Aznavoorian will open the evening concert with George Crumb’s Sonata for Solo Cello, then she and Jones will play Frederic Chopin’s Sonata in G-Minor for Cello and Piano and Cello, Opus 65, and Jones will conclude with Johannes Brahms’ Six Pieces for Solo Piano, Opus 118. Those attending the lunchtime concert will hear only the Chopin and Brahms pieces.
One of America’s best, and most interesting, composers, Crumb (born in 1929) has a particularly fanatical following among musicians. Adrian Spence puts him on a Camerata program as often as he can, and violinist David Harrington told me that his main motive for founding the Kronos Quartet was to have an ensemble to play Crumb’s Black Angels. His Sonata for Solo Cello, written in 1955, is a highly dramatic work, mainly serious, but with the occasional witty aside. One expects to be put off by Crumb’s modernism, but one never quite is.
You can number on one hand the Chopin chamber compositions for instruments in addition to the piano, and have the thumb left over. The Cello-Piano Sonata is the only one of the four to find a regular birth in the modern concert repertory. It was written in 1846 for the composer’s friend, Auguste Franchomme, who played it, with Chopin at the piano, at the composer’s last public concert on Feb. 16, 1848.
Dedicated to Franchomme, it was the last of Chopin’s works to be published in his lifetime.
The Brahms pieces are rather valedictorian, too. They were written in 1893, on a summer vacation. The pieces are exquisite gems, introspective and somewhat melancholy. The last one, an Intermezzo, just sort of trails off, as if …
For tickets and other concert information, click here or call Camerata Pacifica at 805.884.8410.