• Steve Ambler

Hudson Chamber Music Series welcomes Mauro Bertoli and Paul Marleyn


Cello and piano are on the musical menu at the next concert of the Hudson Chamber Music series from the early Romantic period to Argentine tango.

The 37th season of the Hudson Chamber Music Series kicks off this Sunday at 4 p.m. in St. James Church Hall, 642 Main Road, with a recital by pianist Mauro Bertoli and cellist Paul Marleyn. They will play works written or arranged for cello and piano ranging from the early Romantic period to Argentine tango.

Mauro Bertoli was born in Brescia, Italy, and currently resides in Ottawa. He has enjoyed an illustrious career as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Among his many prizes and awards, he won the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize and, in 2006, the prestigious Giuseppe Sinopoli award (presented personally by the president of the Italian Republic). He has recorded six albums as a solo recitalist, an album of works for violin and piano duo with Lucia Cooreman Luque, and an album of sonatas for cello and piano with Paul Marleyn. Mauro is currently musician-in-residence at Carleton University. For more information, see maurobertoli.com.

Paul Marleyn is a graduate the Royal Academy of Music, the New England Conservatory, and Yale. In 1994, Paul was elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. He has appeared as a soloist with the London Philharmonia, the Belgrade Philharmonic, the European Chamber Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and many other ensembles. Since 2000 he has been the artistic director of Winnipeg’s Agassiz Chamber Music Festival and since 2011 of the International Cello Festival of Canada. He has recorded with United Records, CALA, ATMA, Signum Classics, CBC and RCA Victor. Paul is currently a full professor and Head of Strings at the University of Ottawa. His personal web site is at paulmarleyn.com.

The duo will be presenting a thematic programme based on Plato’s four elements from the Timaeus. Air and Earth make up the first half. Air is represented by Alexander Glazunov’s Chant du Ménestrel and Ottorino Respighi’s Adagio con Variazioni. Earth is represented by Edvard Grieg’s Sonata for cello and piano Op. 36. Grieg wrote only five sonatas for one or two instruments, and the Cello Sonata is one of only two mature works in the genre. It is a very Romantic work, ranging in emotion from stormy to warm and lyrical to the dark-hued dance of the last movement.

After the intermission, an arrangement of The Swan from Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns and Arvo Pärt’s meditative Spiegel im Spiegel make up the Water section. Fire ends the programme, with Frédéric Chopin’s Introduction and Polonaise Brillante in C major cello and piano Op. 3 and Astor Piazzolla’s Grand Tango for cello and piano. These last two works are the earliest (1831) and most recent (1982) on the programme. There is no Chopin composition that does not involve the piano, but the cello is the only other instrument for which he wrote any significant music. Piazzolla took the classic Argentine tango and expanded on its form, introducing an edgier sound and more complex harmonies. He wrote the Grand Tango for famed Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.

St. James Hall has an unparalleled view of the Lake of Two Mountains and acoustics that have attracted the attention of CBC Radio, which has recorded several concerts there. Season tickets are available for $75 for four concerts ($55 for seniors). Individual tickets are available at the door ($25, $20 for seniors). More detailed bios of the performers can be found at hudsonchambermusic.ca.