• Steve Ambler

Yegor Dyachkov and Jean Saulnier


PHOTO COURTESY STEVE AMBLER

Yegor Dyachkov and Jean Saulnier will grace the stage at the fourth and final concert of the Hudson Chamber Music Series.

The fourth and final concert of the 33rd season of the Hudson Chamber Music Series will take place March 6, 4 p.m. in St. James Church Hall, 642 Main Road, Hudson. Cellist Yegor Dyachkov and pianist Jean Saulnier will present a programme of works by Brahms, Dvorak, Janacek, Martinú and Schumann.

Yegor Dyachkov was named Artist of the Year by the CBC in 2000. He has performed throughout Europe, Latin America, Asia, Canada and the United States, debuting at Lincoln Center in October 2000, appearing with major orchestras in Antwerp, Geneva, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto and Vancouver and at numerous international festivals. Yegor is a champion of new music: Jacques Hétu, André Prévost and others have dedicated works to him.

Jean Saulnier is an active recitalist, chamber musician and teacher. He is the recipient of numerous prizes in national and international competitions, including the William Kapell International Competition, the Prix d’Europe and the Leschetizky Competition. A guest soloist with the MSO, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Rochester Philharmonic and I Musici de Montréal, he is frequently heard in Canadian music festivals and on the CBC.

Both musicians have extensive discographies. They are long-time collaborators on and off the stage and have recorded together on the Analekta label, including an album of works by Prokofiev and Stravinsky and a highly acclaimed disc featuring the complete sonatas for cello and piano by Brahms (the last of which is on Sunday's programme).

Sunday's programme is quintessentially Romantic. The main work is Brahm's second Sonata for cello and piano in F Major Opus 99. Brahms published the work in 1887, two years after the premiere of his Fourth Symphony and therefore definitely belonging to his late style. It is a four-movement work lasting almost a half hour. The first movement is exuberant, with a subdued and tense recapitulation. The slow movement is one of Brahms' most tender and intimate. The scherzo is passionate and fiery, with a demanding piano part and complex rhythmic ambiguities. The rondo finale is an example of Brahms' late penchant for brief closing movements after relatively expansive middle movements. It is witty with a joyous ending.

The programme is rounded out by a series of shorter pieces often based on folk music, ranging in chronological order from the Fünf Stücke im Volkston opus 102 by Robert Schumann to the Variations on a Slovak Theme by Bohuslav Martinú. Schumann's Fünf Stücke were published in 1851, towards the end of his life. They are sunny, mellow pieces full of imagination and Romanticism. Two works by Antonin Dvorak are featured, his Waldesruhe (Silent Woods) opus 68 number 5 and his Romantic Piece opus 78 number 4. Leos Janacek's Prohádka recreates scenes from a Russian fairy tale. Martinú's Variations were written in the last year of his life (1959) and explore to the limits the musical possibilities of a Slovak folk song.

As usual, patrons will be able to discuss the music with the artists over a glass of wine after the concert. Albums by the artists will be available for purchase. Tickets will be available at the door for $25 (seniors and students $20, children under 14 free). For more information phone (450) 458-4088 or (450) 458-5107.

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