Chamber music returns to Joslyn Castle

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November 8th, 2012

Omaha, NE – The Omaha Consort begins its second season at the Joslyn Castle tonight with a program of music written for the horns.

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Known as Harmoniemusik, this style began in the mid to late 1700s in Europe in what was initially a cost-cutting maneuver. Jason DeWater, artist director of the Omaha Consort and principal horn of the Omaha Symphony, explained. “The economy started to shift,” DeWater said, “and throughout Europe we saw that it meant that the orchestras and the court orchestras started to shift as well because musicians have always cost (sic) money.”

Jason DeWater is the artistic director of the Omaha Consort. (Courtesy photo)

DeWater said strings were “shown the door” in many court orchestras and what was left was a “wind band, which was originally called the harmony section.”

DeWater said the origins of Harmoniemusik are important because they reflect the beginnings of modern Chamber music. “This type of music had its hype in Vienna in the late 18th Century,” he said, “and for me I think that this was kind of the cradle of modern art music for chamber music.”

Tonight’s concert, which begins at 7 p.m. with a 6:30 p.m. pre-concert talk with DeWater, will feature Beethoven’s Quintet in E flat. It will open with Haydn’s Divertimento in F Major and close with Mozart’s Divertimento No. 14 in B flat.

Dewater said the rest of the consort’s season, which continues with monthly performances through June, 2013, will continue with a diverse array of performances.

“What you’re going to see from the consort is just fantastic large-scale, mix-ensemble chamber music,” he said.

“These are works that are so rarely played anywhere,” he said. “And we hope that what Omaha finds is that there is a place for this music, especially the way we present it.”

“We present it in the appropriate space,” he said. “Music is always in the ‘proper glass’ here and our patrons come away being moved by the music.”

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