Excerpted from Bay Windows
"While interesting music programming abounds in Boston,
the creative energy of the Chameleon Arts ensemble offers
a range in repertoire that many of the long-established groups
should learn from. Artistic Director Deborah Boldin continues
to find a path of adventure and excitement for her group or
"a compelling and dynamic ensemble."
"The Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston offered a program
of exhilarating variety, with music spanning three centuries,
all of it written by women."
"The musicians of the Chameleon ensemble offer a high
standard of artistry. With such insightful programming, I
would keep an eye on their future offerings."
"Full of exuberant and piquant energy, Nancy Dimock
(oboe), Boldin (flute) and guest pianist Virginia Eskin brought
warm sunshine and the scent of citrus into the room with their
"Emphasizing their commitment to a wide range of styles,
the Chameleon Arts Ensemble offered a fascinating program,
with little-known works by women composers of the 19th, 20th
and 21st centuries."
"Prolific in genres ranging from the symphony to the
piano etude, Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) employed in her sextet
a novel scoring of wind quintet plus piano to impressive use.
It provided an arresting opening to the program, with Gloria
Chien (piano) conveying all the richness and depth of Farrenc's
"The newest work on the program was Finnish composer's
Kaija Saariaho's trio "Je sens un deuxième coeur"
(I feel a second heart) for viola, cello and piano. It premièred
earlier this year, and the Chameleons gave the work its first
Boston performance.... [They] gave a fearless performance
of this disturbing work."
"Libby Larsen is widely recognized and frequently honored
as a distinctive and accessible voice in contemporary American
music. Soprano Sabina Learman brought a straightforward, effective
dramatic quality to Larsen's "Songs from Letters"
(written by Calamity Jane to her daughter), for soprano and
piano. At times rollicking, at others, poignant, the songs
are always direct and lyrical. Learman's adept vocal quality
was given nuanced support by Gloria Chien (piano) in this
warm and compelling performance.
"Amy Beach's Quintet for piano and strings was the best-known
work on the program. In this piece from 1908, Beach's lush
chromaticism evokes the flavor of César Franck...it
was a fully convincing performance, capturing Beach's tempestuousness
and expansive breadth of conception. "
"The Chameleons fully deserve the devoted following
they have built, and the audience was also rewarded with a
scrumptious reception - featuring Chameleon Cellars, an outstanding
new Napa Valley vineyard that seems to have named itself after
"The Chameleon Arts Ensemble knows what they're doing
and they do it well. While the ensemble and its players can
hardly still qualify in the category of young-and-hungries,
they're all smart, and many are seasoned from years in Boston
and New York ensembles."
"The program opened with Mozart's Quintet in E-flat
Major, K. 452, played with style and grace by an all-female
"Maurice Ravel's 'Introduction and Allegro' is typically
Ravelian with its delicious instrumentation and big, gorgeous
sounds. It's realy a showpiece for the harpist, and Anna Reinersman
was magical, her fingers glistening with ease across a wide
range of colors and dynamics. She led an accomplished ensemble
including Chameleon Artistic Director Deborah Boldin, flute,
and violist Scott Woolweaver, who played with a little gold
reptile perched on his right shoulder."
"Poker-faced soprano Sabrina Learman navigated Wyner's
jagged leaps and swooping vocal lines with aplomb, supported
by a steady ensemble seven players deep. 'The Artist' is pure
fun as a poem, and Wyner's settings (there were three) were
each skillful and witty."
"[They] were confident in their interpretation of this
demanding work that includes a wide range of colorful and
"...an undulating summer landscape, with the soaring
span of the melodic lines and the pliant harmonic motion conveyed
by Sabrina Learman, soprano and Sergey Schepkin, piano."
"There's something exhilarating about the crisp clean
sonorities a woodwind quintet offers
.Nancy Dimock, on
the oboe, had a chance to soar, to swoop, glide, leap, cascade,
which she did, rapturously and full of spontaneous momentum."