• Steve Ambler

Hudson Chamber Music Series Winter Concert


Laurence Kayaleh (left) and Elizabeth Dolin will be performing in Hudson this Sunday, February 16.

The Hudson Chamber Music Series will be presenting the third of four concerts in their 37th season this Sunday, February 16 at 4 p.m. in St. James Church Hall, 642 Main Road in Hudson. It features a return performance by Elizabeth Dolin (cello) who will be joined by Laurence Kayaleh (violin). They will perform works by J.S. Bach, Reinhold Glière and Zoltán Kodály.

Since her Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1985, Elizabeth Dolin has been recognized as one of Canada’s finest cellists, in demand as a recitalist and chamber musician throughout Canada and the United States and as a soloist with major Canadian orchestras. An active member of Montreal’s chamber music scene, she is Assistant Professor of Cello at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, and Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.

Laurence Kayaleh has performed as guest soloist with many distinguished orchestras: the Zurich Tonhalle, the Russian National Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the MSO, and many others. She has recorded the complete works for violin and piano by Nikolai Medtner, Arthur Honegger, and Georgy Catoire. She plays a magnificent 1742 Pietro Guarneri which belonged to the eminent violinist and pedagogue, Carl Flesch.

Performances by both musicians can be found on YouTube.

The first half of the program is devoted to excerpts from Bach’s works for solo violin and solo cello. Foundational works for their respective instruments, they have a similar history. They were not published until decades after his death, and the first complete recordings were not made until the 1930s (by Yehudi Menuhin and Pablo Casals). Arkiv Music now lists well over 100 recordings of each set of works.

Elizabeth will play the first three movements of the Suite No. 1 for solo cello. The Prelude is without doubt the best known movement from the entire set of suites and is often heard on television and in films. Laurence will play the Chaconne from the Partita No. 2 in D minor. As famous as the Prelude from the cello suite, it is a complex work consisting of a theme and an elaborate series of variations. It has been transcribed for a wide range of solo instruments and also (by Leopold Stokowski) for full symphony orchestra.

After the interval the duo will perform two works from the (limited) repertoire for violin and cello duo.

Reinhold Glière (1875-1956) spent his entire career in the Russian empire and the Soviet Union except for four years of study in Berlin. He composed his Eight Pieces for violin and cello Op. 39 in 1909, just after returning to Moscow to take up a teaching position. This might give the impression that they were written for teaching purposes, but from the first notes they show his mastery of small forms in a style which combines Russian national harmonies with Impressionism.

Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967) studied in Berlin and also in Paris where he encountered the music of Debussy. With fellow student Béla Bartók, he published a collection of Hungarian folk songs in 1906. His Duo Op. 7 was composed in 1914 shortly after another folk-song collecting trip with Bartók. It bears the stamp of Hungarian folk melodies within a classical structure, with just a hint of Impressionism.

The Hudson Chamber Music Series is dedicated to bringing world-class chamber music to Hudson at affordable prices. Individual tickets will be available at the door ($25, $20 for seniors, $15 for students). More detailed bios of our musicians can be found at www.hudsonchambermusic.ca/.