The Dolci duo of pianist Viva Knight and oboist Ted Rust will begin their Fall 2015 season at the beginning of next month. This is their concert series of free weekly performances at the San Francisco Aquatic Park Center on Fridays at 1 p.m. As has previously been observed, dolci is the Italian word for the dessert course of a full meal. These concerts are basically a “retirement gig” (similar in spirit to the articles that appear on this site). They are basically the after-careers “musical dessert” for Knight and Rust., both of whom enjoyed satisfying careers in other areas. Knight produced several television series, the most memorable of which was probably Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Rust worked in the Bay Area as a city and port planning consultant but also taught woodwinds and chamber music at the Crowden Music Center and played in the Berkeley Bach Cantata Group. In addition he published the newsletter Music for the Love of It for the last twenty years before his retirement.
Now that Knight and Rust have a duo, they have developed a repertoire that has included “Filled With Moonlight,” which they commissioned from Philip Freihofner. They premiered this piece at the Trinity Chamber Concerts in 2012. They have also performed at the annual conference of the International Double Reed Society, and the Repertoire Web page on their Web site is impressive for both breadth and diversity.
The Fall 2015 schedule will run from the beginning of September to the Friday before Thanksgiving. Aquatic Park is at 890 Beach Street, adjacent to Ghirardelli Square; and it commands one of the best views of San Francisco Bay, making these free concerts a visual, as well as auditory, delight. Each program begins at 1 p.m. and is structured around a specific theme. The schedule will be as follows:
September 4: a trans-European Baroque program presenting music by Marin Marais, Domenico Scarlatti, and Johann Sebastian Bach
September 11: Mendelssohn Without Words, arrangements of selections from the eight books of Felix Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words for oboe and piano
September 18: music for English horn and piano
October 9: a program of the emerging Romantic movement presenting music by Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann
October 16: an Italian Baroque program bringing Scarlatti together with Alessandro Marcello and Alessandro Longo, the early twentieth-century Italian musicologist, best known for cataloging the works of Scarlatti
October 30: scary music for Halloween
November 6: a program entirely of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven
November 13: an arrangement of Isaac Albéniz’ Opus 47 Suite española for oboe and piano
November 20: an arrangement of Schumann’s Opus 48 Dichterliebe (a poet’s love) song cycle for oboe and piano