Fiery “in-your-face” gypsy music from Brahms will be delivered along with some tuneful trifles from Dvorak and dreamy romance from Schubert in the last RDSO Chamber Series concert of the season.
What the three works, performed by chamber musicians on Sunday at Studio A of the Red Deer College Arts Centre, have in common is they are all “very easy listening,” said music director Claude Lapalme.
He predicted some audience members might even leave the concert humming snatches of Antonin Dvorak’s Five Bagatelles because of their ear-wormish melodies.
The light-hearted Slavonic dances, described by the composer as “trifles,” are extremely tuneful, said Lapalme — ranging from wistful to carefree.
Although the pieces were written for amateur musicians, he said the Bohemian composer must have known some highly talented amateurs, as the works are technically demanding — especially for the violinists.
The Bagatelles will be performed by Red Deer Symphony Orchestra violinists Naomi Delafield, and Louise Stuppard, as well as cellist Janet Kuschak and pianist Ruston Vuori.
The afternoon concert is expected to start on a dreamy note with Franz Schubert’s Nocturne in E Flat Major.
The reflective piece, to be performed by Stoppard, Kuschak and Vuori, was composed in 1828, the year of the composer’s untimely death due to complications from syphilis.
While not much is known about the nocturne’s origin, Lapalme said it’s full of mystery, romance and drama. Even the work’s title adds to its ambiguousness, since the word “notturno” was added to the manuscript by an unknown hand.
“It’s the kind of music you would listen to at night, while sitting by a pond,” added Lapalme. “It has real romance. We should have done it for Valentine’s Day.”
The weightiest piece on the program is Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G Minor. Lapalme said this early work is particularly famous for its fiery last movement, inspired by gypsy music.
The gorgeous, expressionistic movement is full of “in-your-face excitement,” he added. It’s also very virtuosic for the piano — “a real finger-buster.”
The composition covers the spectrum, from bold and delicate. But because of its vital finale, Lapalme said it “displays the kind of bravura we rarely find in Brahms.”
The quartet will be performed by Delafield, Kuschak, Vuori, and violist Dean O’Brien,
Tickets for the 3 p.m. concert are $25 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.