In the past, Marguerite Salajko (cello), Mary Jackson (clarinet), and Jeannette Hirasawa Moore (flute) have played together in the full Arizona Philharmonic, but never teamed to form a chamber group. In fact, these three instruments are an unusual instrumental combination for chamber music.
Mary Jackson, a founding member of AZ Phil, worked with Executive Director Henry Flurry to choose the overall musical program. Mary said cobbling together a theme was a matter of finding works for this unusual trio. “I gravitate towards music that is listenable and interesting. There is a bit of a theme in nature but also music from the romantic era, but it came down to what music works for these three instruments.”
Marguerite adds, “This is a program of combined old and new composers.”
“Henry and I went back and forth [collaborating on instruments] and wanted the clarinet as the classic woodland instrument but we weren’t sure which other instruments to add,” Mary said. “I would try this collaboration again. It is fun to go down the rabbit hole and try new music. I love chamber music.”
The program calls for the cello, flute and clarinet to work sometimes in duet, sometimes in trio, plus each musician has a solo. Marguerite, who plays with Tucson Symphony, and Mary, who subs with Phoenix Symphony, chose solo pieces they haven’t played before. Mary is playing, Rhapsody for Clarinet, by Giacomo Miluccio, and Marguerite, who began at age seven on a pint sized cello, is playing Fugue for Cello, by Gaspar Cassado. Flautist Jeannette Hirasawa Moore, another founding member of AZ Phil and member of several other regional orchestras, will solo playing, Danse de la Chèvre, by Arthur Honegger. Jeannette said she’s played this piece many times. It was the 1921 graduation test at the Paris Conservatoire.
Jeannette commented that of the various outdoor venues Highlands Center is excellent because the shell behind the musicians projects sound very well. Of this collaboration of cello, flute and clarinet, she said variety and different timbers are nice, and playing without a conductor means, “you get to do the phrasing you want.’’
Come hear Mary, Jeannette, and Marguerite in this pre-season concert, Music Without Walls, at the Highlands Center for Natural History this coming Sunday, July 17, at either 2 pm or 4 pm. This 60-minute concert features music mixed with stories from the musicians. You’ll sit under the roof of the beautiful Kiwanis Amphitheater, nestled in the cool pines. If the weather is stormy, the concert will be held indoors in the Highlands Center. Tickets available at AZPhil.org or at the door. Admission is $30 ($5 youth), with no additional ticket fees.