Williams Chamber Players
Featured in the program is the String Sextet in D Minor “Souvenir de Florence”, op. 70 composed in 1890 by Tchaikovsky. His musical memories of Florence were begun during a trip to that city. Ever true to his native country, his taste of Italy has an exotically Russian flavor to it.
The Piano Trio by Rebecca Clarke is one of the few works actually published by this fascinating and greatly talented woman. Born in England in 1886 of a German mother and an English father, she became a professional musician overcoming many of the obstacles of the age both as a performer and composer. Some of these obstacles, such as getting published, have to this day kept many of her works from becoming known to the general public. The Trio is a happy exception. In 1921 the Trio was a runner up in a competition at the Berkshire Festival of Chamber Music, an interesting local connection.
The 2 Duos for violin and viola K. 423 is an interesting work indeed (as well as K. 424), , pleasing musically as they are in the story of their origin. Of the few duets that Mozart produced, these came about when Mozart gallantly stepped in to help his friend, Michael Haydn (brother of Joseph), who was unable to finish a commission because of illness. Among Mozart’s talents was an ability to mimic the nuances of other composers, which allowed him to create these two works to match the four already complete by Haydn, winning the approval of his patron, the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. That the Archbishop was an old nemesis of Mozart, and that he had been fooled by Mozart’s deception was no doubt of some pleasure to the great composer.
Performing are Joana Genova, Joanna Kurkowicz (violin); Scott Woolweaver, Stefanie Taylor (viola); Nathaniel Parke, Ronald Feldman (cello); and Elizabeth Wright (piano).
The Williams Chamber Players is a resident chamber ensemble, founded at Williams College in 1999. It’s purpose is to present concerts for the college and community throughout the academic year. Antecedents of the Williams Chamber Players are The Williams Trio, founded in 1970, and the Group for 20th Century Music, founded in 1989. Repertoire for concerts is drawn from the standard chamber music repertoire with special attention to music of the 20th and 21st centuries, and to music by Williams composers. Musicians are normally drawn from the ranks of Artists-in-Residence, Studio Instructors, and other faculty, as well as occasional visiting artists.