On June 15, the Hi-Desert Nature Museum sponsored a sold out “Dance (R)evolution” performed by the Encelia Chamber Ensemble and special guest performers flutist David Miller and harpist Paulette Miller.
We were given a bakers dozen of international dance music by composers from the 1500s to living composers.
The concert started with a recorder duet performed by Phyllis Moss and Suzanne Cooter of the Alamande (early German) folk dance by the 16th-century composer Giorgio Mainerio.
One doesn’t see a full concert harp and Irish harp together on a concert stage. The unique combinations of flutist Miller and harpist Miller, presented solos and duets of rarely heard music. Harp and flute solos and duets were part of these dances.
We heard a hornpipe queruli, Irish folk dances, an early Italian court dance, a Correlli sonata of dances, a Baroque flamenco, an Afghan folk dance, Gershwin’s “I’ve Got Rhythm” and the “Corelli Sonata No.2.”
Each piece was introduced by each performer with the history of each dance and why dance has lasted through the generations.
The second half was performed by the Encelia Chamber Ensemble, using a combination of strings, brass, recorders, winds and percussion. Phyllis Moss arranged these diverse instruments to their best advantage.
A mixture of dances from around the world included a Viennese waltz, a polka, Romanian folk dances and a Cuban tango. This was a delightful and satisfying afternoon of chamber music.
Introductory remarks by Phyllis Moss, Bonnie Schwartz, Debbie Klak-Amador and Steve Caron not only educated us but were a great humorous way to additionally entertain us.
Stefanie Ritter, museum supervisor, Vanessa Cantu, museum registrar, and Phyllis Moss, director of the Encelia Chamber Musicians, should be thanked for their efforts in keeping live performances available in the ideal intimate setting for the entire Morongo Basin.