Tucson Symphony Orchestra principal horn player Johanna Lundy is releasing her debut solo CD later this month with a concert.
But instead of performing on a stage devoted to classical music, she’ll be on the patio stage at Saint Charles Tavern, a popular south side drinking hole.
“I performed there last summer and I really liked it,” said Lundy, who just wrapped up her 13th season with the TSO. “I think that a lot of people are really open to classical music if you present it in a fun and different way.”
Lundy will likely perform a piece or two from “Canyon Songs: Art, Nature, Devotion,” an album of works for solo horn, at her Arizona Friends of Chamber Music summer series concert on Wednesday, July 18. She is sharing the University of Arizona Holsclaw Hall stage that night with TSO principal oboist David Barford and pianist Elena Miraztchyska.
This is the second year for the Friends summer series of light classical concerts served with a side of wine and hors d’oeuvres. The monthly series runs through September.
The trio will perform a program that casts the horn and the oboe in starring roles — something you don’t hear often in chamber music.
“When we think about chamber music, string quartets always come to mind,” Lundy said. “I think it’s something different.”
Lundy and Miraztchyska will pair up for Schumann’s “Fantasiestucke” for Horn and Piano, a piece the composer originally wrote for piano and clarinet. Barford will take the lead in CPE Bach’s Sonata in A minor for Solo Oboe, a work that infuses romantic era expressions into late Baroque traditions.
“All of these pieces weave together through that Romantic theme,” Lundy said, including the evening’s finale, Carl Reinecke’s Trio in A minor.
That work is not often played, “and it’s a shame because it’s a really great piece,” said Lundy, who guesses that the Reinecke might turn out to be the evening’s highlight. The Reinecke Trio has romantic expressions rooted in classical forms and traditions, creating a work that draws on the German composer’s biggest influences: Schumann and Liszt.
Lundy’s CD release comes a year after she started work on the solo project.
“It’s been a long time coming and it’s just kind of unbelievable to have it pretty much done,” said Lundy, who in the fall will begin teaching horn at the UA Fred Fox School of Music.
“Canyon Songs: Art, Nature, Devotion” weaves those themes throughout the songs, and with the exception of one three-minute work, the entire CD is solo horn. Lundy began the project last summer with a series of 14 concerts around the state. The project also includes several short nature films that are shown during her live performances with Lundy playing the music to accompany them.
“They’re pretty cool,” she said of the films which are posted on her website (tucsonhorn.com). “Each one is different. There are two involving nature photography. The third one is an animated illustration. And the final one is a video art piece done by a photographer based in Nashville .. about water and wind.”