Horszowski Trio at the Trianon Theater in San Jose

The San Jose Chamber Music Society presented a superb concert of the Horszowski Trio on November 12 at the Trianon Theater in San Jose. The program leaned heavily on the early Romantic period with trios by Schumann and Mendelssohn. But the central work was the world premiere of Night Migrations by Lisbon-born Andreia Pinto-Correia, commissioned by Chamber Music America for the Horszowski Trio. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Chamber music, Piano trio, Romantic Era


Auryn Quartet at Trianon Theatre

A gorgeous and unified sound was the hallmark of the Auryn Quartet appearance at the Trianon Theater, presented by the San Jose Chamber Music Society on October 22. Formed in 1981, the Quartet has had no change of personnel in its 35 years. They perform in major concert halls and music festivals around the world and produce award-winning recordings, including complete quartets of Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and others. They are familiar to San Jose audiences by their performances of Beethoven quartet cycles presented in 2014 and 2015 by the SJCMS. On this visit they played quartets by Debussy, Mozart and Grieg. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Chamber music, Classical Era, String quartet


Miró Quartet – Ensemble playing at its best

Last night at Sunset Center in Carmel, Chamber Music Monterey Bay initiated its 2017-2018 season with a return engagement by the Miró Quartet (this concert represented its fifth appearance for CMMB). The Miró Quartet consists of Daniel Ching, violin, William Fedkenheuer, violin, John Largess, viola, and Joshua Gindele, cello. Based in Austin, TX, the Miró Quartet takes its name from the Spanish artist, Joan Miró, whose surrealist works — with subject matter drawn from the realm of memory and imaginative fantasy — are some of the most original of the 20th century. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Chamber music, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, String quartet


CBF Chamber Concert: “Le Mozart Noir” in Paris

Portrait c. 1787 of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799), dubbed “Le Mozart Noir”

On July 21 the Carmel Bach Festival Chamber Concert, Mozart in Paris at 2:30 pm at All Saints Church, introduced many of us to an intriguing classical composer about whom we had never heard, known as Le Mozart Noir. From the program notes written by Allan Whear, found on page 170 of the 2017 CBF program book, “Saint-Georges is without a doubt one of the most fascinating characters in music history, worthy of a romantic novel or Hollywood screenplay. Born on the Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe, he was the son of a Senegalese slave [Nanon], and a French plantation owner. His father, *George Bologne de Saint-Georges, became wealthy raising sugar cane in the New World, and returned to Paris [with his son and Nanon] to become a minor aristocrat.” Saint-Georges was brought up as a gentleman in Paris and received musical training in violin and composition.As a young man, he led orchestras, published a body of instrumental and vocal works, and premiered his own compositions while becoming quite well-known in musical and aristocratic circles. “He also excelled at fencing, becoming known as the finest swordsman in France.” The most famous image of Saint-Georges is a dashing portrait of the composer portrayed with a sword, painted in 1787 by Mather Brown. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Baroque, Chamber music, Classical Era


Roller-Coaster Strings: Music@Menlo’s Final Concert

The finely-honed Music@Menlo summer series concluded Saturday evening, August 5, with “National Flavors,” a highly diverse and musically challenging array of compositions whose scale and intensity, while varied, did not lack for stylistic panache and gorgeous showmanship. A thoroughly enthusiastic audience graced the Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton, eager to experience the culmination of the fifteenth anniversary season which had assiduously celebrated “The Glorious Violin.”

Violinist Danbi Um and cellist Nicholas Canellakis intiated the proceedings with Bohuslav Martinu’s 1927 Duo No. 1, a two-movement work that exploits the tonal range of the respective instruments, set in a modal, angular syntax enriched by multiple stopping on the strings. The first movement Praeludium: Andante moderato had Danbi and Canellakis share the melodic tissue and shuttle into improvisation until the calm atmosphere returned at movement’ end. The piece indulged Martinu’s Parisian sense of Jazz in striking syncopations that led to cellist Canellakis’ extended solo, which rather lit up our ears. The lyric appeal of this music had us in thrall when violinist Um joined in for a mad dash to the gratifying finale. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Chamber music, Strings