Based in Keene Valley, East Branch Friends of the Arts (EBFA) is dedicated to bringing arts, music and other cultural events to this gateway town in the Adirondacks. As you can see from the cover photo, EBFA does not limit its definition of the arts and even holds an annual Kitefest in the spring.

Tonight, the cultural event is Consortium Ardesia—a classical ensemble led by French horn player Ann Ellsworth which will be held in the Congregational Church in Keene Valley.

Many of the music events sponsored by EBFA are held in this venue as the acoustics are so good for this kind of intimate classical performance.

Tonight’s concert is no exception. The first selection is a piece by Claude Debussy: The Premiere Rhapsody. We are told that he had written it as a competition piece for clarinet. It certainly features what I am calling the true sound of the clarinet—vibrant, bold and such a varied range. I have to say that Marianne Gythfeldt would have taken first without question based on the performance she is giving us this evening.

The next piece is Rachmaninoff and features Ann Ellsworth on horn with Ellen Hwangbo on piano. Then three Eric Satie movements including the one most associated with coffee, movingly executed by Ellen on piano. Dynamics and control seem to be key here.

Ann gives a very detailed introduction to three pieces from Yellow Cake Revue by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies which are rarely performed due to the controversial subject matter to do with mining on the Orkney islands—strident and graphic seems to describe them best. The harmonies between the clarinet and the French horn are astounding.

Schubert and Brahms round out the musical melange. The Consortium Ardesia is also scheduled to appear at Plattsburgh State University. It is a treat to hear these accomplished musicians make music together.

The EBFA has more musical entertainment lined up over the next few weeks. On October 5 they will be hosting pianist Charles Fisk at 8 PM and on Oct. 12, Custom Blend billed as a cappella with attitude.

 For more cultural events in the Lake Placid Region, click through to the events web site.

Kathleen Recchia has been enjoying the arts in the Adirondack for about 20 years—both as observer and participant (acting, directing, and producing). She also enjoys cross-country skiing, swimming, juggling, and hosting visitors to the area at her bed & breakfast in Jay.