American Landscape


Jackson Berkey
EARTH VOICES for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano (1994)

Rick Sowash
ANECDOTES AND REFLECTIONS for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano (1988)

Antonín Dvorák
TRIO (Dumky) in E Minor for Violin, Cello and Piano, Op. 90


March 13, 2016 7:00 PM
First Baptist Church of Geneva
2300 South St., Geneva IL
March 20, 2016 7:30 PM
Music Institute of Chicago Nichols Hall
1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston IL
March 23, 2016 7:30 PM
PianoForte Studios
1335 South Michigan Ave., Chicago IL

Program Notes

After premiering Jackson Berkey's "Homage to Percy Bysshe Shelley'' for the season's opening concert program in the fall, Orion performs his "Earth Voices" for clarinet, violin, cello and piano (1994), a work of haunting beauty and swaying rhythms, tantalizing the listener with mystical utterances. Berkey originally composed the piece as a song cycle for soprano, clarinet, cello and piano, then reworked it as an instrumental chamber piece, which he dedicated to The Orion Ensemble. "Earth Voices" strives to express in sound the beauties of nature and Mother Earth using the nuanced tones of each instrument.

Rick Sowash's "Anecdotes and Reflections: A Portrait of America" for clarinet, violin, cello and piano (1988-89) is a work of pointed rhythms and fanciful melodies, with a masterful blending of the four instruments. Orion performs four movements from this work that run the gamut of musical influences, from spirituals to Sousa-style marches, from Dixieland to Eastern European/Klezmer music.

One of Dvořák's finest chamber works, his Trio in E Minor, Op. 90 for violin, cello and piano (Dumky) was written in 1891 and featured in his 40-concert farewell tour before he took over leadership of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York City. In classical works, the term "Dumky" means music that traverses many emotional expressions; from triumphant to melancholy, the music can change in an instant. In the opening of this work, cello and piano play a mystical duet, giving way to a yearning violin solo that in turn begins a round between the players as we are then swept away to the equally enchanting main theme.undefined