The Falmouth Chamber Players Orchestra, under the direction of John Yankee, will present its Spring Musicale on Sunday, May 17, at 4 PM at the Cape Cod Conservatory, 60 Highfield Drive, in Falmouth.
Members and friends of the orchestra will present a variety of chamber music works by Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, Piazzolla, Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Schumann, and others.
Laura Sonnichsen, concertmaster of the FCPO, will perform the Allegro from Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5 with pianist Debbe Carlisle. The sonata, which was published in 1801, when Beethoven was 30 years old, is also known as the “Spring Sonata,” and is considered the most beloved of Beethoven’s 10 violin sonatas.
“I have always loved the Spring Sonata,” said Sonnichsen. “It reflects Beethoven’s love of nature and I envision that when I play it. The first movement, which is the part we will perform, is joyous and musically ‘easy’ to understand from the listener’s perspective.”
The Spring Sonata is a bucolic, romantic, and gentle work, full of the joys and optimism of spring. The Allegro movement begins with a flowing, lyrical theme in the violin, which is echoed by the piano. Beethoven treats the piano as a partner in the sonata, not a mere accompanying player, and, in fact, referred to the violin sonatas as works for piano and violin.
“Carlisle is a role model for me,” Sonnichsen said. “She is very disciplined, but warm, and a nice friendship develops when those ingredients exist. We understand each other’s musical goals and the entire experience is very rewarding.”
Carlisle will also perform Robert Schumann’s Arabesque in C Major, Op. 18, for solo piano. “Schumann wrote the Arabesque in 1839, when he was 29 and separated from his great love, Clara, for a four-year period, during which Clara’s father denied Schumann permission to marry his daughter,” said Carlisle.
“Schumann could only communicate with Clara through letters and through his music,” Carlisle said. “It seems likely that he wrote this piece for her. It alternates a dreamy yearning with more militant sections, ending in a reflective epilogue.”
Schumann described the piece as “delicate—for ladies.” The term “arabesque” suggests a flowing, decorative piece, moving between contrasting moods. It is one of Schumann’s most popular works.
Oboist Melanie Hayn and pianist Joyce Gindra will perform Camille Saint-Saëns’ Oboe Sonata in D Major, Opus 166. Saint-Saëns, a French Romantic composer, wrote the sonata at the age of 85, in 1921, the year he died. He complete three sonatas that year, for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, as part of his effort “to add to the repertoire of these otherwise neglected instruments.”
The oboe sonata has three movements, which are played with increasing speed: a gentle Andantino, a romantic Allegro with an oboe cadenza, and a dynamic Molto Allegro, which has some very demanding and virtuosic passages.
Hayn will also play Franz Joseph Haydn’s London Trio No. 3 in G Major, with Tegan Sutherland on oboe and Daniel Jordan on viola. Composed in 1794, the work is part of a group of four trios originally composed for two flutes and a cello.
The first movement, Spirituoso, is elegant and refined, written in the gallant style of the classical era. Andante, the second movement, is languid and sensual, while the third movement, Allegro, is cheerful and buoyant.
A string quartet—Carol Rizzoli, violin; Jordan Mora, violin; Winn Johnson, cello; and Beth Giuffrida, string bass—will perform “Oblivion” by Astor Piazzolla. Originally from Argentina, Piazzolla grew up in New York, but returned to Argentina to develop his musical roots. He is best-known for his development of what he called “nuevo tango,” which incorporated jazz and classical idioms into the traditional tango.
Piazzolla composed “Oblivion” in 1982 for chamber ensemble and it became popular when it was used for the soundtrack of Mario Bellocchio’s 1984 film “Enrico IV” (“Henry IV”). The piece is hauntingly beautiful, elegant and nostalgic, based on a slow milonga, a traditional song type in Uruguay and Argentina that preceded the tango.
Performing Muzio Clementi’s Quarter No. 36-2 will be Cathy Eagan, clarinet; Bob Sanderson, bass clarinet; Walter Neumann, clarinet; and Patricia Richard, clarinet. Eagan will join Dick Payne, flute, for duets by Chris Bakalian and Alba Rosa Vietor.
Robert Knapp, viola, will join Rizzoli, Mora, and Johnson to perform a quartet reduction of the Allegro from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. Rounding out the program will be a vocal piece by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, sung by Linda Brouder.
Suggested donation is $15 for adults and $5 for children.
For more information about the Musicale and other activities of the Falmouth Chamber Players Orchestra, visit falmouthchamberplayers.org.