The woodsy and earthy sounds of Poland’s Krzysztof Penderecki, English composer Rebecca Clarke and the Russian soul of Sergei Prokofiev will reign at concerts in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
The musicians will perform at SITE Santa Fe on Saturday, Dec. 14, and at Albuquerque’s Las Puertas Event Center on Sunday, Dec. 15.
“We’ve got all-stars playing; my family and David and James, the directors of Chatter,” violist Kim Fredenburgh said.
Fredenburgh will play with her husband, the oboist Kevin Vigneau and their son Toby on double bass, as well as David Felberg on violin and James Shields on clarinet.
Prokofiev’s “Quintet Op. 30” is the concert centerpiece. The work is closely related to the composer’s ballet “Trapèze.”
“The plot of the ballet had to do with the traveling circus,” Fredenbugh said. “It was so complicated they couldn’t dance to it. He repurposed it as a concert work.”
“It’s a little rough-sounding,” she continued. “It sounds like the circus must be going through a hard time. It’s got some polyrhythms and some dissonance. But it’s still got some great rhythms.”
Rebecca Clarke’s “Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale for Clarinet and Viola” follows.
Clarke was a violist and classical music composer who worked during the 1920s and ’30s. She was one of the first professional viola players of her time.
“She had to publish some of her works under a male pseudonym,” Fredenburgh said. “These duets were basically underground pieces. They’re not avant-garde pieces; they’re very neoclassical. She did a lot of arrangements of English folks songs; very pastoral.”
Penderecki’s “Duo Concertante por violin e contrabbasso” is a virtuosic work from the avant-garde composer. Each player takes a turn in the spotlight in a question and answer format.
“There are lots of cool sound effects and extended techniques,” Fredenburgh said.
Playing with her family is a pleasure, the violist added.
“We all get along very well,” she said. “We can tell each other what we really think. Toby’s really developed since he’s been playing at the Aspen Music Festival.”
At 17, “he was the youngest bass player to get a fellowship,” she said.