February 13, 2008 > Romance and the Double Bass?!
Romance and the Double Bass?!
By Janet Grant
Photos By Janet Grant
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, love is in the air and romance is merely a concert away. On Saturday February 16, Music at the Mission in partnership with Music@Market, presents "Romance and the Double Bass?!" The exciting third concert of the 2007-2008 season showcases an instrument usually relegated to the back of an orchestra. And with its Valentines Weekend premiere, the Double Bass has been given a starring role in a concert devoted to the music of the Romantic period.
"Romance and the Double Bass?!" will feature bay area Double Bass virtuoso Bill Everett, pianist Aileen Chanco, and violinist Cynthia Mei in a program revealing the emotional breadth of the modern Romantic period in music, from the virtuosic to the expressive.
Two of the pieces on this program have been composed by renowned bass soloists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Czech composer, Adolph Mi_ek (Sonata for Double Bass and Piano in E minor, op. 6).and Italian composer, Giovanni Bottesini (Grand Duo Concertante for Double Bass, Violin and Piano) who came from the golden era of the "performer-composer" when soloists performed their own compositions alongside those of the masters. Alongside those works will be two cello "warhorses" performed on the double bass by two of the greatest composers of the late Romantic period: Johannes Brahms (Sonata for Cello and Piano (arr. for Double Bass and Piano) in E minor, no. 1, op. 38) and Sergio Rachmaninoff ("Andante" from the Sonata for Cello and Piano (arr. for Double Bass and Piano) in G minor, op. 19).
According to Mr. Everett, "Life as a bassist is often a challenge. You walk down the street with your instrument, a challenge in itself, and you are met with a chorus of "ooooh's and ahhhhh's" from children and alternating with remarks like 'is that a cello?' and 'you should have played the piccolo' from adults. Often overlooked, the bass brings a very unique quality to solo and chamber music. The instrument has been championed by a handful of performers/composers over the centuries. We will be performing pieces by two of these virtuosi, Mi_ek and Bottesini, on this program. These are two very different approaches to Romantic music, the serious, introspect passion of the German world versus the intense, sometimes outwardly comical passion of the Italian world."
Bill Everett is currently Principal Bassist of Symphony Silicon Valley and was previously an acting member of the San Francisco Symphony for three years, performing on numerous recordings and in halls throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Bill also served as Principal Bass in the San Jose Symphony and is also a founding member of the ADORNO Ensemble. He has appeared with ensembles throughout the Bay Area, including the San Francisco Opera and the New Century Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Everett has specialized in the music of Giovanni Bottesini, as well as pursues a deep interest in 20th Century music. He has also transcribed numerous pieces from the Romantic cello repertoire for the double bass. As a composer, the Worn Chamber Ensemble in San Francisco has performed his music.
At the age of twelve, pianist Aileen Chanco made her orchestral debut with the Fremont Symphony. The following year, she debuted with San Francisco Symphony and soon after, she appeared as soloist with conductor Kent Nagano and the Boston Pops. After the success of her east coast debut, Ms. Chanco was named a Presidential Scholar of the Arts following which she made her debut at the Kennedy Center. Since then, she has appeared as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.
In 2005 Ms. Chanco founded the Music at the Mission Chamber Music Series and is currently serving as General and Artistic Director. The following year, the series partnered with a newly formed series under the auspices of the San Jose Cathedral Foundation: Music@Market where she is acting as Artistic Director.
Violinist, Cynthia Mei is the founder of the San Francisco based group, ADORNO Ensemble. She was formerly a member of the violin and piano duo, Chiaroscuro, which has toured nationally. She has performed in orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony and the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and has soloed with local groups such as the Tahoe Festival Orchestra. Reflecting her interest in visual art, Ms. Mei has developed programs such as Kandinsky Listening: Music Appreciation through Visual Art.
There will also be a special candlelight pre-concert dinner benefiting Music at the Mission hosted by the Mission Coffee Roasting Company beginning at 6 p.m. at Mission Coffee. Come celebrate Valentines Weekend with fine food and the spirit of romance and the Double Bass.
A complimentary dessert and champagne reception will immediately follow the concert where you will be able to meet the artists.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or online (credit card): www.ticketweb.com or call (866) 468-339. For more information, visit www.musicatmsj.org.
Romance and the Double Bass?!
Saturday, Feb 16
8 p.m. Concert
Old Mission San Jose
43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont
General Admission, $25, Students and seniors, $20