Michael Graham, cello
Miles Graber, piano
Tom Rose, clarinet
Concertpiece No. 2, in F minor, Op. 114……………………….Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Presto ; Andante; Allegretto grazioso (in three movements, performed
Miniature Trios……………………………………………………………………….Paul Juon (1872-1940)
- Rȇverie, Op.18 No. 3
- Humoreske, Op. 18 No. 7
- Elegie, Op. 18, No. 6
- Danse Phantastique, Op. 24 No. 2
Fantasy Trio, Op. 26…………………………………………………..Robert Muczynski (1929-2010)
- Allegro energico
- Andante con espressione
- Allegro deciso
- Introduction and Finale: Andante molto e sostenuto; Allegro
Trio Pathétique…………………………………………………………………Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857)
- Allegro moderato
- Scherzo – Vivacissimo
- Allegro con spirito
Felix Mendelssohn composed two Concertpieces in1833, for the father and son clarinet team, Heinrich and Carl Baermann. His pay for the compositions was a generous serving of the Baermann’s famous steamed dumplings and sweet-cheese strudel. The works were originally scored for solo clarinet, solo Bassett Horn (an early iteration of the modern bass clarinet) and orchestra. The work features the cello and clarinet, although the piano often shares the melody with the others, and introduces the finale movement with a majestic solo line. The pieces have been re-scored for piano and various instruments.
Paul Juon was born in Moscow to Swiss parents. Sergei Rachmaninoff called him “the Russian Brahms”. Juon completed his studies at the Berlin Hoschule for Musik. After teaching in Russia for one year, he returned to the Berlin Hoschule. His main work was teaching music, although he did compose four symphonies, string quartets, numerous chamber music works, and a few concerti for solo instrument and orchestra. Juon was technically Swiss, but musically Russian and European – his music was influenced by Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, and Sibelius. Miniature Trios were taken from a series Juon had composed for piano. He recognized the emotional content of these works could be better expressed by wind and string instruments rather than piano alone. Thus, he rewrote some of them for clarinet, cello, and piano.
Robert Muczynski, Polish-American heritage, was born in Chicago and studied composition with the Russian composer Alexander Tchérepnin at DePaul University, Chicago. He was an accomplished pianist and made his Carnegie Hall debut at 29. His catalogue contains more than 45 works, including orchestral, 17 solo piano works, choral, and chamber music. He was on the music faculty at the University of Arizona, Tucson, until his retirement around 2000. The Fantasy Trio, in four movements, is a brilliant, dynamic work. The first movement is in a minor key and is quite forceful and dramatic. The second movement, in contrast, is sweet and lyrical; it contains a hint of the theme in the work’s finale. The third movement, like the first, is in a minor key and is fast moving. Its center section evolves into challenging rhythmic phrases for the ensemble. The finale theme is very 20th century American in character. Some may hear a similarity to the theme music from the TV show “The Flintstones”.
Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857). Trio Pathetique, in D minor (1832), was composed for clarinet, bassoon and piano, the bassoon part nicely transcribed here for cello. Glinka was labeled the “Father of Russian Music”. However, this work does not evoke Russian character. At the time he wrote the trio, Glinka was studying composition at the Milano Conservatory. While at the Conservatory, the 28 year old came under the influence of Italian opera composers, such as Donizetti and Bellini, which in part explains the character of the piece. There has been conjecture that the term “Pathétique referred to an unrequited romantic attachment. The trio is in four movements, with the first three intended to be played straight through without a break. The trio begins with energy and drama, a character that could certainly evoke the opening of a tragic Italian opera. The third movement, certainly the most operatic of all movements of the work, is virtually an aria, with the solo voice first introduced by the clarinet, then played by the cello. The movement ends with the three instruments joining to “sing” a trio. The brief fourth movement begins with a theme, similar to the opening theme of the work, first stated by the piano alone, and then clarinet and cello, and quickly reaches a dramatic, triumphant conclusion.
The Graham-Graber-Rose Trio, or G-G-R Trio, formed in 2013 and gave its debut performance at Trinity Chamber Concerts. Since then the group has performed at Old First Concerts, Four Seasons Arts Cameo Concerts, NoonTime Concerts and other venues. Because works of major composers for this instrumentation are limited, G-G-R Trio also explores arrangements and lesser known works of various composers, including Mikhail Glinka, Marko Tajčević, Paul Juon, and Mendelssohn.
Michael Graham, cello
Michael Graham has been hailed by the San Francisco Classical Voice for his “almost painfully pretty…expressive richness”, and by the San Jose Mercury News as “super-good”. He studied at the Eastman School of Music and Yale University, where he was a founding member of that institution’s secret chamber music society, Skull and Bows. Mr. Graham is a former member of the Chagall String Quartet, winner of a rural residency grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the San Francisco-based new music group Adorno Ensemble. He is currently a member of the Oakland Symphony, and appears regularly with the Grammy-nominated New Century Chamber Orchestra and other ensembles throughout the Bay Area. Mr. Graham is committed to exploring music within and beyond the classical genre, and has performed and recorded with artists ranging from Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg to John Densmore of the Doors. He can be heard on New Century’s recently released albums “Live” and Together”, and on Van Morrison’s latest recording, “Astral Weeks Live from Hollywood Bowl.”
Miles Graber received his musical training at the Juilliard School, where he studied with Anne Hull, Phyllis Kreuter, and Louise Behrend. He has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1971, where he has developed a wide reputation as an accompanist and collaborative pianist for instrumentalists and singers. He is a member of the chamber groups Trio Concertino, MusicAEterna, and the Sor Ensemble. Mr. Graber has been associated with many ensembles in the bay area including the San Francisco Chamber Soloists, Midsummer Mozart, the Oakland-East Bay Symphony, and the California Symphony. He has accompanied master classes by such artists as Midori, Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg, James Galway and Lynn Harrell.
Clarinetist Tom Rose holds a B.A. from San Francisco State University and a Masters in performance from Mills College, Oakland. He has held the position of Principal Clarinetist with Music in the Mountains Festival, Grass Valley, CA since its founding, in 1982. From 1988 to 2010 he served as Personnel Manager and extra clarinetist for the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Mr. Rose is also an adjunct clarinet teacher at Holy Names University, Oakland. In 2004 he and Miles Graber released their first CD, Music for Clarinet and Piano. The second CD in this series was released in January 2016. Rose has been a performing artist at the Yachats Music Festival, in Yachats, Oregon since 2014. He is the founding member of the chamber music group Trio Brillante (Clarinet, Viola and Piano) in 2009.
WEDNESDAY NOON CONCERTS
As part of our belief, that the transformative power of the arts inspires and enriches community, we have opened our doors for the past two years, every Wednesday at Noon, and presented concerts performed by talented musicians that are free of charge to the public. These free noon performances offer listeners the opportunity to discover the beauty of music in an intimate accessible setting, while providing the community with cultural enrichment and exposure to talented performers.
Concerts are in a one-hour format and performances take place in the intimate Tivoli or Crescendo where both audience and musicians can sit in vibrant, close proximity. Musicians often stay after the performance to informally speak about the program and their upcoming concerts.