Chamber Music Groups Perform Blues and 19th Century Classics

As their fingers flew to hit each rapid note, members of a student string quartet continued playing Felix Mendelssohn’s “String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 44, No. 1.” The main violin melody featured fast, high notes that reached a climax before dropping into a steady rhythm. Two violin parts initiated the melody, before the viola and cello joined in to create a rich, full sound that culminated in three synchronized final notes.

Mendelssohn’s “String Quartet” was one of the pieces performed at the Andover Chamber Music Concert this past Saturday in the Timken Room in Graves Hall. A chamber music group is a group of three to five musicians advised by a faculty member.

Jacques Ibert’s “Cinq Pièces en Trio” was another composition performed in the concert. The piece started with elongated notes and short oboe trills. The clarinet, bassoon and oboe abruptly began to play a series of short, upbeat notes before slowing the tempo to play a more sorrowful melody. The piece ended on a series of lengthy notes that the instruments played in unison.

“[‘Cinq Pièces en Trio’ has] a lot of rhythmic contrast between the parts because it’s a trio… [the piece] has a really interesting way of taking contrasting rhythms and making it sound cohesive. [‘Cinq Pièces en Trio’] is not necessarily a piece with substance, but I think the main objective is that it’s a fun little piece that’s meant to be played with friends,” said Kaitlin Kan ’18, an oboist.

Another piece performed was Frank Bridge’s “Miniatures for Piano Trio.” Low piano chords accompanied a fluid, powerful cello melody in the melancholy song. After a few moments, the violin joined in and mimicked the cello’s melody before ending the piece on one deep, drawn-out note played by all of the instruments.
“Piano sometimes seems like a very individual thing, so it was [a] nice [feeling], working as a team,” said Yifei Wu ’17, a pianist. “With a piano, you’re used to always playing alone, so working with others is different… It’s enjoyable playing together although it has its difficulties, like staying together or making eye contact throughout the piece.”

The concert closed with “Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano” by Claude Bolling, which added a funky twist to the concert. The piece started with a light, cheerful violin tune, before the drums and bass launched into a groovy rhythm. Shortly after, the violin joined in once more, its melody matching the jazzy beat.
Tiffany Chang ’19, a concert attendee, said, “I really liked the way [the groups] worked together with such a refreshing variety of different instruments. Some ensembles aren’t very common, like a flute and a French horn. You don’t see those together very much.”