Despite what you may have heard, it can take three to tango. The passion sparked by its rhythms doesn’t inspire just dancers. Three international stars of classical music have also been bitten by the tango bug.
Chestertown’s Resonance concert series will open its 2019-2020 season with the Piazzolla Trio, Oct. 27 at 3 p.m. at St. Paul’s Parish Hall, 7579 Sandy Bottom Rd. The group is named for the Argentinian composer acclaimed for single-handedly bringing the pulsing beat of his country’s native dance to an array of works for small ensembles.
The event kicks off the National Music Festival’s 10th anniversary season.
Members Elaine Kwon, piano; Gjilberta Lucaj, cello; and Anat Malkin Almani, violin have performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall in London, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the United Nations, the Vatican and New York City’s Times Square.
That bustling Manhattan crossroads hosted the group’s first public performance in 2018. “The city put up a stage right there, in the middle of all the traffic and people – passers-by – could listen for a bit, then be on their way,” Kwon said of their appearance in the “Make Music New York” series.
Lucaj was accorded the rights to the title “Piazzolla Trio” by the godson of the composer, who died in 1992. She had fallen under Piazzolla’s musical spell some years back. In 2017, Lucaj, Kwon and Almani met at the Barbados Classical Pops Festival. There Lucaj was in effect the evangelist who exposed her colleagues to the great variety of Piazzolla’s tango-suffused repertoire.
“I had played a few of his pieces before. But hearing more, I just absolutely fell in love with it,” said Kwon, who has served as a piano mentor for Chestertown’s National Music Festival, which produces the Resonance series.
Music critics agree that Piazzolla combined, to varying degrees, tango rhythms and contemporary influences of jazz and pop. Yet listeners still hear classical forms. Kwon added the influence of jazz is clear. “I really like the idea of works that cross over into pop and jazz.”
The trio’s concert, titled Pioneers and Passion, will feature Piazzolla’s “Libertango,” “Oblivion,” “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” and “La Muerte del Angel,” as well as music by Mozart and Bedrich Smetana.
Tickets to the Piazzolla Trio concert are $20 for adults and $5 for students with ID and children under 14. A Resonance Pass ($100) offers all six of a diverse musical lineup (see below) from October through April. The series pass saves $20 off the single-ticket price for the six concerts ($120).
For purchasers of a 2020 National Music Festival Combination Pass – on sale now – all six Resonance concerts are included as well as admission to the many ticketed performances during the Festival, May 31 – June 13.
The Resonance series will continue with the following concerts:
Nov. 17, Omer String Quartet: Award-winning ensemble-in-residence at the University of Maryland
Jan. 12, Iona: Pan-Celtic music and dance from eight nations
Feb. 16, Cleveland Wind Trio: Works by Mozart, Canteloube and Villa-Lobos
March 22, Emily Daggett Smith: NMF Violin Mentor with Constantine Finehouse, piano
April 26, Julia Mintzer: Mezzo-soprano, Washington National Opera, Semperoper Dresden
Except for the April season finale, all Resonance concerts this season will be Fireside Concerts – enjoy the warmth and crackle of the fireplace while listening to great music, and enjoy the refreshments and a chance to meet the artists at intermission!
Tickets may be ordered online at www.nationalmusic.us/events-and-tickets/tickets/ or at the door on the day of the event.
RES·O·NANCE /ˈrezənəns/ Noun: the quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating … a quality of richness or variety.