The award-winning Gold Coast Chamber Players bring the finest in chamber music to Lafayette and the surrounding areas, and now to the city of Piedmont. Founded in 1987, GCCP distinguishes itself by its eclectic programming and by providing community access to leading musicians from throughout the world. The third of this season’s five concerts, titled Fantezie, will be performed twice, first at 8 PM on Friday, February 2, 2018, at Piedmont Center for the Arts, 801 Magnolia Ave. in Piedmont, and then at 7:30 PM on Saturday, February 3, 2018, at the Lafayette Library Community Hall, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette.
From folk music to the epic String Octet by Georges Enescu, Fantezie offers a musical journey to Romania. This appealing program also includes Enescu’s string trio, Aubade; Eugene Ysaÿe’s Solo Violin Sonata No. 3 “Georges Enescu;” and an arrangement of Béla Bartók’s Romanian Dances for violin and string quartet by Romanian violinist Corina Stoian.
Three Romanian violinists are featured: Gil Sharon from the Amati Ensemble in Holland, Florin Parvulescu from the San Francisco Symphony, and Corina Stoian. Violinist Dan Flanagan joins violists Ron Ephrat, also from the Amati Ensemble, and Pamela Freund-Striplen. Two cellists, Jean-Michel Fonteneau from the SF Piano Trio and a faculty member at the SF Conservatory of Music, and Jennifer Kloetzel, formerly of the Cypress String Quartet, round out this all-star ensemble.
Fantezie brings out the passion and complexity of the Romanian spirit. The centerpiece of the program, Enescu’s String Octet, Op. 7, was written when the composer was only 19 years old, and is rarely performed. These performances represent its East Bay premiere, offering our audiences an extraordinary opportunity. There are between nine and as many as twelve melodic themes used in the work, depending on the analysis (Hoffman and Raţiu 1971, 259; Bentoiu 2010, 13). The greatest number of them (six or seven) are presented in the exposition of the first part. The second part is a kind of demonic scherzo, tumultuous and whirling, while the third is a lyrical, slow movement; in both of them new themes are added (Hoffman and Raţiu 1971, 259).
The Gold Coast Chamber Players offer a pre-concert talk with musicologist Kai Christiansen 30 minutes prior to each performance. Introductory ticket prices for the Piedmont performance are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Single tickets for the Lafayette performance are $45 general admission, $40 senior (65+), and $15 for students. All tickets may be purchased online at www.gcplayers.org or by calling (925) 283-3728.