TC Mu­sic: Spend Sun­day af­ter­noon with a lit­tle Brahms

Texarkana Gazette - - ACCENT - By Aaron Brand

For lovers of clas­si­cal mu­sic, this week­end looks like a great one with the Texarkana Sym­phony Or­ches­tra’s sea­son opener Satur­day night and even more mu­sic the next day.

The mu­sic de­part­ment at Texarkana Col­lege con­tin­ues its fall sea­son of shows with “An Af­ter­noon of Brahms” on Sun­day, 4 p.m., at the Stil­well Hu­man­i­ties Mu­sic Hall.

Mary Scott Goode plays pi­ano with Kiril Laskarov on vi­o­lin and Brett An­drews on cello as they per­form two ma­jor Brahms sonatas, one for vi­o­lin and one for cello.

An­drews, a North­west­ern State Uni­ver­sity grad who’s taught at the col­lege and high school lev­els, serves as prin­ci­pal cel­list for the TSO and has per­formed across the Ark-La-Tex and else­where with sym­phonies like Longview, South Arkansas, Shreve­port and also the Shreve­port Opera.

Laskarov is con­cert­mas­ter for the TSO and has served in that ca­pac­ity for the Arkansas Sym­phony Or­ches­tra for nearly two decades. As a soloist, this Bul­garia na­tive has per­formed with sym­phonies in Las Ve­gas; Abi­lene, Texas; Irvine, Calif.; and else­where.

Goode, pro­fes­sor of mu­sic at TC, says she was able to play the cello sonata with An­drews last year. “We wanted to do it again, and I wanted to do it in my home venue,” she ex­plains, adding, “I’ve al­ways wanted to play the vi­o­lin sonata, the Brahms in G ma­jor.”

When she was just a teenager, she was able to play the vi­o­lin sonata’s first move­ment, but she fig­ures it’s time to do it again. That was ac­tu­ally the first time she played for any­one else, she re­called. She loved it.

“I’ve never got an op­por­tu­nity to play it since then,” Goode said. It means some­thing to her to play it again, now that she can re­ally play

it, she says.

Goode, like many oth­ers, sim­ply loves the mu­sic of Brahms. Why?

“No­body does sweet and lovely and ten­der like Brahms does,” Goode said, em­pha­siz­ing his beau­ti­ful melodies and har­monies. At the same time, his mu­sic is pas­sion­ate, mus­cu­lar and vig­or­ous, she said.

“He’s very so­phis­ti­cated in his use of rhythm,” Goode said, not­ing, “It’s mu­sic for mu­si­cians, you might could say.”

Ad­di­tion­ally, Brahms in these sonatas writes equally for both in­stru­ments, so there’s a true part­ner­ship here at play, the pi­anist said. It al­lows them to play big, dy­namic ranges with a va­ri­ety of ex­pres­sions, per­form­ing off of each other.

Ac­cord­ing to one writer, she said, Brahms com­po­si­tions are at the top. Com­posers may have equaled him, but they’ve never sur­passed.

“I’m a fan,” Goode said, not­ing the sonatas al­low her to per­form “at the top edge of my abil­i­ties.” But that’s a wel­come chal­lenge. Brahms him­self was a pi­anist, although he tried his hand with some other in­stru­ments. She’ll be chan­nel­ing her in­ner Brahms on Sun­day.

Ex­pect the con­cert to last about an hour with each piece run­ning about 25 min­utes long.

About her col­leagues for the evening, they’re friends and play to­gether in the TSO. They’ll be to­gether Satur­day night for the “Sym­phonic Pic­tures” con­cert, and then fol­low it up with Brahms.

“We want peo­ple to go to both things is what we want,” Goode said, en­cour­ag­ing mu­sic lovers to come out for both days.

(Ad­mis­sion: $5.)

Sub­mit­ted pho­tos

Texarkana Col­lege Mu­sic De­part­ment con­tin­ues its fall sea­son with “An Af­ter­noon of Brahms” at 4 p.m. Sun­day at the Stil­well Hu­man­i­ties Mu­sic Hall. Mary Scott Goode, left, plays pi­ano, with Kiril Laskarov, cen­ter, on vi­o­lin and Brett An­drews on cello.

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