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Chamber Soloists feature nationalistic trends of inspiration

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A trip on the Danube River was more than a vacation for Arlette Felberg.

It also was the inspirational fount for the theme of today’s Albuquerque Chamber Soloists concert. Felberg is the ACS artistic director.

This is the link between the river trip and the concert.

If you go
WHAT: Albuquerque Chamber Soloists
WHEN: 3 p.m. today
WHERE: St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1100 Indian School NE
HOW MUCH: $15 general public, $12 seniors and students at the door

While traveling on the river last spring, Felberg said, she made a startling discovery that she had known historically but had eluded her on a gut level.

That discovery was “that (Johannes) Brahms was obsessed with Hungary and its gypsies, and this permeated his music at every level,” Felberg wrote in an email.

The discovery was reinforced by her experience walking with companions on the Pest side of the river in the city of Budapest.

“We heard music that, emotionally, we had never heard before … wild, untamed, filled with speed, ecstasy and a virtuosic perfection probably not heard at Lincoln Center,” Felberg wrote.

“We followed it, mesmerized, to its source, a small outdoor restaurant on the banks of the Danube to Lajos Padar, a gypsy violinist, accompanied by zimbalom and double bass.”

They listened for two hours until it was time to reboard their boat.

The ACS concert, titled “Roots and Identities,” will feature nationalistic trends that inspired composers.

The works on the program are Antonin Dvorák’s “Silent Woods” for cello and piano (Bohemian melodies and folk tunes), David Baker’s “Roots II” for piano trio (early American black culture), Edvard Grieg’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, Opus 45 (Norwegian folklore), and Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G minor.

Felberg said that in the fourth movement of the Brahms, titled “Rondo alla Zingarese,” is one of the most popular embodiments of the gypsy soul … ecstatic, rapturous and unbound.”

The work, she wrote, “is a tour de force of rhythmic and melodic boldness.”

The musicians performing in the concert include Felberg on piano, Joanna de Keyser on cello, Cármelo de los Santos, and David Felberg on viola.

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