This January, the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival will begin its seventh season. Founded in 2011 by pianist Ian Scarfe and Trinity County resident and violinist Ellen McGehee, this organization has grown to become one of the most prolific presenters of classical music in Northern California.
The 2017 “Midwinter Classics” series will feature concerts in seven different communities across California, in San Francisco, Chico, Redding, Eureka, Weaverville, and the small village of Hyampom, where the festival holds their retreats for musicians. The programs on January 6, 7, 8, and 11 will feature late works of Ludwig van Beethoven, and the programs on January 27, 28, and 29 will feature duos and trios with clarinet, viola, and piano, by composers Mozart, Poulenc, Britten, and Françaix.
The all-Beethoven concerts are a continuation of a project started last year, when the festival announced plans to present annual winter programs focusing on the masterpieces of Beethoven’s so-called “late period”, years after the composer and famously lost his hearing. This year being the second installment in the series, performers will present the composers Piano Sonata in E Major, Op. 109, and the String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132. Both works share a theme of psychological intensity and a religious spirituality that Beethoven showed in many of his later works. The Piano Sonata does so implicitly, with musical references to Beethoven’s “Solemn Mass” and a progression from hymn-like simplicity to ecstatic shimmers of sound in its final pages. The String Quartet is more explicit in its spiritual overtones – the heart of the work is a long slow movement that Beethoven calls a “Holy song of thanksgiving, from a convalescent to the Deity”. Written at a time when Beethoven was recovering from a life-threatening illness, the work is an autobiographical account of his recovery, and shows a rare window into his personal life.
The later concerts, featuring clarinet, viola, and piano, will begin with Mozart’s “Kegelstatt” Trio, one of the first significant works of chamber music written for the clarinet. It will also feature Francis Poulenc’s witty and jazz-inspired Clarinet Sonata, commissioned and inspired by the legendary Benny Goodman. The concert will also feature Benjamin Britten’s enigmatic work “Lachrymae” for viola and piano, and French composer Jean Françaix’s Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, written in 1990.
Each concert will feature discussion of the music and the composers, and opportunities to meet and speak with the performers. Concerts are free and open to the public, a suggested donation of $20 per person will benefit this organization. As always, more information can be found at the festival’s website: www.TrinityAlpsCMF.org.
All concerts are free and open to the public.
Suggested donation of $20 per person.
Late Works of Beethoven – Piano Sonata, Op. 109 and String Quartet, Op. 132
- Friday, January 6, 7:00 pm, Hyampom Community Hall, Hyampom
- Saturday, January 7, 4:00 pm, Trinity Alps Performing Arts Center, Weaverville
- Sunday, January 8, 4:00 pm, Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka
- Wednesday, January 11, 7:30 pm, The Century Club of California, San Francisco
The Voice of the Clarinet – Music of Poulenc, Francaix, Britten, and Mozart
- Friday, January 27, 7:00 pm, Pilgrim Congregational Church, Redding, CA
- Saturday, January 28, 7:00 pm, Trinity Alps Performing Arts Center, Weaverville, CA
- Sunday, January 29, 2:00 pm, First Baptist Church, Chico, CA