Reviews

WINDS OF CHANGE

The Unexpected Delights of a Chamber Musicians of Kamloops Concert

Winds of Change on Saturday at Kamloops United Church featuring a five-person wind ensemble had many unexpected delights. First up, Renaissance music played on early music instruments: crumhorns (there were two), a tambourine and the whole recorder family – including a gigantic bass. Later in the program, on their more familiar instruments: flute (Janet Watson), oboe (Karen Gibson), clarinet (Lucy Benwell), horn (Edmund House) and bassoon (Cuyler Page) was a lovely baroque piece by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Haydn’s superb Divertimento No 1 in Bb. Then we were taken through the transition from courtly music to that for the general public: from sea shanties to Irving Berlin and Scott Joplin.


As always in chamber music concerts in Kamloops, there was a host of interesting stories that informed us about both instruments and program items. Especially delightful was Edmund House’s demonstration of the origin (in the hunt) and successive changes to the horn. (“Horn” is the true name of the instrument we often term “French horn”.)

Additionally surprising, was an item on the program composed by Neil McKay, born in Ashcroft.

Next up for the CMK is Collage on December 10. Featured performers are Catharine Dochstader, Cvetozar Vutev, Laure Matiakh and guest singer, Anika Howell. Tickets for both in person and online concerts are available through CMK’s website. Prices range from $15 to $25.

Submitted by Leslie Hall

GERMAN ROMANTICS

Four Hands, But Definitely Two People

Chamber music fans were treated to an exceptional performance by visiting artists, Catherine Lam and Tao Lin on Saturday, October 8th. They perform duo piano compositions (also known as piano four hands) as Duo Beaux Arts. By great good fortune, Kamloops got a spot on their BC tour. The couple tour often. They were in the Atlantic states in September prior to nine stops in BC. Their next engagement – three days after leaving Kamloops – is in their home state of Florida. Although Florida is home, Catherine lived in Burnaby and obtained a Bachelor of Music from UBC. Tao was born and educated in Shanghai. He maintains those roots as a lecturer at Shanghai Normal University.


Thanks to the generous loan of a superior piano by piano tuner[technician/performer], Matt Arnott, the sound was thrilling. It is not a stretch that a piano can sound like a flute, but like a bassoon or a horn? Yes, that it did.


The works performed were by the German romantics and mostly written as duo piano compositions. This was a popular form at the time. Mozart wrote them for he and his sister, Nannerl. Composers often wrote them to assist in teaching their students. Schubert, notably wrote them for his accomplished friends.


The program Lan and Lin played was a tour through a highly creative time in music history. An early work of Beethoven’s is a glimpse into the greatness to come. A rumbling, tumbling ending to a Mendelssohn work, besides giving the duo something to get their teeth into had snatches of Scottish tunes. A fantasy written by Schubert in his “miracle year” was an emotional journey unthinkable to earlier composers.

Tao Lin’s skill as a music educator added greatly to an already astounding performance.

The next event, “Winds of Change” on November 19 features the Windjammers Quintet. Tickets from $15 on the CMK website.

Submitted by Leslie Hall

MODULATE, CHEVALIER!

A Bold Start to the 2022/23 Classical Music Season

From its beginnings doing a few house concerts to the present nine concert season, the Chamber Musicians of Kamloops has come a long way. Their concert on Saturday night at Kamloops United Church was a stunning example of the professional level it has achieved.

Throughout a diverse program, the members of the Sycamore String Quartet never missed a beat. At its end, aided by the matching intensity of Dimiter Terzievs piano part, they were molded into one smooth operating unit. From the delicate to the ferocious, this concert covered a lot of ground. In between there was rock music turned classical; a sweet, ethereal movement from a Shostakovich quartet and an emotional suite based on folk themes by the Ukrainian composer, Boris Lyatoshynsky.

Quintet for piano and strings in f minor by César Franck was a tour de force. It begins with thunderous notes – loud and imploring. It introduces a theme that recurs often. In the 2nd movement, it comes as a relief from the weight of ‘gear shifting’ (modulation). In the 3rd, its return is other worldly. As Terziev said in his introduction, the work offers no answers.


This concert can be viewed until September 24th. Tickets at $10 and $15 from Eventbrite.
The following eight concerts are spaced one a month; all at Kamloops United Church at 7:30. The upcoming is “German Romantics” on October 8. Information on it and the others is on the Chamber Musicians’ website.

Submitted by Leslie Hall