Columbia Orchestra director Jason Love said the April 27 chamber ensemble concert will be a mix of classical, romantic and contemporary music. (submitted photo / April 21, 2014)

Members of the Columbia Orchestra get to explore compositions written for smaller ensembles when they perform a free chamber concert on Sunday, April 27, at 3 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in Columbia.

Most of the pieces involve quartet and quintet configurations playing music written for woodwinds, strings, piano and brass; and there's even going to be a place on stage for a hammered dulcimer.

So, it's basically a chance for musicians belonging to a large orchestra to work on a smaller scale.

"An orchestra is a huge, monolithic thing, but chamber music is more intimate," observed Columbia Orchestra music director Jason Love.


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He assembled this program based on suggestions made by his musicians.

"The musicians are picking things they're interested in doing," Love said. "People bring to the table pieces they'd like to do."

These pieces add up to an eclectic program with so many selections that only excerpts will be performed from some of them.

On the concert bill are Franz Schubert's "Trout" Piano Quintet; Johannes Brahms' String Sextet; Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4; Astor Piazzolla's "Oblivion"; Luigi Boccherini's Trio; Morley Calvert's "Monteregian Hills"; John Cheatham's Scherzo; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Clarinet Quintet; and Samuel Scheidt's Two Canzone for brass.

"It's a mix of classical, romantic and contemporary, but it's not a hodgepodge," Love said. "I think these pieces do go together."

In putting together the program order, he thought about changes in ensemble size, pace and mood. That way the concert will seem cohesive, even though so many different musical styles are being sampled.

Love added that audiences today increasingly are receptive to hearing musical programs that do not strictly adhere to a single musical style or chronological order. In effect, their ears are open to all kinds of music.

"It's an interesting way to hear chamber music," Love said. "It's cool to hear a variety of things all in one setting."

The Columbia Orchestra gives a chamber concert on Sunday, April 27 at 3 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 6800 Oakland Mills Road in Columbia. The concert is free, but donations will be accepted. Call 410-465-8777 or go to http://www.columbiaorchestra.org.