I found out quite late about OPUS Chamber Music and their current short concert series so I was only able to attend the last show on Sunday evening at Grace Church on-the-Hill. Pianist Kevin Ahfat is the driving force behind these concerts and he was able to marshal an impressive line up including recent Indianopolis Violin Competition gold medallist Serena Huang.
The first half of the programme was essentially French. Brannon Cho joined Kevin for Poulenc’s Sonata for Cello and Piano. It has a lively first movement with jazzy dance rhythms and lots of interaction between the players which showed excellent mutual understanding. The second movement is more limpid and languorous and drew some rather elegantly beautiful sounds from both cello and piano. The third movement is marked “Ballabile” which was new to me. Apparently it refers to a dance by the corps de ballet. I can see that. It’s fast and intricate with lots of pizzicato from the cello. The finale is almost like back to the beginning with more playful interaction between the instruments. Lovely playing in both the livelier and the more lyrical passages with an appropriate sense of Frenchness. Continue reading →
It’s the time of year when people start to make season announcements. First out of the blocks is the Royal Conservatory of Music with the Koerner hall line up. It’s more a teaser than a comprehensive announcement but there’s some interesting dope in it. On the vocal front Peter Sellars is back with the LA Master Chorale; this time with music by Heinrich Schütz. That’s on February 7th 2024. There’s also a recital by Ema Nikolovska with Charles Richard-Hamelin on March 24th 2024. If you haven’t erased all memories of the pandemic you will probably remember that Ema’s streamed recital with Steven Philcox was the highlight of the grim summer of 2020. The Glenn Gould spring opera will be on 2oth and 22nd March 2024. There are also some pretty classy orchestral visits with Daniel Barenboim conducting the Staatskapelle Berlin and Yannick Nézet-Seguin bringing the Philadelphia Orchestra. Full details of the season will be released in June but tickets go on sale next Tuesday. There’s more information on programming and ticket options here.