Chamber music differs from orchestral and symphonic music because of its lack of a leader. While this may remove the conventional structure of an orchestra, it allows the audience to witness an uncanny and ineffable communication between musicians as they strive to be in sync without a director.

Mad About Chamber Music

Tonight, tomorrow and Dec. 14th at 8 p.m.
Kerrytown Concert House

Starting this weekend, a group of diverse University music students will explore this connection with a series of three concerts titled, “Mad About Chamber Music.”

“You get to see musicians work with each other on a level that you wouldn’t normally see in a symphony,” said Nonna Karenovna Aroutiounian, a second year masters student at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. “Everyone works as a whole, but it’s much more intimate. Part of the enjoyment is from seeing people communicate with each other, with their eyes and with their ears and not necessarily through their words.”

The shows will feature a filigree of chamber pieces from Beethoven, Schubert and Poulenc. It will also include two of the more unique chamber pieces in Dvořák’s “Dumky trio in e-minor” and a quartet by Viennese Romantic composer Walter Rabl.

Dvořák’s piece is a deviation from the four-movement norm that characterizes chamber music. It has six short movements, the first three of which are perceived as a single movement. Aside from the Czech folk elements it incorporates, the piece is often considered diachronic in its mood swings.

“Every movement has its own kind of set of characters … I see it as being this collage of emotions and character changes,” said Kathryn Wiebe, an MT&D sophomore and cello player.

Rabl’s quartet is another piece that deviates from the chamber music norm, featuring an uncommon mix of instruments, including the violin, cello, piano and the clarinet. Written for a competition in which Johannes Brahms was the chair, it is Rabl’s first work.

“I think it’s very reminiscent of 19th century romantic aesthetic,” said Aroutiounian, who is a clarinet performance major. “It’s very much absolute music, referential onto itself and it can mean many things to many people. It doesn’t need a program or a picture to provide a visual aspect for itself.”

The event will feature students from the studios of renowned Professors Richard Aaron and Martin Katz. Though it is free, it is intended not only to benefit the concert house — an old Victorian building made a concert venue in 1984 — but also to ensure the continued performance of chamber music, and donations are welcome.

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