A few cool things about the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival

The Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival begins its five concert run on Thursday with a Paramount Theater show. I’ve bought tickets to the opening gig, and don’t know what to expect simply because I haven’t watched much classical music. But here’s a few things that excite me, and may excite you:

  • The festival itself is an amazing homegrown effort, now in its 11th season, founded by two movers and shakers in the classical music world: cellist Raphael Bell and violin and viola player Tim Summers.
  • But it also draws some seriously world-renowned talent. Take, for example, Pekka Kuusisto performs September 16 at the Jefferson Theater. Kuusisto is a violinist from Finland, who the Guardian says "makes Bartok sound as ugly as he can," and may be "the best thing to happened to classical music in years." Marie-Pierre Langlamet is considered to be among the best harpists in the world, and performs on the 12th and 16th.
  • This Thursday’s performance at the Paramount features Alban Berg‘s "Piano Sonata, Op. 1." and Anton Webern‘s "Three Little Pieces, Op. 11." Both composers were pupils of Arnold Shoenberg’s, and all three were members of the Second Viennese School that advanced atonal music in the early 20th century. For its part, Webern’s "Three Little Pieces" is a minimal and gut-wrenching piece of music.

Webern’s "Three Little Pieces, Op. 1, no. 1"

  • On September 16 a Jefferson Theater concert will feature a performance of Steve Reich‘s "New York Counterpoint." Reich is also one of the major composers of the 20th century, and a pioneering minimalist who built compositions around tape loops. The consistent pulsing gives his work an almost hair-raising urgency (listeners of Sufjan Stevens may recognize Reich’s style). That effect is only broadened in a live setting.

Reich’s "New York Counterpoint"

  • There’s plenty more to carry on about, but doing so would render this blog post useless. Visit the festival’s website for more information that would be appropriate for a blog post. C-VILLE will be there all along, so be sure to pick up next week’s paper for more.

What are you looking forward to?

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