Russian Passion


Anton Arensky
STRING QUARTET in A Minor for Violin, Viola and 2 Cellos, Op. 25

Carl Frühling
TRIO in A Minor for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Op. 40

Gaspar Cassadó
PIANO TRIO in C Major (1926)

Ian Maksin
Original compositions inspired by Tango Nuevo, blues and Eastern European folk music


November 11, 2018 7:00 PM
First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn
535 Forest Ave., Glen Ellyn IL
November 14, 2018 7:30 PM
PianoForte Studios
1335 South Michigan Ave., Chicago IL
November 18, 2018 7:30 PM
Music Institute of Chicago Nichols Hall
1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston IL


Program Notes

One of the most versatile cellists of his generation, Maksin performs as a soloist with orchestras worldwide. “What’s exciting about Maksin’s work is that he works across so many genres, collaborating with classical hard-hitters like Andrea Bocelli as well as Gloria Estefan, Snoop Dogg and Sting.” Chicagoist

The program

Russian-born, Chicago-based cellist and composer Ian Maksin returns to Chicago as part of an extensive worldwide tour in 2018. His latest album Zaria features folk music from Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Belarus and Macedonia; Maksin's original compositions inspired by tango, flamenco, Balkan music, shamanic rhythms and slavic pagan chants; and his tributes to music of Jacques Brel, Bill Withers and Russian rock star Boris Grebenshchikov. On Orion's concert program, he performs original compositions inspired by Tango Nuevo (a modern interpretation of the tango), blues, jazz, flamenco, Middle Eastern and Eastern European folk music.

Maksin also joins Orion cellist Judy Stone and other Ensemble members on Arensky's String Quartet in A minor, Op. 35. Although he is almost completely unknown in the United States, Arensky (1861-1906) is considered in Russia to be among the most illustrious Russian composers. The unusual use of two cellos adds to the intense darkness of this work. Written only months following Tchaikovsky's death, this work features contrasts of mood and tonal colorations.

The Trio in A minor by Carl Frühling (1868-1937) features radiant moments from the clarinet and gentle musings from the piano. However, the mystical longings expressed in this trio are akin to Arensky. Born in Ukraine, Frühling was a gifted pianist whose works are known for their lyrical qualities.

Gaspar Cassadó (1897-1966) was a cellist and composer born in Barcelona. When Cassadó was nine, Pablo Casals heard him play in a recital and offered to instruct the young cellist. The Piano Trio in C Major, which Cassadó composed in 1926, features the rhythmic passions that are typical of Spanish composers, as well as many tonal contrasts, exotic and unexpected changes of tempo and dynamics and a great variety of emotional heights and depths.