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Mark Vance’s ‘Virtues and Vices’ has world premiere

Nevada County composer Mark Vance wrote his “Virtues and Vices,” which premieres Friday at a Music in the Mountains concert, as a way to stretch the boundaries.

“Usually most concertos are three movements with one solo instrument,” Vance explained. “I thought it would be fun to have four movements, each featuring one instrument.”

That’s how Vance came up with the form. As for the subject matter, which focuses on “Patience” and “Faith” for virtues and “Lust” and “Vengeance” for vices, Vance credits fellow member Jay Sydeman in the Nevada County Composers Cooperative for giving him the idea to write about vices.



“Jay threw out the idea of writing a minute of lust when we were discussing the Cooperative’s upcoming season. I was so intrigued with that idea that I wrote way more than a minute, I wrote six minutes,” Vance said. “I immediately liked the idea so much that I decided to incorporate it into the concerto.”

The 22-minute “Virtues and Vices” was completed about two weeks ago. Vance, who was commissioned late last year by Music in the Mountains, wrote “Virtues and Vices” specifically for four principal woodwind players performing with the organization since its inception 20-plus years ago.




Those principals who have solos at Friday’s premiere, are Jane Lenoir (flute), Neil Tatman (oboe), Tom Rose (clarinet) and Carla Wilson (bassoon).

The four soloists are so extremely talented,” said Vance, who has been commissioned by Music in the Mountains three other times. “It’s fun to work with such accomplished musicians. They’re pros. I wrote ‘Virtues and Vices’ with them in mind.”

Friday’s concert begins at 8 p.m. in the Nevada County Fairgrounds’ Festival Center. The Music in the Mountains’ Festival Orchestra will also perform works of Thais’ “Massenet Meditation,” Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending,” Nielsen’s “Little Suite for Strings,” Grieg’s “Elegiac Melodies & Norwegian Airs” and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni Overture.”

Admission is $15 to $27 for adults and $5 for children 17 and under. Call 265-6124 or (800) 218-2188 for more information.


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