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Thursday April 24, 2014
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Michigan music faculty

 

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When we contacted violinist Andrew Jennings about the concert in mid-August, he responded just hours before our deadline. "I have held back in replying, hoping that the last 'shoes' would drop into place," he wrote, "but no such luck." The program as it now stands includes a very interesting sonata for two violins by the Belgian violinist-composer Eugne Ysae performed by Yehonatan Berick and Stephen Shipps - two other members of the music school's celebrated string faculty. According to Jennings, the sonata was discovered fairly recently and has received only a few performances because of the score's inaccessibility and the work's tremendous difficulty. "Ysae's six solo violin sonatas are regarded as among the pinnacles of technical achievement on the violin," wrote Jennings, "and this piece is very much in that line."

Jennings himself is the violinist for the program's other announced work: French composer Gabriel Fauré's Piano Quartet in G Minor. "This is the less-well-known one but a marvelous piece," wrote Jennings. "The performers are myself, [violist] Yizhak Schotten, and [pianist] Katherine Collier, but the cellist remains unconfirmed as of today. Also in flux is the opener (the originally scheduled work has had to be canceled) and I think I shouldn't even put down my guess for the replacement for fear of getting incorrect info out there."

Whatever the opener and whoever the cellist, however, I predict that the Chamber Players' concert will be excellent.

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