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Pianist, professor returns for Phantasy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For pianist Judith Gordon one Arnold Schoenberg piece has led to another.

Gordon had performed Schoenberg’s Suite Opus 29 last August with the Chatter ensemble.

“David (Felberg) and I were talking about different pieces … and I said ‘please ask me to play the Schoenberg Phantasy with you,” Gordon said in a phone interview.

If you go
WHAT: Chatter Sunday
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. May 12
WHERE: The Kosmos, 1715 Fifth NW
HOW MUCH: $15 general public, $9 for those under age 30, and $5 for children under 12 at the door

Felberg is a violinist and artistic director of Chatter.

Gordon was invited back. The two will perform the Phantasy for Violin and Piano for Chatter Sunday on May 12.

Gordon described the work as “so elegant. It’s almost like the piano is playing the role of stream-of-consciousness behind the violin lines. It’s full of dancing and oration. It’s just a stunning piece.”

She said the Schoenberg was the spark for their violin-and-piano program, which also includes Maurice Ravel’s “Tzigane,” Paul Hindemith’s Sonata for Violin and Piano and J.S. Bach’s Sonata in G major BWV 1019.

“It’s just so great to be around the Bach. … In its own way it’s a nice showcase for the keyboard which is unusual for Bach’s sonatas for two instruments,” she said. “And it turns into a nice balance with the Ravel, which has a huge cadenza that opens it for solo violin.”

The Hindemith, Gordon said, was written in about 1939 in a period when his writing of duo sonatas “was ultra vivid.”

Gordon is an associate professor of music at Smith College in Massachusetts, where she’s been teaching since 2006. Until then, she had been living in Boston where she performed with Yo-Yo Ma, the Boston Pops and different chamber ensembles.

At Smith, she said, her duties are to teach piano and chamber music.

“I think it’s a very healthy view of what a music department should include. They still have a full-time performance faculty. I feel very privileged to be here,” Gordon said.