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KYLE RIVERA Black Body Collage (World Premiere, AMFS commission)
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Trio No. 1 in F major, op. 18
DVOŘÁK Piano Trio, B. 166, op. 90, “Dumky”
AMFS artist-faculty, all top musicians from renowned orchestras, opera companies, and conservatories, come together to play their favorite chamber music works. Always a joyful and creative 75 minutes of music-making.
Two brilliant 19th-century piano trios and a new work by American composer Kyle Rivera make up this dynamic program. Rivera often draws upon his Caribbean heritage and the diverse cultural environment in which he grew up to craft his soundscapes.
At 28, Saint-Saëns had just failed to win the prestigious Prix de Rome for the second time That same year, he composed his first piano trio, dedicating it to a Parisian toll-collector who was to be a witness at his wedding. The trio was his first really successful work, and the earliest that is still played regularly today. It’s possible that it was inspired by a holiday in the Pyrenees, and there’s a definite outdoorsy quality to the first movement’s principal theme. With its melodic richness, instrumental balance, and wit, it’s no wonder that Ravel studied this score when writing his own piano trio.
Twenty-eight years after Saint-Saëns composed his first piano trio, Dvorak wrote his fourth and final work in the genre, right before his famous trip to the United States. The word dumky is plural for dumka, a Czech and Ukrainian term that means ballad, elegy, or lament. It led to a musical style of single-movement pieces that abruptly shift from slow, somber melancholy sections to fast, wild exuberant ones. Dvorak’s trio consists of six dumky, full of rhythmic vitality, color, and Bohemian folk melodies. Listening to this gorgeous piece, you’ll understand why it’s one of the most popular in the entire chamber music repertoire.