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For the second subscription concert of the 20th season of the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, to be held February 26 at 3pm, in the George Washington Memorial Masonic Temple, Old Town, Alexandria, VA, the program will feature a number of works of interest for double reed players and fans. Members of the International Double Reed Society will be admitted free to the concert and their friends and family will be given half-price tickets. There is plenty of free parking adjacent to the Masonic and a free champagne reception following the concert.

The first work of interest will be a performance of the Oboe Concerto in A Minor of Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), arguably one of Britain’s most important composers. The concerto, known to be one to test any player’s technique, was written in 1944 for the virtuoso Leon Goosens, but its premiere that year was postponed several months due to German bombing of London during WWII.

Joining Eclipse for this virtuoso concerto will be National Symphony Orchestra Principal Oboe Nicholas Stovall. Born in Austin, Texas, Mr. Stovall holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Juilliard, where he received the William Schuman Prize for Outstanding Leadership and Achievement. Mr. Stovall also is Eclipse’s Principal Oboe and will be making his first solo appearance in the Washington, D.C., area during this performance.

The final work is a composition by Eclipse Composer-in-Residence Truman Harris. His Serenade for Orchestra is a commission from Eclipse Chamber Orchestra celebrating the ensemble’s 20th season. During its two decades, Eclipse has premiered several of Mr. Harris’s compositions, with Sylvia Alimena conducting. Eclipse is recording the music of Truman Harris for release on the Naxos label. Also Eclipse’s Principal Bassoonist, Mr. Harris has had his compositions premiered by members of the National Symphony Orchestra, with Leonard Slatkin conducting. Truman Harris is Assistant Principal Bassoonist of the National Symphony Orchestra.

Another work of interest for double reed aficionados is the Octet for Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon, String Quartet and Double Bass by Jean Francaix (1912-1997). Eclipse is performing this composition to honor the prodigious French composer in advance of the 100th anniversary of his birth on May 23. The octet, like nearly all of this neoclassical composer’s work, is a pleasant and airy composition.

The remaining work on the program is Pastorale d’été (Summer Pastorale) by the French-born Swiss composer Arthur Honneger (1892-1955). Composed in 1920, it was inspired by a trip the composer took to the Alps. It is considered to be Honneger’s first important orchestral composition.

Celebrating its 20th season, Eclipse Chamber Orchestra is composed of National Symphony Orchestra members and has recorded on the Naxos label. More information at:

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