Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 11/1/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
THE Winnipeg Chamber Music Society took listeners on a rare journey into the intimate heart and mind of one of the world's most beloved composers during its latest concert, An Evening of Tchaikovsky, held in conjunction with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's Tchaikovsky Festival that wraps up this weekend.
The unusual, mid-week concert featured lesser-known chamber works by the 19th-century Russian master, who is more typically hailed for his large-scale symphonies, grand operas and soaring classical ballet scores. Many of the programmed five works -- and particularly those transcribed from original orchestral arrangements -- afforded a close look at the iconic composer's evocative music.
There is nothing quite like hearing a Russian artist performing soulful music from the motherland. Guest pianist Ilya Yakushev's (who also performs with the WSO this weekend) riveting delivery of the darkly brooding Dumka, Op. 59 (Slavic for "thought") held the rapt audience in the palm of his hand. His luminous tone -- particularly in the uppermost register where his notes rang like bells -- was underscored by volatile temperament, with the soloist even stamping his foot during the one-movement work's more rhythmical section. His sudden fortississimo chords that broke into his hushed, carefully articulated coda, crashed like thunderbolts.
Another treat was hearing WSO concertmaster Gwen Hoebig perform the exquisitely lyrical Méditation from Souvenir d'un lieu cher (Memory of a dear place), Op. 42 with husband/pianist/artistic director David Moroz. Surely this piece, composed in two days and originally intended as the slow movement for Tchaikovky's Violin Concerto, is one the gifted musician has played her entire life. Her deeply felt performance showcased her long arching phrasing, focused intensity and vibrant tone, with Moroz's always elegant playing, including lightly executed runs, providing a satisfying accompaniment.
Three excerpts -- Autumn Song (October), Barcarolle (June) and Carnival (February) -- from The Seasons, Op. 37, performed by violinst Karl Stobbe, cellist Yuri Hooker and Moroz, showed the composer's skill at creating perfectly crafted short musical jewels. Depicting one respective month of the year, each miniature expounds its own character with the melodious Autumn Song proving both a concert highlight and timely choice.
Hooker and Moroz also performed an expressive rendition of Pezzo Capriccioso, Op. 62, attacking the decidedly non-capricious work with conviction. Hooker handled the rapid-fire runs with aplomb, setting the pace during the mobile passages that puncutate the evocative theme.
Quartet in D major, Op. 11 is renowned for its searing second movement that reputedly drove Leo Tolstoy to tears during its 1871 Moscow première. The Clearwater String Quartet -- Hoebig, Stobbe, Daniel Scholz (violist) and Hooker -- took the stage after the break to perform the four-movement work, nicknamed the Accordion for its opening movement's squeezebox-evoking chords and unusual, 9/8 meter.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 1, 2013 D2
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Molly Rankin fiddling with pop formula
Shania Twain's Vegas residency to end in December
Twain to wrap Las Vegas residency in December
Ex-'X Factor' judge trial nixed over lying claims
Ex-Destiny's Child member arrested in SC
New alcohol charge against John Mellencamp's son
'Weird Al' on his weirdly successful week in music
B.C. music festival death prompts security concern
Fred Eaglesmith, Fast Romantics, coming to town
Court blocks cremation of Kasem's remains
Feel-bad hits of the summer
Weird Al Yankovic achieves comeback, again
Trent Reznor contemplates the future, the road
'The Black Market' tops HMV Canada CD sales chart
Lady A moving at jetliner's pace in life, studio
Dirty Daddy: Bob Saget comes clean in new memoir
Radio host Alan Cross hired back by Edge 102
Beyonce leads MTV Video Music Awards with 8 nods
Blues legend Johnny Winter dies at 70 in Zurich
WSO's sweet music makes balance sheet sing
Celine Dion says husband doing well
Ron Howard to direct Beatles documentary
Best of Brazilian music coming to New York
Jason Mraz to tour 5 New York boroughs in Sept.
Brett Kissel leads CCMA Award noms with eight
Docu-reality series follows musicians' gridiron gig
Millions watch UN music video on LGBT rights
The top 10 songs and albums on the iTunes Store
Arcade Fire, Drake make Polaris short list
'Yes!' among new CD releases
Rock 'n' roll road trip
WECC looking ahead to fall
WSO shows surplus in 2013-14 season