Important North American Premiere at the Chamber Music Festival

Chausson’s most beloved work in a chamber music setting!

The 2014 Music Festival, already slated to be a venerable feast of new and traditionally loved masterpieces is proud to be the site of an important North American premiere. On August 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm to close the program dubbed Aprés Midi, the festival presents the Chausson Poéme in its rarely heard guise – a piano sextet version. The genesis of the Poéme was catalyzed by the great Belgian violin virtuoso Eugène Ysaÿe, who asked Chausson to compose a violin concerto. Chausson felt overwhelmed by the request, countering with a shorter work which Ysaÿe championed. It was commenced in April 1896 and was written while Chausson was holidaying in Florence, Italy. He wrote three different versions of Poème: with orchestra; with piano accompaniment (later rewritten); and a recently discovered version for violin, string quartet and piano, a companion to his Concert in D for piano, violin and string quartet, Op. 21 (1892). The arrangement of the manuscript for the piano sextet was reconstructed by Jason Calloway, noted cellist of the Amernet String Quartet. Violinist Gary Levinson who helped reconstruct the work comments, “The Poeme is a work of mystical beauty loosely based upon Turgenev’s 1881 novella The Song of Love Triumphant. All. my life I have had an admiration for Ysaÿe, bred from summers studying with the legendary Josef Gingold, so when I got the opportunity to perform the Poéme in its less familiar setting of piano sextet, I jumped at the opportunity. Identification with Turgenev’s novella invokes my Russian roots, plus my love for the art of Ysaÿe make me look forward to this very special occasion.”

“I’m very excited about our Festival’s 10th Anniversary. There is a lot to celebrate this year. The North American premiere of Chausson’s Poem newly arranged and performed by the Festival’s artist and excellent violinist Gary Levinson together with wonderful artists the Lafayette String Quartet and pianist Baya Kakouberi. Also, the Lafayette String Quartet and I have recently issued a new CD. On this recording we feature “In A World Of Motion And Distance”, the newly-commissioned piano quintet by the well-known Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy which will receive its world premiere on Thursday, August 14th at 7:30 pm as part of the Sound Impressions concert.” Alexander Tselyakov, Artistic Director the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival.