Notes For Tonight’s Performance

Going over some research for tonight, I wanted to share some of the things I discovered. We’re performing three French pieces, the trio by Debussy which you can read about in the previous blog post, one by Massenet, and one by a composer named Armas Jarnefelt (1869 -1958). He’s new to me so I’m excited to get to know his music. He was a Finnish composer and conductor who lead several opera companies and was the brother-in-law of Sibelius (who is of great interest to all us violin fans). The piece we’re playing tonight is Jarnefelt’s “Berceuse” (“Lullaby”). It’s a short, single-movement work with rather dark harmonies and a short, lighter middle section. It’s simplicity is refreshing. I feel this piece has the potential to be a doorway to new explorations for me personally. New pieces do that. The other single-movement work we’re doing is the famous “Meditation” by Jules Massenet (1842 – 1912) who, surprisingly enough, Jarnefelt studied with in Paris. The “Meditation” is taken from Massenet’s opera “Thais” and depicts very vividly the inner journey of the character who gives the opera it’s name. It’s actually a beautiful story, so I’ll tell it to you. There is a lovely woman named “Thais” living in Rome, the most beautiful woman of that city. She lives a completely worldly, sensual lifestyle. Well a monk in the country side hears of her and decides to go speak with her with the intention of bringing about her conversion. He succeeds, but in the process falls in love with her. The “Meditation” is the musical depiction of her conversion. Well as so many operas go you can guess at the end of the story but it makes for fantastic music! So I hope to see you in Arcadia tonight, otherwise you’re invited to stay “tuned” and keep watch for videos and more upcoming performances. Cheers and enjoy the glistening spring sunshine! I’ll be out by the pool.

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