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November 11, 2009 > SUONO in Concert

SUONO in Concert

By Janet Grant

SUONO is Italian for sound. What can be more expressive, yet simple when describing Music at the Mission's exciting new 2009-2010 season? In its fifth year of bringing amazing, vital and engaging chamber works to the Bay Area, the series first concert of the season on Saturday brings together again SUONO, the acclaimed duo of Ertan Torgul, and Aileen Chanco, for what will prove to be a musical night of romance and virtuosity.

Ertan Torgul, a native of Turkey, is a gifted violinist who has been an active chamber musician and has performed as a soloist throughout the country. He is currently the Associate Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony and appears regularly with the new group Soli. Pianist, Aileen Chanco, has appeared extensively as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Asia. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Music at the Mission.

Saturday night's performance is a mix of classical and contemporary composers who are blending together for a unique program of eclectic compositions. Two of them, Ludwig Von Beethoven and Johannes Brahms are of course giants of the Romantic period. The others, Astor Piazzolla, Alfred Schnittke, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold are all contemporary composers who each bring a unique romantic style to their musical works.

The Romantic Movement in music describes the expansion of formal structures within a composition, making the pieces more passionate and expressive. The pieces performed at Saturday's concert will be passionate and expressive but also, the stories behind them are filled with the true passion of the romantic heart.

It is well known that the "Kreutzer" Sonata op. 47 by Beethoven, is especially known for its demanding violin part. But the piece was originally dedicated to British violinist George Bridgetower, who performed it with Beethoven at its premier in 1803. Drinking together after the concert, Bridgetower insulted the morals of a woman who Beethoven cherished. Enraged, Beethoven removed the dedication and gave it to Rodolphe Kreutzer, considered the finest violinist of his day. Kreutzer, however never performed the piece as he thought it unplayable though his name is still attached to it.

By the time Brahms wrote the "Sonata op. 108, no. 3 in d minor," he had written his major orchestral works and achieved great fame. In the last ten years of his life, he turned to writing chamber music and this is the period from where this piece comes. Immediately after writing it, Brahms dedicated it to his friend and colleague, German conductor and pianist Hans Von Bulow.

Argentinean treasure, Astor Piazzolla, famous for his tango compositions was a master who straddled the classical and popular music worlds in a way that has rarely been seen in the history of music. With the "Prelude and Bordel 1900 from Histoire du Tango," SUONO will be performing one of Piazolla's earlier works that illustrates the classical influences which surrounded his life.

Erich Korngold was a child prodigy born in 1847 in what is now the Czech Republic. Though today he is known mostly for being the father of the modern film score, he was a composer of many concert and chamber works. He came to Hollywood in the 1930s and wrote many of the film scores throughout the 30s and 40s. Besides his film scores, he is best known for writing in the classical styles of the twentieth century. "His Gartenscene" from "Much Ado About Nothing," began as incidental music scored for chamber orchestra to the Shakespeare play. He was a European Jew who came to work in the United States at the same time the Nazi's began their extermination of the Jewish people. Korngold believed that Hollywood saved his life.

20th Century Russian composer, Alfred Schnittke studied in Vienna and felt connected to the ever-present ghosts of the great composers and identified himself as a historical link to that past. It was therefore Mozart and Schubert, not Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, whom he kept in mind as a reference point in terms of taste, manner and style. That classical influence can be experienced with Schnittke's "Suite in the Old Style."

Once again, Music at the Mission brings their "out-of-the-box" version of Chamber works to the community. The season premier promises not just a night of "Romantic" music, but a night of unforgettable passion written by the expressive hearts of three centuries of music genius and performed by the gifted hands of SUONO.

An informative, half-hour concert talk by musician Bill Everett will precede the concert at 7:15 p.m. with the concert beginning at 8:00 p.m. A complimentary dessert and champagne reception will immediately follow the concert at Mission Coffee, where you will be able to meet the artists.

For more information, visit

Music at the Mission presents "SUONO in Concert"
Saturday, November 14
8:00 p.m.
Old Mission San Jose
43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont

General Admission, $25
Students/Seniors, $20
Online (credit card):

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