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Violinist, pianist team up for sonata

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Megan Julyan Holland will perform today with the Albuquerque Chamber Soloists.

Megan Julyan Holland will perform today with the Albuquerque Chamber Soloists.

Violinist Megan Julyan Holland and pianist Arlette Felberg are teaming up for a work that the violinist said she’s never played.

“I’m not sure I had heard of it before Arlette mentioned it to me last year,” Julyan Holland said.

The work is Felix Mendelssohn’s Sonata for Violin and Piano. It is one of three pieces in the Albuquerque Chamber Soloists’ concert this afternoon at St. Paul Lutheran Church.

“It’s typically Mendelssohn. He was a Romantic composer but he had some very Classical sounds to his music,” Julyan Holland said.

“This is a nice blend of the two. There are some Romantic melodies but they’re conservative in how he treats them. It’s not a broad emotional piece like a (Johannes) Brahms sonata, but it is more involved than a Mozart sonata and a lot lighter than a Beethoven sonata.”

On the same concert is W.A. Mozart’s String Quartet (K. 575), one of three nicknamed “Prussian.” It carries that name because it was composed at the request of Mozart’s patron, Frederick William II, King of Prussia.

Julyan Holland is playing second violin in this quartet. She finds that Mozart’s quartets seem to get more difficult to play as she gets older.

“We’ve all played some of the Mozart quartets when we’re young,” Julyan Holland said. “It’s funny. You’d think as we get better as musicians they would be easier. The more I know about them the harder they are.”

One reason may be that if she encounters technically challenging passages, they require more thought.

Performing the quartet with her are first violinist David Felberg, violist Kim Fredenburgh and cellist James Holland.

The third work on the program is Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A minor with David Felberg on violin, James Holland on cello and Arlette Felberg on piano.

“It is almost symphonic in breadth and sonority,” Arlette Felberg wrote in an email. “Dedicated to the memory of Tchaikovsky’s beloved teacher and friend, pianist Nicholas Rubinstein, it has an unusual format in that it is cast into two movements. The first, ‘Elegiac piece,’ (is) extremely melodic and very difficult pianistically. It is full of drama and lyricism, equally distributed among the instruments, and painted on a large musical canvas.”

The second movement consists of a folk-like theme with 11 variations.

This concert, the third in ACS’ “Musical Travelogues” series, takes listeners to St. Petersburg, Russia (Tchaikovsky), Salzburg, Austria (Mozart), and Hamburg, Germany (Mendelssohn).

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