On Friday, September 28, The UPEI Recital Series presents “A Treasure of Trios” featuring members of the Island Camerata Players: Morgan Saulnier, flute; Natalie Williams Calhoun, cello; and Frances Gray, piano. The performance will take place in UPEI’s Dr. Steel Recital Hall at 7:30 pm. The trio will perform again on Sunday, September 30 at the Trinity United Church in Summerside, beginning at 3 pm.
The repertoire for this combination of three instruments includes an early work by a 13-year-old Ludwig van Beethoven which challenges the virtuosity of the players in its dazzling figurations and tour de force variations taken up by each instrument in turn. The second work entitled “Aquarelles” by French composer Gaubert depicts three watercolours, the first suggesting a clear morning with ever-rippling arpeggios on the piano, perhaps reflecting sunlight on water, the second more tenderly evoking an evening in autumn, and the third conjuring up a serenade with a distinct Spanish flavor. The final work before intermission is a cheerful trio by the Czech composer, Martinu, who wrote this in the United States shortly after fleeing Europe during the Second World War. The slow movement, in contrast to the other ones, is more reflective with perhaps a hint of nostalgia for his homeland.
The second half of the program opens with a transcription of the beautiful and beloved impressionistic symphonic poem “Afternoon of a Faun” by Claude Debussy. The concert comes to a close with a brilliant trio by early Romantic German composer, Carl Maria von Weber, who is perhaps best known for his influential operas.
This program gives the audience a rare opportunity to hear music composed or arranged for this particular ensemble. Saulnier is a versatile flutist who teaches the flute majors at UPEI and runs her own busy music studio. Calhoun is a respected teacher of strings and adjudicates for the Royal Conservatory of Toronto in addition to her role as administrator of the PEI Symphony. Gray has had a long association with UPEI as professor of piano and music theory. All three musicians perform in the PEI Symphony Orchestra. The players have been well-received on a number of occasions as a group and now come together for another great evening of chamber music.
Tickets are available at the door beginning at 7 pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. The Dr. Steel Recital Hall is wheel-chair accessible. For more information, please call (902) 566-0507. Tickets will be available at the door at 2:30 pm for Sunday’s concert at Trinity United Church in Summerside.