Take a journey to Australia, Germany and France with the delightful Helios Piano Trio, as we continue our exploration of super-heroes in chamber music. “The Spirit and The Maiden” is available on-demand only, from January 14-28, 2023, through On the Stage (www.coloradochamberplayerstix.org), and tickets start at just $5.
The Colorado Chamber Players is thrilled to present this wonderful piano trio, comprised of John Fadial, Violin; Beth Vanderborgh, Cello; and Chi-Chen Wu, Piano.
John and Beth are also core members of the Colorado Chamber Players. All three are Artist Teachers at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming.
The Helios Trio performs an on-demand video program that was recorded just prior to their Carnegie Hall appearance in 2022. On the program: The Spirit and The Maiden, by Russian-Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin. Kats-Chernin is originally from Tashkent in Uzbekhistan, but she emigrated at age 18 to Sydney, Australia, where she lives now. It takes a special kind of courage and super-hero strength, to find the means to leave Soviet Russia as a teenager and emigrate halfway around the world.
Her piano trio, Spirit and Maiden, is based on a Russian fairy tale about a young girl who is transformed by a water spirit into a water lily, after sacrificing her life to save the water spirit. It is beautifully written, both lyrical and modernistic. The trio was composed in 2004.
Like Natasha Romanov, Kats-Chernin is a strong and expressive Russian woman. She composes music using folk tales and allegory to represent the forces of good and evil in her music.
Felix Mendelssohn wrote his beautiful d minor piano trio in 1839, over 180 years ago. The trio was premiered in 1840 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, with Mendelssohn himself playing the piano part, along with Ferdinand David on violin and Hans Wittman on cello. The piece is full of gorgeous melodies, especially the lyrical 2nd movement Andante, which is similar to other “songs without words” by Mendelssohn. The piece is in four movements.
Maurice Ravel’s Piano Trio was composed in 1914, just before Ravel enlisted to serve in World War II, where he served as an ambulance driver for the French army.
Ravel’s trio is full of shimmering colors and exotic harmonies. The listener feels like they have entered a dream world. The trio is in four movements: Moderate, fast, slow, fast. While Ravel worked within forms from previous centuries, his use of special effects such as harmonics on the violin and cello and daring harmonies and chords; this results in a masterpiece with an entirely new color palette.
Don’t miss this stunning program, full of color, variety and virtuosity.