This preview has been provided by St. Stephen’s Concert Series.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Durham will be the venue for a program of piano trios by Haydn, Ives, and Schubert. Taking place at 4:00PM on Sunday,  November 29, the concert will bring together the brilliant 20-year old pianist, Alexander Beyer with two founding members of the celebrated Borromeo String Quartet, namely, violinist, Nicholas Kitchen and cellist, Yeesun Kim.  A half hour Pre-Concert Discussion will take place at 3:00 pm.  The concert is part of the 2015-2016 season of the St. Stephen’s Concert Series.

Appearances of the Kim-Kitchen-Beyer trio in previous seasons  has prompted these responses from CVNC reviewers:

The three players were clearly of one interpretive mind.  Theirs was a full-throated reading, muscular and vibrant, assertive and highly musical … another grand day at St. Stephen’s.  Patrick Taggart

The inspired intensity of the players swept the listener along on waves of melody.  These artists ought to consider issuing this program on a compact disc.  William Walker

The concert will open with a buoyant and sparkling piano trio by Haydn — his last one (No. 45) — and will close with Schubert’s Piano Trio in E-flat, Op. 100, a masterpiece written one year before Schubert’s early death.  Between these two European works will come a bit of Americana, the Piano Trio of Charles Ives (1874-1954).

Considered by some to be the greatest American composer, Ives was a highly successful insurance executive, who had been captain of the baseball and football teams at Danbury High School — a Yankee whose music was years ahead of its time and drew inspiration from the village bands, town-meetings, church camps, and Emersonian transcendentalism he experienced growing up.  

Concerning his Piano Trio Ives wrote the following:

The Trio was, in a general way, a reflection or impression of …. college days on the Campus [of Yale], now 50 years ago.  The first movement recalled a rather short but serious talk … by a professor of Philosophy, the second, the games and antics by the students … on a Holiday afternoon and some of the tunes and songs of those days were suggested in this movement, sometimes in a rough way.  The last movement was partly a remembrance of a Sunday service on the Campus … which ended near the “Rock of Ages.”

Like many of Ives’ works, the Piano Trio quotes a number of songs, including the hymn “Rock of Ages,” heard very touchingly at the very end of the piece.  The middle movement of the trio is marked:  TSIAJ – presto.  Need a translation?  Here it is:  “This Scherzo Is A Joke.”  In this movement Ives takes great delight in quoting no fewer than eight songs, including “The Campbells Are Comin,” “My Old Kentucky Home,” and  “Ta-ra-ra-Boom-de-ay.”  

Tickets ($25) will be available at the door.  Admission is free for those eighteen or under.  The church is located at 82 Kimberly Drive, Durham, NC 27707.