Critic’s Choice

January 28, 2015 at 4:46 pm

By David Wright

Andrea Clearfield. Photo: Catherine Hennessey

When snow piles high and mere walking can be treacherous, it’s good to listen to music that trips the light fantastic. Saturday’s chamber music program by Chameleon Arts Ensemble (repeated Sunday) is titled “bid them dance and bid them sing,” but the emphasis is definitely on the dance.

The new composers on the block are Englishman Joseph Phibbs and American Andrea Clearfield, Gen-Xers both, but already much recognized and commissioned by leading artists. Phibbs’s FLEX for flute, violin, cello and piano bristles with nervous energy, and Clearfield’s Three Songs for oboe and double bass, though inspired by poems of Pablo Neruda, will nevertheless get your toe tapping (in 7/8 time).

In Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano, the young Witold Lutosławski gives us his Bartók-like take on Polish folk music. Prokofiev’s Quintet in G minor for oboe, clarinet, violin, viola and double bass is billed as “a ballet that was too difficult to dance,” but you may be tempted anyway.

And does Dvořák dance in his Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat major? Did Beethoven write symphonies?

The program will be performed 8 p.m. Saturday at First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, and 4 p.m. Sunday at the Goethe-Institut Boston, 170 Beacon Street. chameleonarts.org; 617-427-8200.

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