Guest Artist Chamber Music Concert
Transatlantic Tones – Two Muses and a Maestro

Evergreen Theatre, 5001 Joyce Ave, Powell River

Thursday June 27 – 7:30 PM

About the Repertoire

Jan Koetsier (1911 – 2006)

Metamorphoses on a Theme from ‘The Moldau’, Op.102 for Harp and Brass Quintet (1985)

“Metamorphoses” takes an iconic theme from Smetana’s “The Moldau” and reimagines it through the unique timbres and textures of the harp accompanied by brass quintet. The harp provides a delicate yet resonant foundation, while the brass instruments—two trumpets, French horn, trombone, and tuba—add richness, power, and depth to the musical landscape.

The piece explores various transformations of the original theme, presenting it in different moods, tempos, and harmonic settings. The harp’s shimmering arpeggios intertwine with bold brass fanfares, creating a compelling interplay of textures and melodies that offers a fresh perspective on a beloved melody, blending tradition with innovation to create a memorable and evocative musical journey.


Amy Beach (1867 – 1944)

Pastorale for Woodwind Quintet, Op. 151 (1941)

The Pastorale is a reworking of two earlier versions (the first for flute, cello, and piano, the second for cello and organ) that Beach composed in 1921. In the quintet version, the composer’s only work for woodwind quintet, motifs from the original theme are distributed between the instruments in counterpoint. It begins very softly in the warm lower registers of the clarinet and oboe, with the characteristic “drone” intoned by the horn and bassoon. A key change signals the middle section, during which the parts increase in volume and expand in pitch range, thus intensifying the mood before returning to the initial tranquility at the conclusion. 

Dr. Hannah Chan-Hartley

Jan Koetsier (1911 – 2006)

Unterkagner Ländler for Violin and Tuba (1981)

The Ländler is an Austrian folk dance in triple meter. Koetsier’s set is at times elegant but, as one would expect from the unusual pairing of instruments, at other times, comic.

Leonard Garrison, Red Lodge Music Festival

Amy Beach (1867 – 1944)

Piano Quintet in F-sharp minor, Op.67 (1908)

i. Adagio – Allegro moderato
ii. Adagio espressivo
iii. Allegro agitato – Adagio come prima – Presto

The first movement begins with a dark, brooding Adagio introduction. The main part of the movement, Allegro, begins with a sad melody given out by the first violin, followed by a brief Schubertian episode before the music reverts back to the introductory theme. The mood remains dark and mysterious. The middle movement opens softly with a lovely, highly romantic melody. Though the music never rises to any huge dramatic climax and for the most part remains relatively soft dynamically, it nonetheless burns with tremendous emotional intensity. The finale explodes out of the gate with incredible force and forward motion, sounding ever so slightly for a moment like Paul Dukas. It is only with the introduction of the second more lyrical theme that the feverish intensity is lessened. But the with the reintroduction of the main subject brings many further dramatic climaxes in its wake.

Edition Silvertrust

Louise Farrenc (1804 – 1875)

Nonet for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello, bass (1849)

iv. Adagio – Allegro
v. Andante con moto
vi. Scherzo. Vivace
vii. Adagio – Allegro

The first movement begins with a slow, majestic introduction.  The beautiful opening theme of the Allegro  that follows is full of potential, as is the second subject.  The part writing brings excellent integration of the strings and winds.  This is tasteful, good-natured and genial music.

The second movement begins with a very attractive theme introduced by the violin.  The first variation features the oboe by itself in a lyrical, syncopated and serene episode.  The viola joins in towards the end and the mixed timbre of the two instruments is exquisite.  In the second variation, the violin is given an etude-like series of runs.  The viola, flute and clarinet are brought in for cameo appearances before the bassoon is foremost in a wind quintet.  The fourth variation features the horn, charmingly accompanied by a series of minor triplets from the strings.  All instruments then participate in the coda.

The third movement begins with great originality in the tradition of grand and exciting scherzos with wonderful chromatic passages, as the strings quietly strum the exciting opening theme, which sounds of the chase.  The second theme, actually more of a long trio section, is first played in the winds in their upper registers, a dreamy, children’s nursery song.  When the strings briefly take over, the melody becomes very lyrical.

The finale begins with an introduction that creates a sense of expectation, especially as the oboe’s cadenza brings it to an end and the horn sounds a four-measure “call to attention.”  The opening theme to the allegro is then introduced by the violin, at once beautiful and replete with forward motion.

Slightly modified from R.H.R. Silvertrust writing in the Chamber Music Journal