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Communication is essential to Ensemble Join’s eclectic, thrilling live performance at Carnegie Corridor – Seen and Heard Worldwide


United States Numerous: Ensemble Join, Weill Recital Corridor, Carnegie Corridor, New York, 24.10.2022. (RP)

Rubén Rengel (violin), Joanne Kang (harpsichord) and Amir Farsi (flute) © Fadi Kheir

Ensemble Join: Laura Andrade (cello), Amir Farsi (flute), Nik Hooks (bassoon), Joanne Kang (piano/harpsichord), Halam Kim (viola), Rubén Rengel (violin), Cort Roberts (horn), Yasmina Spiegelberg (clarinet). Alum: Garrett Arney (percussion)

Martinů – Quartet for Clarinet, Horn, Cello and Snare Drum, H.139
Clara Schumann – Piano Trio in G Minor, Op.17
Eleanor Alberga – String Quartet No.2
J. S. Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No.5

Ensemble Join makes a chamber music live performance an immersive expertise. There are printed packages, however a member of the ensemble nonetheless introduces every work, offering insights into the composer, the work and the gamers’ strategy to decoding and performing it. They aren’t the primary to do it, however few do it higher.

Martinů could have been Czech, however he was lower from completely different fabric than both Dvořák or Janáček. Nationalism wasn’t his factor. In Paris, he was uncovered to the music of ‘Les Six’, jazz and Stravinsky, which launched him in a brand new path. The Russian composer’s affect was so evident in a few of Martinů’s works, akin to within the Quartet for Clarinet, Horn, Cello and Snare Drum carried out at this live performance, that the critics dubbed him the ‘Czech Stravinsky’. It wasn’t essentially a praise.

Hornist Cort Roberts defined that there are 4 primary teams of musical devices and Martinů selected one from every of them for the Quartet – simply not those you would possibly anticipate. Roberts invited the viewers to exalt within the variety of sounds and the very distinct music that Martinů composed for every of them. He in contrast the three-movement work to Thanksgiving Dinner, when relations collect and the dialog flows in any and all instructions, however good will prevails.

Yasmina Spiegelberg (clarinet), Garrett Arney (percussion), Laura Andrade (cello) and Cort Roberts (horn) © Fadi Kheir

The quartet begins with the beat of the snare drum and ends the identical manner. In between are moments of cacophony and lyrical magnificence. The latter had been discovered largely within the Poco andante within the enjoying of cellist Laura Andrade, who reworked the prolonged meditations that open and shut the motion into profound mournful meditations.

To up to date eyes, Clara Schumann appeared to have all of it as spouse, mom and profession girl. The fact, nonetheless, was considerably completely different as Andrade defined in introducing Schumann’s Piano Trio in G minor.

Clara’s husband was an excellent composer, however he suffered from a psychological sickness that might result in his being dedicated to an asylum and an early dying. She was the mom of eight youngsters, however one other died in infancy, and he or she suffered a number of miscarriages. Her live performance excursions stored her away from her household for prolonged durations of time however had been essential to financially help the household. And in line with nineteenth-century mores, Clara believed that girls may by no means equal males as composers.

The impassioned enjoying of the trio by violinist Rubén Rengel, pianist Joanne Kang and Andrade dispelled that delusion. They united in a efficiency that was intimate and balanced in addition to shifting and chic. The Andante was infused with a complexity of dynamics and shadings that added distinctive emotion depth to essentially the most lyrical of the 4 actions. The finely articulated and fiery fugue within the Allegretto introduced the work to an thrilling finish.

Jamaican-born composer Eleanor Alberga describes herself as a ‘mainstream British composer’; Come up! Athena!, her quick choral work, was commissioned for the closing night time of the 2015 BBC Proms. Alberga’s String Quartet No.2 was composed in 1994, shortly after her marriage to violinist Thomas Bowen with whom she frequently performs.

Violinist Halam Kim defined that Alberga constructed the whole fifteen-minute work on a two-note cell which she alters in a myriad of how. The result’s an intense and analytical piece, however Kim instructed a two-fold strategy to the quartet. First, to turn into an energetic listener and attempt to detect the methods wherein the composer manipulates the 2 notes; after which to search out the lightness in it.

The 4 string gamers reveled within the work’s intricacies and depth. Their precision and fervour had been evident as they explored and exploited Alberga’s seemingly infinite variations on the two-note theme. When the work got here to an in depth, there was a passage that was out of the blue playful and light-weight because the violin performed what virtually amounted to a melody on the violin to pizzicato enjoying on the viola. For only a second, there was a whiff of Jamaica within the air.

It fell to Kang to introduce Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.5, a piece which she readily admitted wants no introduction. Her solely recommendation was to benefit from the dialogue between soloists (the concertino) and full orchestra (the ripieno). Within the efficiency, nonetheless, the virtuosic exchanges between Rengel and flutist Amir Farsi had been what impressed most, besides when Kang on the harpsichord was herself within the forefront.

Bach was a keyboard virtuoso and most definitely composed the harpsichord half for himself. The opening Allegretto climaxes in a sixty-five-measure cadenza for unaccompanied harpsichord, which Kang carried out with such mesmerizing mastery that spontaneous applause erupted on the finish of the motion.

Ensemble Join is a lot greater than a performing ensemble. Every of its members are assigned to show in a New York Metropolis college. Their college students should have much more outstanding experiences with these distinctive musicians than the audiences for his or her revolutionary and masterful performances at Carnegie Corridor. How fortunate can they be?

Rick Perdian

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