Love — what else? — will be the theme of an upcoming Valentine's concert in Andover, and organizers insist the music will win your heart.

As always, guests will find chocolate hearts waiting for them in the audience seats at West Parish Church. That's a Valentine tradition for the concert host, Mistral, as this holiday is important to the performing group.

"We begin the new year with our next concert, 'Truly, Madly, Deeply,' which is our annual tribute to love," said Mistral artistic director Julie Scolnik. "There's Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes, Bolcom's 'The Serpent's Kiss' and a selection of arias by Rossini, Mozart, Bishop and Lehar. It really is a program that is sure to win your heart — perfect for Valentine's Day."

The concert is Saturday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m. at West Parish Church, 129 Reservation Road, Andover.

Two pianists share one keyboard for four-hand piano playing, while acclaimed singers are matched with esteemed instrumentalists for a show that's likely to have some serious toe-tapping during "The Serpent's Kiss'' by American composer William Bolcom, Scolnik said.

"Infectiously fun jazzy fantasy-rag," is how she described the interpretation of Bolcom's piece, adding the show's music is funny, sad and just perfect for a Valentine's date.

"It's an entirely romantic program," she said.

Scolnik founded Mistral in Andover in 1997. She has since moved to Brookline where Mistral music continues to bring “unstuffy, unpredictable and unmatched” classical music to audiences, she said. The group also continues to perform regularly in Andover — Scolnik says the town is very dear to her.

"Mistral performances are always a little eccentric, stubbornly personal, impassioned, and committed to invigorating old traditions with an ever-youthful perspective," Scolnik said.110



What: 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' — a Valentine's chamber music concert

Who: The Mistral musical group

When: Saturday, Feb. 8 at 4 p.m.

Where: West Parish Church, 129 Reservation Road, Andover.


Cost $38, $10 for students



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