This April, the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival will continue 2016 concert season with its annual “Spring Classics” series.. 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 festival is at it again, with three more concerts in Hyampom, Weaverville, and Redding, after their highly successful January tour of Trinity and Humboldt Counties. The January tour may be forever remembered by the musicians’ response to the torrential rains that caused a landslide to close Highway 299 along the Trinity River. Realizing they would have to postpone their show in Eureka that Saturday, the musicians brought out their instruments along the side of the highway and performed Beethoven string quartets for a crowd of stranded motorists and CalTrans workers. They enjoyed a second extra performance that day, when they returned to Weaverville and were hosted by sponsors at the Indian Creek Lodge, who were serenaded along with Chef Scott Boone and those dining at the Cafe at Indian Creek.
The April programs will present a variety of baroque and classical works all featuring different combinations of instruments, including double-bass, clarinet, cello, and piano. Pianist and festival director Ian Scarfe will be joined by cellist Charles Akert, a founding member of the festival, to present works of Bach and Grieg, showcasing the singing qualities of the cello. Scarfe will also be joined by Karla Avila on clarinet and Jacob Johnson on double-bass, festival musicians who met at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and moved to Trinity County after visiting during the 2013 Chamber Music Festival. They will perform the “Grand Duo for Clarinet and Double-Bass” by Giovanni Bottesini, a work rooted in classic Italian opera and virtuoso playing from both instruments.,
The program will also continue the festival’s 2016 theme of exploring Beethoven’s chamber music, with two of the composers works. The first work, the “Gassenhauer” Trio, Op. 11, for clarinet, cello, and piano, is an early work of Beethoven’s, written while he was a young man in his 20s taking the musical world by storm. It is one of the composer’s most upbeat and energetic works – done in the Italian “opera buffa” style, using the three instruments as comedic characters singing scenes of love, comedy and mock tragedy. The second work will be Beethoven’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 102, Number 1. The first of a set of two sonatas, this work is a brilliant example of Beethoven’s compact “late style”. In this work we hear the two instruments conversing with emotions run high, as the characters quickly change from serene and peaceful to violent and ferocious, from lyrical singing to joyous dance.
The Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival, as it always has, presents all of its programs free and open to the public. Donations are encouraged, both at the door by audiences and by all community members who want to support this organization. TACMF is a fiscally sponsored affiliate of the Trinity Players, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing the arts to communities around Northern California. For more information about programs, musicians, or how to donate, please visit www.TrinityAlpsCMF.org.