Apollo Trio to open Cham­ber Mu­sic So­ci­ety of Beth­le­hem sea­son

The Morning Call - - CLASSICAL - By Steve Siegel

Formed in 1997 af­ter a mu­sic fes­ti­val in the south of France, the Apollo Trio has per­formed at venues as var­ied as a barge un­der the Brook­lyn Bridge to Carnegie Hall and Lin­coln Cen­ter. In ad­di­tion to fre­quent ap­pear­ances at Amer­i­can mu­sic fes­ti­vals from the Mostly Mozart Fes­ti­val in New York to Cham­ber Mu­sic North­west in Port­land, Ore­gon, the group’s mem­bers have per­formed recitals through­out Europe, Asia, and China.

On Fri­day, Sept. 13, the

Apollo Trio comes to Foy Hall on the Mo­ra­vian Col­lege cam­pus in Beth­le­hem for the open­ing con­cert of the Cham­ber Mu­sic So­ci­ety of Beth­le­hem’s fall sea­son. On the pro­gram is Haydn’s Trio in E Ma­jor, H.XV:28, Dvo­rak’s Trio in B Flat Ma­jor, Op. 21, and David Schiff ’s “New York Noc­turnes,” com­posed in 2000.

It was only nat­u­ral that the New York City-based group would give New York City-based com­poser Schiff ’s New York City-based piece its New York pre­miere, at the Cham­ber Mu­sic So­ci­ety of Lin­coln Cen­ter’s “Great Day in New York” Fes­ti­val at Alice Tully Hall. The piece re­ceived its world pre­miere, how­ever, at Cham­ber Mu­sic North­west in Ore­gon. Of that per­for­mance, critic David Stabler of The Ore­go­nian wrote, “With Art Ta­tum so­los driven by ham­mer chords, hail­storms of notes and mer­cu­rial syn­co­pa­tions, the joint was jumpin’ like a Man­hat­tan rhap­sody.”

Schiff, born in New York in 1945, fre­quently turns to his home­town for in­spi­ra­tion. A com­poser of both straight jazz pieces and straight clas­si­cal mu­sic, he’s not above mix­ing the two to­gether. In “New York Noc­turnes” the two most ob­vi­ous mu­si­cal bed­fel­lows are Mau­rice Ravel and Erik Satie. Again in the words of Stabler, “In the gor­geous last move­ment, ‘Gray Dawn,’ Schiff evokes a hazy Man­hat­tan dawn af­ter a night out. The pian­ist plays a slow Ravelian tune while the strings still the at­mos­phere with high, static notes.”

There’s also no ques­tion the Apollo Trio likes to mix it up as well. In 2011 the trio, joined by clar­inetist David Krakauer, bass trom­bon­ist Dave Tay­lor, and drum­mer Michael Sarin, gave the world pre­miere of Schiff ’s “Borscht Belt Mem­o­ries,” a con­fla­gra­tion of jazz, klezmer, and clas­si­cal styles. In ad­di­tion to pre­mier­ing and record­ing works by con­tem­po­rary com­posers such as Schiff and Bruce Adolph, he trio has recorded mu­sic by Beethoven, Brahms, Men­delssohn, and most re­cently, the com­plete pi­ano trios by Dvo­rak.

The Apollo Trio con­sists of found­ing mem­bers Cur­tis Ma­comber, vi­o­lin; and Mar­ija Stroke, pi­ano, joined by Ro­ma­nian-born cel­list Mi­hai Mar­ica.

Apollo Trio, 7:30 p.m. Fri­day, Sept. 13, Foy Hall, Mo­ra­vian Col­lege cam­pus, Beth­le­hem. Tick­ets: Adults $27, age 25 and younger with ID free. 610-435-7611, www.cm­sob.org

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The Apollo Trio con­sists of found­ing mem­bers, from left, Mi­hai Mar­ica, cello; Mar­ija Stroke, pi­ano, and Cur­tis Ma­comber, vi­o­lin.

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