August 2005

2005 Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival
Hindemith and Humour
by Stanley Fefferman

We photographed flautist Joanna G’froerer and violist Rainer Moog performing in the first of a series devoted to the chamber music of Paul Hindemith (1895-1963).

The first piece, a quintet entitled Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24, No. 2 (1922), was played exactly as it should be to bring out the it’s Mozartean beauty––a blend of innocence, sophistication, and roguery. The Sonata for Violin and Piano in E major that followed, was written 13 years later, during the rise of Hitler. As played by Stephen Sitarski with Peter Longworth at the piano, the piece has a very hardened tone, especially the violin part in the slow second movement. By contrast, the Sonata for Viola and Piano in F major, Op. 11, No. 4 (1919), as interpreted by Rainer Moog with Peter Longworth is lovely, youthful, romantic. There is wild energy in it, reflecting the advent of the roaring twenties, a mood that is emphasized by references to cabaret music of the period.

The final piece fits in with the comic bent of this day at the Ottawa Festival. The title tells it almost all: Overture to “The Flying Dutchman” as played at Sight by a Second-Rate Concert Orchestra at the Village Well at 7 o’clock in the Morning. What else you have to know about the performance can be gleaned from the accompanying photographs of the mugging of violist Aaron Au.

Comedy in a concentrated dose culminates in the traditional P.D.Q Bach concert concocted by Peter Schickele. One of his (P.D.Q’s) titles should suffice to give you his parodic bent: Fuga Meshuga from The Musical Sacrifice, S. 50% off, Schlepped out of obscurity by Professor Peter Schikele. Let a photograph replace the thousand words needed to describe the whole event. Here are pianists Robert Cram and Paul Steward fighting for space on a single bench while performing Schickele’s four-handed Sonata Piccolo.

Joanna G’froerer

Rainer Moog

Aaron Au

Robert Cram and Paul Steward
We welcome your comments and feedback
• • • • • •
Stanley Fefferman
• •
for The Live Music Report

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