Jennifer Koh, violin
Jonathan Crow, violin
Beth Guterman, viola
Julie Albers, cello
Yegor Dyachkov, cello
Phil Chiu, piano
Prokofiev: Five Melodies for violin and piano, Op. 35-bis
Debussy: Piano Trio in G Major
Tchaikovsky: Pezzo Capriccioso, Op. 62
Tchaikovsky: String Sextet in D minor, Op. 70 “Souvenir de Florence”
Infrequently heard but decidedly worthwhile works by major composers make up this appealing program. They were created in an impressive variety of locations. Tchaikovsky composed much of the luxurious String Sextet in 1890, while visiting one of his favourite cities, Florence, Italy – hence the subtitle, “Souvenir of Florence”. He created the compact Pezzo Capriccioso in 1887, as a gift to a former student. It is indeed capricious, moving from a powerful opening through ardent rhapsodizing to a spirited conclusion.
Claude Debussy was just 18 when he composed his first and only piano trio. At that time, he was living in Fiesole, Italy, tutoring the children of Tchaikovsky’s patron, the fabulously wealthy Mme Nadezhda von Meck. The Trio is a melodious work that falls comfortably within the Romantic French school of composers such as Fauré. It was thought to be lost, until it resurfaced in 1982.
Ukrainian/Russian composer Prokofiev wrote the Five Songs for wordless voice and piano while visiting California in 1920. The pleasant climate seems to have influenced their sunny nature. Five years later, he prepared the second edition, the one you’ll hear at this concert, in which the violin assumes the vocal line.