Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

October 31, 2013

Feisty, all-American fun with Mistral

The Andover Townsman

---- — Mistral returns to the Andovers to present the second concert of its 17th season, “Wanderlust: Postcards from Around the World,” on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 3 p.m. at West Parish Church in Andover.

“American Voices” will feature an all-American program that spans more than a century and a half, performed by 11 international concert artists, five of whom are members of the Boston Symphony.

The program includes Samuel Barber’s haunting “Dover Beach” for baritone and string quartet, written in the days preceding World War II. It will be performed by Boston baritone David McFerrin. He’ll also sing a selection of Gershwin and Porter songs.

Also making his Mistral debut will be pianist John Davis, most associated with unearthing a previously unacknowledged American roots music by Blind Tom, Blind Boone and others that draws on European classical music and African American culture of the Deep South. He will perform a couple of those piano pieces.

Familiar to Mistral audiences, Irina Muresanu will offer the short “Cricket Dance” for solo violin written by Mark O’Connor. Mistral artistic director Julie Scolnik joins her string colleagues in Arthur Foote’s “Nocturne” for flute and strings written at the turn of the century in Boston. Foote studied at Harvard, where he received the first Master in Art degree in music granted by an American university.

And just in time for Thanksgiving, the program concludes with the hilarious “Tough Turkey in the Big City” by Lincoln Center’s pedagogue and composer Bruce Adolphe. It’s a narrated, big-hearted story of a plucky bird on an unexpected journey. Tom is portrayed by the bass trombone whiz kid James Markey of the Boston Symphony. Piano, clarinet, violin, and trumpet join him for swinging barnyard counterpoint, some hot Latin rhythms at the Turkey Club, and music of the city, which recalls the smoky jazz of film noire.

Scolnik urges guests to bring their children and grandchildren who, as always, can come to all concerts for free.

Tickets are $30, $25 for seniors. Students get in free with an ID. Group and family discounts are available. For tickets, visit, call 978-474-6222 or email