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Winter music series begins with 'Soul Men' of a classical sort

September 24, 2010

 

Chances are, when one thinks of soul men, it’s a memory of that old song by Sam and Dave, “I’m a soul man.”

But that wouldn’t be the current usage. “Soul Men” is the name of the first program of Chamber Music Unbound’s winter music series.

Mammoth’s resident Felici Piano Trio will perform Bach, the grand master of the Baroque; the great Classical hero, Beethoven; Chopin, the Romantic piano virtuoso; and the eloquent musical narrator Robert Schumann.


Bach - Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Major

Originally scored for the viola da gamba and harpsichord, the sonata has four movements, alternating slow and fast. Bach’s genius as a performer combined with his supreme creativity as composer.  The perfect balance of original inventiveness and intellectual control exercised in all his compositions, have earned him a unique  place in the history of music, towering high above previous and subsequent generations of composers.


Schumann - Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Minor

The musical storyteller Robert Schumann was a soulful man who lived during a time when the fairy tale flourished as a popular form of literary entertainment.  Fairy tales were said to possess “a quietly progressive tone, a certain innocence of representation… which hypnotizes the soul like quiet musical improvisations without noise and clamor” (poet and writer Ludwig Tieck). This quality of quiet improvisation characterizes much of Schumann’s music, including the violin sonata.


Chopin - Selections for Solo Piano

The legendary pianist and composer Frederic Chopin was born in Poland. In 1829, at the age of 19, Chopin traveled to Vienna and attracted a great deal of attention by displaying his brilliant virtuosity and inspired improvisations on a Polish folk song, an exotic novelty for the public. Even in his earliest compositions, there is great individuality to thematic invention, colorful harmonies and ornamental, yet poignant pianistic style that is unmistakably Chopin.

 

Beethoven - Piano Trio in G Major, opus 1 no. 2

The opening of the first movement follows a typical form of the day; a slow and stately Adagio introduction followed by a more lively Allegro section, which makes up the main body of the movement. Here is a completely different world, full of beautiful modulations and rich, sweeping melodies. After a charming scherzo movement, with quick interplay between instruments and rhythmic surprises, we once again see the ebullient Beethoven, who gives us a non-stop energy-filled presto finale with machine-gun repeated 16th-note melody and incessant drive. 

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25 at Cerro Coso College. Tickets at chambermusicunbound.org.

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