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Essex Piano Trio | Classical
July 9 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm$18.00
The Essex Piano Trio will explore The Sounds of Vienna – Then and Now in its signature “Conversation among Friends” manner, which in this case resembles a musical meal of a “main course” surrounded by lighter “salad and dessert” courses. Franz Schubert’s four-movement Piano Trio in B flat major, op. 99 (1827-28) forms the centerpiece of the program. Modeled on the trios of his idol Ludwig van Beethoven, this work shows him to be a master of the genre with its gorgeous melodies, thematic and formal unity, and unique conversational relationship among the three instruments. Composer/critic Robert Schumann said, “With one glance at Schubert’s Trio, the troubles of our human existence disappear, and all the world is fresh and bright again.”
Surrounding the Schubert are shorter pieces by his predecessors on the Viennese musical scene juxtaposed with complementary works from the modern era. The program begins with the “Allegro” from W.A. Mozart’s sparkling Piano Trio in B flat (1786) paired with the 1992 re-imagining of a Mozart-Adagio by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt followed by the rollicking “Presto Finale,” filled with little surprises perhaps in homage to Haydn, from Beethoven’s second Piano Trio (1795). “Dessert” is a cheerful grouping of the satirical “Introduction” from American composer William Bolcom’s Haydn Go Seek (2009) followed without pause by Josef Haydn’s famous “Gypsy Rondo” (1766).
A native New Englander, violinist Ashley Offret is a full-time freelance musician in the greater Boston area. She completed undergraduate studies at the University of Maine in violin performance followed by a masters degree in music history from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and has performed throughout much of the US and Italy.
Beverly Soll holds degrees in piano from the University of Illinois and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland. She has been a faculty member at the State University of New York-Geneseo, George Mason University, and Wayne State College in Nebraska. Performing as both soloist and collaborator throughout the U.S. and in Germany, her work has been described by the Washington Post as “beautifully atmospheric” and “very dramatic.” Scholarly publications include articles on Aaron Copland and Max Reger, a collection of arias from the operas of African American composer William Grant Still, and a 2005 book on Still’s operas, I Dream a World. Actively involved as a member and officer of the College Music Society, she has presented papers and performances on topics ranging from art song, contemporary solo piano music, and African American studies at many regional, national, and international CMS conferences. Dr. Soll is a member of the music faculty at Salem State University, where her very popular “History of Women in Music” course explores the history of and celebrates the breaking down of ethnic and gender barriers in music.
Soll also works throughout coastal Massachusetts as a freelance pianist, coach, and teacher. Presentation of purposeful, thematic programs with one or more singers and with instrumentalists continues to be a hallmark of her work as a collaborative pianist, including five seasons as the founding director of the Boston Singers Resource Recital Series.
As pianist and curator of programming for the Essex Piano Trio (established in 2017), she and colleagues Ashley Offret, violin, and Dave Cabral, cello, have adapted a signature “Conversation among Friends” concert format to encourage audience-friendly accessibility to excellent chamber music and to explore the full gamut of works by well-known and less well-known composers, male and female, of this beautiful genre.