Music and Museum
The Bechtler Ensemble performs musical selections by four composers -- Gabriel Fauré, Libby Larsen, Arvo Pärt and Alexander Scriabin -- who are as diverse as the artwork in the current Bechtler Museum of Modern Art exhibition Geometry and Experimentation: European Art of the 1960s and 1970s. Selected works from the exhibition will be on view during the concert and commentary will connect the aesthetics and artistic principles that drove both the music and the visual art.
Fauré (1845 - 1924) was a central figure in 19th and 20th century French music. Despite the spirited playfulness and the luminous, exotic modalities throughout Piano Trio in d minor, Op. 120, the predominating key of d minor lends the music a certain dark cast. The trio (one of his very last works) was written in 1924 when Fauré was 78 and most likely completely deaf.
Larsen (b. 1950) composes music that represents American vernacular musical expression, especially in her piano chamber music works. Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano represents the wide influence of jazz, especially that of Miles Davis’s trumpet and Charlie Parker’s bebop piano styles. Its three movements—Sultry, Still and Burst—employ Larsen's use of musical quotations, idiomatic harmonic elements and patterns of rhythm and melody drawn from the jazz era.
Pärt’s Fratres for Violin and Piano is one version of a composition by the Estonian composer (b.1935) that he arranged for a wide variety of instruments. More than 10 arrangements, written between 1977 and 1992, exemplify Pärt's tintinnabuli (“bell”) style of composition, a minimalist approach to both notation and performance. Chord sequences explore rich harmonic space while adhering to a simple structure.
Scriabin’s (1872 - 1915) Etude Op. 8, No. 11 for Cello and Piano is a small, transcribed “study” with a balance of lyricism and melancholy, much like the work of fellow Russian composer Tchaikovsky. Leo Tolstoy once described Scriabin's music as "a sincere expression of genius." As a pianist Scriabin developed an idiosyncratic tonal language inspired by Chopin. His style in turn influenced compositions by Prokofiev and Stravinsky.
Music and Museum programs provide a cash-bar reception at 5 p.m. The performance begins at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for museum members, $20 for non-members (seating is limited). Purchase tickets online, by phone 704.353.9200 or at the visitor services desk.
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