STRATA is a coming together of three extraordinary musical talents: Audrey Andrist, piano; Nathan Williams, clarinet; and James Stern, violin and viola.
Strata brings “deft ensemble playing” and a “talent…that’s worth getting worked up about” [Washington Post] to a repertoire that combines the great trio and duo repertoire of the past with an ever-growing body of new works written especially for them over the more than 25 years they have been playing together.
Sunday January 28th, 4:30pm
Monday January 29th, 7pm
FREE Lunch-hour Concert: Tuesday January 30th, noon at University Presbyterian Church
Prelude, Allegro and Pastoral for Clarinet and Viola -Rebecca Clarke
ThousandWhirling Dreams -Dana Wilson
From 8 Pieces. Op. 83: #3,4,6,7 -Max Bruch
Kegelstatt Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano -W.A. Mozart
Suite for Clarinet, Violin and Piano -Alexander Arutiunian
Dear Music Lover,
Our January program opens with the charming Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale for clarinet and viola by British born Rebecca Clarke. The work was first performed at the 19th Festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music in Berkeley, California where 30 composers from 13 nations were represented. Clarke was the only female whose work was represented. Clarke described the piece as follows: "The whole thing is very unpretentious: a short, unassuming little prelude . . . The second movement should sound very spirited . . . The third movement is rather melancholy and nostalgic. . "
Immediately following the Clarke is the rip-roaring crowd-pleaser by the American composer Dana Wilson, A Thousand Whirling Dreams. Written for clarinet, violin, and piano in 2014, the trio's outer movements are virtuosic and rhythmically driven, while the inner movement is a gorgeous, mournful ballad. The title of the work and all of the movements come from the ending of "As I Grew Older" by Langston Hughes:
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Max Bruch composed his Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, op. 83 in 1909 when he was 70 years old for his son Max Felix who was a talented clarinetist. The pieces favor rich, mellow instrumental hues and an autumnal, deeply felt maturity of expression. "The Eight Pieces are the product of one aspect of the 19th-Century cultural climate," wrote Gordon Lazarevich. "In their display of lyrical elusiveness where each piece is based on an extensive melody, and in their rhapsodic treatment of the material, the compositions epitomize those aspects of Romantic thought which glorified the sensual, the emotive, and the sentimental.”
Following an intermission, Strata will return to perform Mozart's classic Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, KV 498. A staple of the chamber music repertoire, this trio has long borne the nickname "Kegelstatt", essentially meaning "bowling alley". According to a popular story, Mozart composed this trio between frames of Kegeln, a Central European nine-pin lawn bowling game. Yet while Mozart, by his own admission, composed a few pieces while enjoying games and drinks at ninepins, this trio does not appear to be one of them, so the "Kegelstatt" moniker is something of an urban legend, more a commentary of Mozart's reputation than a biographical fact. Composed for Mozart's dear friend, Anton Stadler, who was the most celebrated clarinetist of his day, the trio is cast in three movements, opening unconventionally with the slow movement. The second movement is in the form of a minuet and dance. The finale is a warm and inviting rondo.
The program comes to an exciting conclusion with Alexander Arutiunian's riveting Suite for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano, composed in 1992. Arutiunian's compositional style is heavily influenced by Armenian folk music, and the trio moves from sweet, simple melodies to energetic Armenian dance rhythms with their capricious pulse and unexpected irregularities in a freely improvised melodic style. It’s a piece you’ll fall in love with!
At Salon Concerts, after the music, we'll offer you a delicious buffet with fine wines. You'll have a chance to mingle with the musicians, the hosts of the charming house where the concert takes place, and your fellow music lovers. I look forward to seeing you there!
Strata is a coming together of three extraordinary musical talents: Audrey Andrist, piano; Nathan Williams, clarinet; and James Stern, violin and viola. Their combined credits encompass numerous international prizes and performances across four continents including such places as Carnegie Hall, the Marlboro Festival and the Kennedy Center.
Strata brings “deft ensemble playing” and a “talent…that’s worth getting worked up about” [Washington Post] to a repertoire that combines the great trio and duo repertoire of the past with an ever-growing body of new works written especially for them over the more than 25 years they have been playing together. Equally capable of winning over an audience with unique renderings of popular music and of making even the most complex works accessible, exciting and meaningful, Strata has received enthusiastic repeat engagements at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, New York’s historic Maverick Concertsand San Francisco Composers Inc, for which they were listed as one of San Francisco Classical Voice’s “highlights of 2005.” They have been resident artists at the Banff Centre for the Arts and appeared in New York City under the auspices of the International Society for Contemporary Music.
All holders of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Juilliard School, the members of Strata are dedicated to every level of music education, from the mentoring of graduate students and young professionals, to the initial sparking of musical passion in very young children, to the guiding of audiences in what to listen for. Spoken commentary is an integral part of all their concerts.