Critic’s Choice

October 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm

By David Wright

Chameleon Arts Ensemble

If you’ve got a touch of those post-Labor Day blues, maybe a breath of Parisian air will lift your spirits.  The local chamber-music collective known as Chameleon Arts Ensemble gives two performances this weekend of music by enchanted visitors to the City of Light.

The great Polish expatriate Frédéric Chopin is represented by his one mature chamber work, the Cello Sonata, Op. 65, and also indirectly by Morton Feldman’s I Met Heine on the Rue Fürstenberg, a piece inspired by an incident in Chopin’s life.

In the mid-1980s, the eclectic Richard Rodney Bennett, whose influences ranged from Schoenberg to jazz, wrote the Debussy-inspired Sonata after Syrinx for the very French ensemble of flute, viola, and harp.

The Jazz Era in Paris brought Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Ravel’s Piano Concerto (with its “Blues” movement), and the Chameleons’ offering, the young Aaron Copland’s blues-inflected 1928 piece, Nocturne for Violin and Piano.

Felix Mendelssohn was already a cosmopolitan 16-year-old when he first saw Paris in 1825; that was also the year he finished his Piano Quartet No. 3, Op. 3, which rounds out another box of surprises from the ever-changing Chameleons.

Performances will be 8 p.m. Saturday at First Church Boston (firstchurchboston.org, 617-267-6730); and 4 p.m. Sunday at the Goethe-Institut (goethe.de/ins/us/bos/enindex.htm, 617-262-6050).

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