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Overview: Emory Chamber’s daring program sparks deep musical interplay

The Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta continued the rollout of its thirtieth anniversary season on Saturday night on the Schwartz Heart for Performing Arts. For Atlanta’s enthusiastic followers of classical chamber music, it was the newest installment in an already colourful and numerous season, one which started with a thirtieth anniversary celebration and continued with a pun-heavy efficiency of Schubert’s “Trout” on the Georgia Aquarium and a day of contemporary works on the Museum of Modern Artwork of Georgia. 

Such an eclectic roster is thrilling on its face however Sunday’s live performance afforded listeners the chance to understand the actual depth of interplay that emerges between seasoned gamers.

The live performance opened with Claude Debussy’s “Petite Suite,” carried out as a piano duet by Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston resident pianist Gloria Chien and Emory Chamber creative director (and pianist) William Ransom. Each performed off each other nicely with daring accentuations of Ransom’s percussive stride properly complementing Chien’s playful command of the higher register. 

It was a pleasing and unassuming technique to start the night and a very good introduction to the a lot acclaimed piano enjoying of Chien. The “Petite Suite” itself is famous for its simplistic construction, in distinction to Debussy’s normally intricate compositional nature. However within the arms of two consummate virtuosos, the work appeared to hold an added degree of gravitas.

The musical dialogue between Ransom and Chien was mild and conversational, a tone that belied the richer communications in retailer when violinists Soovin Kim and Emily Daggett Smith took the stage for Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata for two Violins. 

The piece created a stark distinction to the “Petite Suite.” The place the latter focuses on the nice and cozy cohesion of two in comfy live performance with each other, the Sonata for two Violins is an train in distance. The gamers dance round each other as if intentionally avoiding the form of mild intimacy of the earlier work. The outcome appeared to cater to the mischievous — a way of reticent however nonetheless playful back-and-forth between vaguely confrontational forces. It’s a piece that, taken on the entire, feels extra akin to efficiency artwork than typical classical fare. However, such a piece speaks volumes when positioned within the arms of seasoned gamers.

Emory Chamber
William Ransom and Gloria Chien carried out the vigorous piano duet “Petite Suite.”

The following piece, Antonin Dvořák’s Terzetto in C Main, noticed Kim and Smith joined by violist and Vega Quartet linchpin Yinzi Kong. Constructing on the notably avant-garde nature of the earlier piece, the Terzetto was a captivating research within the mixing of sonic textures. From a compositional standpoint, it affords little of be aware and appears to concentrate on protracted arpeggio passages to the exclusion of melodic growth.

It could make for tedious listening had been its true intentions not instantly obvious: The work shines in its capability to mix not intricate harmonies however fairly intricate layers of tonality. The three gamers are seldom known as to create the identical sonic results on their devices and as an alternative we hear one going for easy, sonorous bowing whereas one other soars into the piercing larger register and the third instrument balances someplace in between. 

It’s a fascinating and charming piece in that regard, even when it does finally pressure its welcome.

With such a politely daring trio of works within the first half, there was ample intrigue as to what lay in retailer for the grand finale. To that finish, the night closed with Ernest Chausson’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, an appropriately obscure finish to the night. 

Kim and Chien took the stage alongside Smith and Kong of their respective capacities as members of the Vega Quartet, an ensemble accomplished by violinist Jessica Shuang Wu and cellist Guang Wang. Smith, the quartet’s most up-to-date addition with simply wanting one 12 months underneath her belt, joined her colleagues to quietly underscore what rapidly emerged as Soovin Kim’s shining hour.

A school member at New England Conservatory and creative director of the Lake Champlain Music Competition amongst different notable accolades, Soovin Kim’s resume alone makes him a formidable presence. However when given the chance to play as a featured soloist, he made even the wistful, reflective ambiance of Chausson’s Concerto really feel alive with a harsh and disarming immediacy. 

He’s a participant wholly unafraid to make daring decisions and his sturdy undercurrent of decadent bravado obvious in his enjoying appeared to unsettle his onstage counterparts in simply the simplest approach. The top outcome was a joyous wellspring of darkish, brooding colour the place solely mild shading would have sufficed.

Saturday evening was irrefutable proof that the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta has been pulling out all of the stops to make sure a banner 12 months for his or her thirtieth anniversary season. Atlanta’s voracious chamber music neighborhood will little doubt be nicely sated.


Jordan Owen started writing about music professionally on the age of 16 in Oxford, Mississippi. A 2006 graduate of the Berklee School of Music, he’s knowledgeable guitarist, bandleader and composer. He’s presently the lead guitarist for the jazz group Different Strangers, the ability metallic band Axis of Empires and the melodic dying/thrash metallic band Century Spawn.



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