Feb. 21, 2008
Matisse Trio performs gypsy/folk themed concert March 4
The Matisse Trio, a faculty ensemble from the University of Iowa School of Music, will play the music of Haydn, Dvorak and Spanish composer Joaquin Turina during a free concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
The trio -- Katie Wolfe, violin; Anthony Arnone, cello; and Ksenia Nosikova, piano -- gave their debut concert March 1, 2005. Since then they have returned every year for a concert in the first week of March, making this year's performance their fourth annual appearance on campus.
The trio has also performed around the country -- in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa and Hawaii. Dedicated teachers, the trio also gives clinics and master classes to college and high school students.
The three works on the March 4 program will the Haydn's Trio in G major, H XV:25, known as the "Gypsy Rondo" Trio; the First Piano Trio, op. 35, by Turina; and Dvorak's popular "Dumky" Trio, op. 90.
"This is one of our favorite programs we have played together," Arnone said. "There seems to be a gypsy/folk theme to the program that was rather unintentional. The Turina was an unknown piece to the three of us that we have really fallen for, and the Dvorak is full of wonderful folk melodies."
During the classical period, the piano trio was generally written for performance by, and sale to, musical amateurs. Since the string instruments do not often stand alone, these works were often referred to as sonatas for piano with accompaniment by violin and cello, as is the case with Haydn's trios.
The Trio in G major was written in 1795 during Haydn's second extended visit to London. Easily the best known of his trios, it is subtitled "Gypsy Rondo" because of its finale, "Rondo in the Hungarian (i.e. Gypsy) Style".
One of the most prominent Spanish composers of the early 20th century, Turina was born into a cultured middle class family in Seville. He was identified as a musical prodigy and started formal studies before his 12th birthday. While later studying in Paris, he became friends with his Spanish contemporaries Isaac Albeniz and Manual de Falla.
With Albeniz's encouragement he became more interested in Spanish popular music as a source of inspiration. After 1914 he played an important part in the musical scene in Madrid, as composer, performer and teacher.
The trio, first performed in 1927, features the usual three movements, but organized in an unusual way. The first movement the composer described as "unbelievably difficult technically. It is a prelude and fugue, the latter in reversed sequence." The second movement is a theme followed by variations representing dances from five different regions of Spain. The third movement brings back the theme from the fugue.
The "Dumky" Trio is the last and most popular of Dvorak's piano trios. Taken from the Ukrainian language, "Dumky" is a plural word that refers to epic ballads that are made up of separate sections known as "Dumka." It has been used in concert music to describe a piece of instrumental music that, instead of traditional movements, has several sections that alternate suddenly between melancholy and joyful moods.
Dvorak's Trio has six movements, each of which is a "Dumka"; thus the composition as a whole has been known as "Dumky." It was written shortly before Dvorak's trip to America and first performed with the composer as pianist April 11, 1891, in Prague.
Originally from Minnesota, Wolfe joined the string faculty of the UI School of Music in August 2004. She has had a diverse career as a soloist, teacher, chamber and orchestral musician on the national and international stage. For more information, see http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/STRGwolfe.htm.
A founding member of the Meriden Trio and the Sedgwick String Quartet, Arnone was principal cellist of the Madison Symphony in Wisconsin, 1996-2001. He has taught and performed across the country, and he joined the UI music faculty in 2001. For more information, see http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/STRGarnone.htm.
Nosikova, who joined the UI faculty in 1998, has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe and South America. She has been invited to perform at international festivals in Munster, France; Rimini, Italy; and Rovin, Yugoslavia; as well as the Aspen and Sarasota Music Festivals in the United States. In 2006 she was named a Steinway artist. For more information, see: http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/PIANOnosikova.htm.
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Visit the UI School of Music Web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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