Tricks of the Trio

Last Friday night during the Guest Chamber Music recital, the visitng trio, comprised of Fredric Bednarz on violin, Julie Vaverka on clarinet, and George Sebastian Lopez on piano, performed a full repertoire of quaint contemporary pieces. Mr. Bednarz and Ms. Vaverka are colleagues in the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, while Mr. Lopez and Mr. Bednarz are on the faculty of the Manchester Community Music School in Manchester, N.H. The recital began with “Suite pour Violin, Clarinette et Piano” by Darius Milhaud, a 20th century composer. The second piece, “The Klezmer’s Wedding” was by another modern composer, Srul Irving Glick. According to Katie von Braun ’09, this “sparkling” piece had an “interesting beat to it, and a nice rhythm.” After a brief pause, the trio played Béla Bartók’s “Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Sz. 111.” As the song’s title suggests, the different parts did contrast, yet eventually came together in an unusual, but pleasant blend. In the second section of this piece called “Piheno,” Ms. Vaverka played a quick, light melody, while Mr. Bednarz plucked the strings of his violin with his bow, a technique known as pizzicato. In the third and final section, called “Sebes”, the tune was fast, vibrant, and jittery, with notes moving up and down quite rapidly. In contrast the second half was softer, more melodic, and less wandering. Of the pieces Sudhandra Sundaram ’09 said, “[They are] really contemporary, but at the same time classical.” The Phillipian interviewed the trio’s clarinetist after the performance. Ms. Vaverka picked up the instrument in elementary school when she joined the band program, and has been performing ever since. Her favorite composition played that night was the Bartók. Why? “[Because] I like Bartók,” she explained. She further described that there was not a particular reason that she preferred the composition, but that she had enjoyed it for a while. The song was written for Benny Goodman, a famous World War II-era clarinetist who died in June of 1986, and Ms. Vaverka first heard the song from his recordings when she was young. She enjoyed the whole concert overall, and she wholeheartedly takes pleasure in the experience of working with her colleagues to play chamber music, for if one can have a good time in a line of work, then it hardly feels like work at all. Ms. Vaverka said that upcoming concerts are “in the makings.” Hopefully, future audiences will enjoy the recitals as much as Phillips Academy and its guests liked this one.