then it was no easy task choosing which pieces would represent each city, though from Walter's voice it sounds like a pleasurable challenge. "Vienna was very difficult," he said. "Of course you have to have something from Beethoven, you have to have Haydn. The Brahms horn trio is a great joyful piece."
Walter is also excited that the Chamber Players received a grant from the Robins Foundation this year that allows them to offer free admission to anyone under 18. The Richmond Chamber Players is a collection of 10 musicians, most of whom play with the Richmond Symphony during the regular concert season. Although the four string players, five wind players and the pianist never play as a complete ensemble, they perform in various combinations as the music requires. The August concerts are their only performances each year, and they've been doing them for 17 years at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. "We have a loyal base of listeners," says Walters. "But we also get a lot of first-time listeners who just happen to be in the museum that day and decide to come to the concert. People don't hear live chamber music much anymore."
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All concerts are at 2 p.m. in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Auditorium. This Sunday's concert will feature Vienna with Haydn's "String Quartet in D Major," "The Frog"; Beethoven's "Piano Trio No. 8 in G"; Hugo Wolf's "Italian Serenade"; and Brahms' "Horn Trio in E Flat Major." The "Moscow" concert Aug. 11 will include Rachmaninov's infrequently played "Piano Trio Elegiac in G Minor," written to the memory of Tchaikovsky.
The series moves to New York City Aug. 18 and takes on a jazzy feel with music by Gershwin, Bernstein, Copland and Schuller. The concluding concert Aug. 25 will feature music from Prague by Janacek, Martinu and Dvorak. S
Tickets can be purchased individually or for the series. Single tickets are $14; series tickets are $48. Call the ticket desk at 340-1405. All concerts at 2 p.m.
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