Music from last year and from not long ago come into play when the Moran Woodwind Quintet applies it artistry in the final Omaha Chamber Music Society concert of this season. There’s something by Imani Winds founder Valerie, exploring a mixture of Caribbean and African rhythms plus the heartbeats of Santeria beliefs in her “Afro-Cuban Concerto” from 2001. She aims, she says, to represent “the collective voices of worshippers” and to celebrate the “wild feeling” of dance. Quintet members comment that Coleman “has created a legacy of innovation that breaks down cultural and social barriers.”
37 year old Oklahoma-born Daniel Baldwin offers his own special ideas in “Dreams of a White Tiger” (2014). He would prefer that you immerse yourself in its mystery rather than seek to decipher a story calling this “a good dream…relaxing, but with a few adventures.”
Reaching further back in time, but not really that far, is “Humoreske (Rondo)” by Austria’s Alexander von Zemlinsky, friend of Arnold Schoenberg and suitor of Alma Schindler who chose instead to wed Gustav Mahler. Zemlinsky was often influenced by both composers and wrote this piece one year after emigrating to the U.S. in 1938.
Oboist Henri Brod created scores of score during his 40 year life in France, frequently featuring his instrument of choice. Now no longer as well known as in his own day, he gained fame for updating oboe keys. One of the earliest of his 58 opus numbers is Op. 2 from which the first quintet is heard in this concert. American composer, horn player and sometimes jazzman Gunther Schuller brought this one-time obscurity back into the repertory.
The Moran Woodwind Quintet is the resident faculty woodwind quintet at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. John Bailey is the flutist; Diane Barger plays the clarinet; on horn is Alan Mattingly; the bassoonist is Jeffrey McCray and William McMullen is the oboist. The ensemble has several CDs for Crystal Records and regularly tours all over the mid-west and southwest. Given their travels, they certainly won’t be out of breath arriving in Omaha.
The Moran Woodwind Quintet concert is Sunday, June 28 at First Congregational Church, 421 S. 36 St. 3 p.m. Tickets $5-$20. omahachambermusic.org