Classical trio hopes to start new Paradigm in Park City
December 2, 2011
The Paradigm Trio performs regularly throughout the Salt Lake Valley, but is relatively unknown in Park City.
The three musicians violinist Shi-Wah Wang from Weber State University, violist and American West Symphony director Joel Rosenberg and pianist Jan Jensen of the Israel Bach Society are hoping to remedy that with a Park City debut on Saturday, Dec. 3, at Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church.
Rosenberg said he pieced together a concert that Parkites will long remember after the final note fades.
"I wanted a program that would be appealing to a wide cross-section of the people who live in Park City," Rosenberg said during an interview with The Park Record. "We didn’t want to play music that is non-digestible like a complete Beethoven Trio or a complete Brahms Trio, because, as beautiful as they are, they aren’t accessible to the general public."
So, he picked some short and sometimes uptempo segments from works by Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Beethoven, Bruch, Brahms and John Williams.
Rosenberg sewed the evening together with a thread of tangos by composer Astor Piazzolla.
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"Piazzolla was a major composer from Argentina during the 20th century who died in the early 1990s," Rosenberg explained. "His great love was the tango, from his native country. His instrument was the bandoneon, which is like an accordion, but different because it doesn’t have a keyboard, but buttons on both sides."
The trio will perform three of Piazzolla’s pieces.
"He wrote a set of four called ‘The Seasons’ and we are playing three ‘Winter,’ ‘Autumn’ and ‘Spring,’" Rosenberg said. "They’re short, but very attractive and when you listen to them, you just feel like getting up to dance."
The night will also feature two works from "Star Wars" score composer John Williams the title-piece from ‘Fiddler on the Roof, which Isaac Stern performed in the film of the same name and "Por Una Cabeza," based on a medley from Argentina.
"Por Una Cabeza" will be performed by Shi-Wah and Jensen.
"They do a beautiful job at it," Rosenberg said. "It’s so melodic and beautiful."
One of the standout pieces of the program is Shostakovich’s "Suite for Two Violins and Piano."
"It’s a short, five-movement work, which will take altogether seven minutes," Rosenberg said. "Most of the segments are named after dances gavotte, polka, and are lively and energetic."
Rosenberg, who usually plays viola, will play second violin.
"This gives me an opportunity to do something different," he said.
Another highlight will be Brahms’ Trio No. 2 in C Major, op. 87. It was chosen because of its noble quality.
"We chose the second movement because it is a majestic and regal piece," Rosenberg said. "He wrote it in 1880s and it’s almost a theme-and-variation movement that gives each instrument a chance to shine."
Also on the program is Mendelssohn’s Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 49, because of the ear-pleasing blending of the violin, viola and piano.
"He wrote two piano trios," Rosenberg said of the composer. "We’re playing the first and the most famous, which is similar to his "Song Without Words" movements of solo piano.
One of the more difficult works of the night is Beethoven’s "The Archduke" Trio No. 7, which was written for Archduke Rudolph of Austria, who was a student of Beethoven.
"This piece is almost a symphony for three people," Rosenberg said. "It’s thick. It’s big and the sound created in some of the passages could easily be performed by more than three people."
One of the more poignant pieces on the program is Bruch’s "Kol Nidrei" for viola and piano, which will be performed by Rosenberg and Jensen.
"’Kol Nidrei’ means ‘All Vows’ in Hebrew and it’s a prayer sung in the synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year," Rosenberg explained. "We ask God to forgive us of sins and make vows. It’s an ancient melody that Max Bruch liked and wrote a set of variations on."
Rosenberg said he is looking forward to performing these works at Park City, if only to give the Paradigm Trio some exposure along the Wasatch Back.
"I, myself, played in Park City a long time ago, and really enjoyed the experience," he said. "I know it’s difficult for people to come down to Salt Lake, especially in the winter, so we are coming to the people."
The Paradigm Trio will perform at the Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church, 4051 N. S.R. 224, on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students at the door.