La Cafamore presents Celebrated Trios at the Knox Presbyterian Church, Saturday October 5, 7:30 pm.
How did she do it? In that day and age the idea of “career woman”, if it ever occurred at all, would have been considered an oxymoron. But Clara Schumann (1819-1896) was a single mother with 7 children and a busy concert career and she did manage to survive as a “working mother”. Of course, something had to go and in her case it was the demanding avocation of composer. Still, there are compositions of her’s out there. Case in point. La Cafamore (Carolyn Cameron – Violin, Nina Horvath – Piano and Alexis Moore – Viola) performed the Scherzo from the Piano Trio, Op.17 in concert at the Knox Presbyterian Church on Saturday. It is an interesting piece, somewhat jazzy in texture with rhythmic syncopations somewhat reminiscent of early ragtime. This is a composition that probably predates the compositions of the the flamboyant American pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk who started experimenting with indigenous American musical motives in the mid to late 19th century.
In classical chamber music the Piano Trio is usually piano, cello and violin. La Cafamore’s usual cello player (Jeff Faragher) was not available, so after arranging some suitable transcriptions of the cello part, Alexis Moore, on Viola, substituted for Jeff. The Viola and the Cello are an octave apart but are tuned the same way (CGDA) so the implementation of the substitution was possible. So with this configuration the group tackled Joseph Haydn’s Trio in G and Beethoven’s Trio in Bb (The Archduke). Alexis felt that the major challenge, surprisingly was not the Beethoven, but rather the Haydn trio. The music in this concert is what I call “music in the middle”. Joseph Haydn had left behind the the polyphonic complexities of the Baroque period to pursue a clearer compositional style. In what became known as the Classical era he was followed by Mozart and, to some extent, Beethoven. In the latter, elements of the gathering histrionic storm of the Romantics were on the horizon. The coming shift in music finally matured into the complexity of the late romantics. There you have it – from complexity to clarity and onto further complexity, ie. “music in the middle”. So in keeping with “music in the middle” this was an enjoyable program of clear, precise compositions by masters of the Classical period, Haydn and Beethoven, with a little taste of the exotic in the music of Clara Schumann. Just my cup of tea.
This particular concert was part of La Cafamore’s fall tour that included performances in Silverton, Rossland, Fernie, Invermere, Cranbrook, Crawford Bay and Nelson and was supported by the Columbia Basin Trust and The Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance. Dr. R.J. Cameron and Drs. Jane and Rob Gray must also be thanked for their sponsorship of the tour and Pastor Ron for making this exceptional venue once again available to La Cafamore. This is undoubtedly the finest chamber music venue in the area.
Symphonic music performances are the major marque events that attract the most significant amounts of sponsorship support and money. I think Carolyn Cameron and her colleagues in La Cafarmore, The Selkirk Trio and The Kootenay Brass Quintet should be more than commended for their unflagging efforts, without major corporate sponsorship, to get quality music out in front of local audiences. Over the past few years we have been treated to some stellar performance of music that are somewhat off the beaten track. It is extraordinary that we have managed to hear live performances of George Crumb’s Black Angels, and Steve Reich’s Different Trains, just to mention two, here in the small communities of the Kootenays. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.