A Bridge to the New World

How American composers reinvented classical music and made it their own

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Transcendence

October 16, 2022 - 2pm

“...very touching and directly affecting. Anyone who thinks that modern American composers do not write music that, without condescending to any sloppy emotions, goes straight to the heart should listen to this work.” Noted author and critic Robert R. Reilly wrote the foregoing about Daron Hagen’s Trio No.3, the soulful and moving Wayfaring Stranger, written for his brother. Similarly evocative and beautiful themes are also central to Circulo by Spanish composer Joaquin Turina, which opens the concert with a metaphysical depiction of the daily cycle -sunrise, midday, and dusk. Contrasts of light and shade color the work in a Spanish idiomatic style. The program concludes with Mendelssohn’s much-loved first trio in D minor in all its satisfying brilliance and passion.

Special pre-concert talk at 1:30 pm with
NEPM’s John Nowacki.

Circulo, Fantasy for piano, violin, and cello, op.91
Joaquin Turina

Piano Trio No. 3, Wayfaring Stranger
Daron Hagen

Trio No.1 in D minor, op. 49
Felix Mendelssohn

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Exoticism and Melodicism

January 15, 2023 - 2pm

The two American compositions listed on this program could hardly be more divergent. Alan Hovhaness’ trio “Varuna” is a mesmerizing and mystical romance with the ancient Indian god linked with the moon, “shining with a somber light”. Varuna also reveals Hovhaness’ deep interest in the motifs and techniques of Asian musical forms. In contrast, Lowell Liebermann’s impressive first trio develops long, flowing melodies and vigorous rhythmic pulses in a crowd-pleasing neo-romantic style…all in a single movement! Lieberman is a virtuoso pianist and frequently performs the works of, and is inspired by, Ludwig van Beethoven (another virtuoso pianist). Beethoven’s witty and charming first Trio Op.1, No.1 was written when he was still a young, rising, and fashionable man-about-town in Vienna who was already adored by many patrons.

Varuna, Trio for violin, cello, and piano, op.264, No.2
Alan Hovhaness

Trio No. 1 for violin, cello, and piano, op.32
Lowell Liebermann

Trio, Op. 1, No.1 in E flat major
Ludwig van Beethoven

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Self-Invention

March 19, 2023 - 2pm

In the best American tradition of the self-made person, Amy Marcy Beach was largely self-taught. Nevertheless, she successfully composed large-scale works, and was in-demand as both a pianist and composer overseas. Composed in 1938, her Piano Trio in A minor, Op.150 reflects her evolution musically as well as culturally, in an enduring work that incorporates Native American and Ragtime influences along with classical structure. Maurice Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello is dedicated to the memory of Debussy. Its fascinating yet spare quality engages the listener as the composer explores the relationship between the two instruments in a compelling, contrapuntal manner. Franz Schubert followed Beethoven in greatness and universal admiration and, in his last year, gave us this sunny masterpiece. As Robert Schumann remarked, “One glance at Schubert’s Trio and the troubles of our human existence disappear and all the world is fresh and bright again.

Sonata for Violin and Cello
Maurice Ravel

Trio, op. 150
Amy Marcy Beach

Trio in B flat major, op.99
Franz Schubert

St John Nave

All concerts are held Sunday afternoons at 2pm at St John's Episcopal Church, 679 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, Connecticut. Plenty of free and secure parking, with easy access to I-84.Please join us at the reception that will follow each concert.

New World Trio is Ensemble-in-Residence at St John’s Episcopal Church. In keeping with its mission to serve all, St John’s does not sell admission tickets as such; in lieu of ticket sales, a suggested voluntary donation to New World Trio of $20 can be made either at the door or in advance. For those patrons who do wish to donate in advance, a special seating section at the front of the sanctuary will be cordoned off for advance donors and full-season donors. The suggested full-season donation is $50 [checks made out to New World Trio]. NWT will acknowledge your advance donation and any additional donations by mail. For more information call 860 586-8579 or email: newworldtrio@outlook.com.