LOS ANGELES (Feb 26, 2018) – Pittance Chamber Music’s 2017/18 concert season continues with Three’s Company: Music for Unique Combinations of Three – repertoire written for groups of three, performed by distinguished artists from the ranks of the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists from the Los Angeles Opera. Taking place on Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. The program features works by Schubert, Brahms, Loeffler, Poulenc and Gernot Wolfgang, a living composer.
Los Angeles Opera Orchestra artists performing in Three’s Company include: Leslie Reed, Oboe;Marina Manukian, Violin; Shawn Mann and Karie Prescott, Viola; John Walz, Cello; William May and Judith Farmer, Bassoon; and Nic Gerpe, Piano. The performers have chosen repertoire featuring works by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) – String Trio in B flat, D. 581; Johannes Brahms(1833-1897) – Zwei Gesange (Two Songs), Op. 91; Charles Martin Loeffler (1861-1935) – La Cloche Felée (The Broken Bell); Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) – Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano; Gernot Wolfgang (1957-present) – Road Signs.
Schubert was little-known during his lifetime as Beethoven’s nephew Karl once noted in his journal, “They greatly praise Schubert, but it is said that he hides himself.” The first public concert of his music was not given until 1828 – the year of his death. His efforts to secure publication of his music met with little success during his lifetime. Schubert wrote two string trios, this one composed in September 1817 when he was 20 years old, struggling in his short-lived career as a schoolmaster. The B-flat major trio follows a four-movement, late-Classical format, but the work (particularly the first movement) shows the imprint of Schubert’s personal style that grew with every composition he penned. While this trio was probably performed for Schubert’s friends at one of his private “Schubertiad” gatherings, it was not published until 1897, 69 years after his death.
Brahms ‘Two Songs’ were composed for his close friend Joseph Joachim and his wife Amalie. The second piece of the two songs, Geistliches Wiegenlied, was actually the first one composed. It was initially written for their wedding but was not sent to them until the baptism of their son, who was named after Brahms. He added In goldnen Abendschein getauchet years later in an attempt to help Joseph and Amalie to mend their troubled marriage. According to mezzo-soprano Michelle Siemans, “I find that this composition history really humanizes the Zwei Gesänge and makes it feel extremely intimate.”
Wolfgang’s Road Signs, which will be on his next CD, will be performed by the composer’s wife Judith Farmer, Bassoon, and Nic Gerpe on Piano.
Violinist Lisa Sutton, who is the Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, founded Pittance in 2013. Says Sutton, “The original idea behind Pittance was to raise up the extraordinary yet invisible musicians of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra from the pit to the stage to perform in small ensembles – hence the name “Pittance”, a play on words referring to these smaller offerings from the orchestra pit. By performing in smaller groups and smaller venues we endeavor to personalize opera, allowing audiences a more intimate view of the wonderful artists who are the heart and soul of the Los Angeles Opera company. We also have a lot of fun in the process!”
Tickets are $35, Seniors $20, Students $10, and can be purchased at PittanceChamberMusic.org, or at the venue on the night of the concert. The Pasadena Conservatory of Music is located at 100 North Hill Avenue, Pasadena, CA, 91106.