For Immediate Release
October 3, 2011
A Concert Made for Your Living Room
HUDSON – There was a time when the best musical artists didn’t perform on stage. Rather, wealthy patrons would hold performances in their homes. Amid upholstered furnishings and sumptuous tapestries, musicians would play for family and friends in an intimate environment. There were no huge orchestras, no enhanced sound systems, just music at its most basic and most beautiful.
It was during this period that violin duos became prominent – just two players mirroring complicated melodies, challenging their talents and challenging the limits of their instruments. This was the absolute root definition of chamber music.
ClaverackLanding, an offshoot of the well-established Columbia Festival Orchestra, is presenting a series of these intimate gatherings in Hudson during the coming months. The first is scheduled for Saturday, November 5 at 6 p.m and features the Reinhold-Jolles Duo, comprised of two accomplished violinists, Sheila Reinhold and Renee Jolles. The two will perform later in the season with ClaverackLanding’s 2011-12 resident ensemble, “Intimate Voices.” The opening program will include violin duets by composers including Mozart and Glière. Gliere, a Russian, was little known outside of the Soviet Union and, until 10 years ago, his work was hardly ever performed in the United States.
Reinhold, a Bronx, New York resident, recalls her early exposure to violin duos when she was studying with Jascha Heifitz, considered to be the finest violinist of all time. “He required that we sight read the music of these murderous virtuoso duos. It was an embarrassment. The music was incredibly complicated and intricate.” But the result, once mastered, was wonderful. “These are gems of music that have been composed,” she continues. “They don’t get the hearing they deserve.”
“Music for two violins is essentially written for one virtuoso to play with another virtuoso,” explains Reinhold. “Essentially, each of us constitutes half an orchestra. And because our playing is so intertwined, there is a lot of give and take, an emotional intensity – like a modern day battle of the bands. We are playing written music, no improvisation, yet there are so many opportunities for interpretation and little ‘gestures’. We are constantly reacting to each other. Audiences have told us that it’s really exciting to watch. During the performance we are both partners and rivals. It’s intimate and intense. You don’t get that kind of musicianship with a whole orchestra.”
In keeping with the intimate nature of the music, this performance will take place on the second floor of TK Home and Garden, the TK Gallery. The beautiful Italianate 19th century building at 441 Warren Street once housed a successful businessman and his family above the first floor which was reserved for retail. It is conceivable that a concert such as this one may have taken place in the 1880s in this exact locale, when Hudson was among the most prosperous cities in New York State.
“We want to present our music in settings that are both intimate and reflective of the great architecture in Hudson,” says ClaverackLanding founder Gwen Gould. “TK Gallery has such great detail; you can almost picture early chamber music concerts as they would have been presented in the 1800’s.”
ClaverackLanding is able to take advantage of the many talented contacts developed by Gwen Gould and the Columbia Festival Orchestra over the years and expand its presentations to include intimate concerts like this one, as well as educational opportunities such as gatherings with musical experts and educators.
ClaverackLanding (the original name given to Hudson and its surroundings by the Dutch in the 1600’s) will present a series of concerts during the 2011/2012 season that is tailored to highlight some of the finest musical talent in the United States today. Included will be renowned flutist and co-founder of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Paula Robison, and winner of the coveted Avery Fisher Prize, violinist Elmar Oliveira. The Reinhold/Jolles Duo performance on November 5 will be a special benefit concert in support of the upcoming season.
Tickets for the Benefit Concert are $35.00 each, $60.00/pair. Cocktails and refreshments will be served following the concert and the public will have the opportunity to meet the performers. The reception will also feature a display of musical and architectural portraits by renowned local photographer Roy Volkmann. A special ClaverackLanding limited edition poster, signed by both the artist and ClaverackLanding founder Gwen Gould, will be available for $150.00.
“We’re lucky to have Roy Volkmann working with us,” says Gould. “He plans to photograph all of our performers. As the season progresses, we will accumulate an incredible archive of great talent taken by a very talented photographer. We plan to offer these portraits for sale, many with celebrity autographs. For classical music fans, it is a very personal addition to our intimate performances.”
“This is a great beginning for the season,” concludes Gould. “The New York Times called Renèe Jolles “a real star”, and Sheila Reinhold has performed chamber music in concert with Jasha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky and Leon Kirchner, among others. I consider both of them to be among the finest musicians I know. It’s an honor to have them as our opening performers.”