Enjoy a program of duo works for cello and piano by Beethoven, Bax, Dvorak, Ravel and Popper.
Come join an evening filled with great music featuring Norah Clydesdale on the cello and Abe Minzer on piano. Beethoven is a favorite composer for so many and will be featured, along with England’s best-kept secret, Sir Arnold Bax, plus a trio of wonderful “Beyond” composers.
This program opens with a beautiful romantic musical poem, “Silent Woods” by Antonin Dvorak. This work is tender, sentimental, poignant and with touches that evoke Dvorak’s Czech heritage and landscape. Then follows a meditative work, “Two Hebraic Melodies” by Maurice Ravel, the Impressionist musical master. The first melody, “Kaddish”, is a memorial prayer, and the beautiful cello melody, in Jewish improvisatory cantorial style, has a deep, dark, soulful tone. The brief second melody, “The Eternal Enigma”, employs regular rhythms and recurring harmonic patterns, creating a hypnotic effect.
The major work of the first half is the Legend-Sonata by Sir Arnold Bax. This is a rarely heard work, that cellist and pianist here are most excited to perform for Classically Alive. Bax’s music abounds in inspired melodies with lush, sensual, romantic harmonies. His music is a fusion of styles reminiscent of Debussy, Strauss, Rachmaninoff and others, but with something that is uniquely Bax. The first movement of the Legend-Sonata has a fantasy-like quality with moods shifting between forceful, whimsical, sensual, mystical, veiled and ferocious, to name a few. The second movement is slow and romantic, with memorable melodies, and is recognized as one of Bax’s most inspired efforts. The third/final movement opens with a playful dance-like theme, and much of the movement has a fun, mischievous nature with surprises and wit throughout. Beautiful soaring melodies with harmonic ingenuity make their appearances, and brilliant, exalted writing ends the imaginative Legend-Sonata.
The Beethoven Sonata in C Major for Cello and Piano is from the composer’s late period, a time of the composer’s most sublime output. Each of the two movements of the sonata begin slow and reflective, followed by faster, energetic music. The slow music is mainly poetic, either expressive or sweet, as noted by the composer’s indications in the score. The fast music in the first movement has an enigmatic, searching intense quality, while the second movement offers a lighter, happier mood.
Closing the program is the Hungarian Rhapsody of David Popper. Popper was one of the greatest cellist of the 19th century, working Liszt, Brahms and other notables. The Popper Rhapsody borrows theme from Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano. Popper’s heartfelt melodies evoking Eastern Europe folk and his brilliant virtuoso writing with its gypsy flair, will no doubt bring “Beethoven, Bax & Beyond” to a rousing conclusion.
General admission: $20
Admission includes food and drink.
Phone: (719) 229-2239