It was a busy and exhausting week I spent in Evansville, IN with my Larchmere String Quartet friends, but I feel so great to finally put an end to this project that I envisioned several years ago. In effect, I traded my Spring Break off with this CD, a totally worthwhile outcome! The CD will include a beautiful Clarinet Quintet by Stephan Krehl (1864-1924) and a virtually unknown string quartet by the same composer set to be released by Naxos later this year. It was a great pleasure working with our engineer, Bill Maylone (WFMT Chicago), and producers, Daniel Stein and Francisco Cortes Alvarez. I will keep everyone posted as the release date comes closer!
The University of Evansville Clarinet Day
A few weeks ago, I was very fortunate to host and accompany the Larchmere String Quartet, currently quartet-in-residence at the University of Evansville, IN, in their concert tour in Tennessee. Back in September, we started working on the very little known Clarinet Quintet (1902) by Stephan Krehl (1864-1924). The week I spent with LSQ gave us more time to learn the piece well enough to give some of our first public performances together.
Soon after LSQ arrived at my home in Cookeville (and finished many bottles of wine), we headed to Harrogate, a tri-state town located in northeast Tennessee. We spent a whole day there still refreshing our vague memories (if we had any) of the music and getting ready to perform Krehl for the first time that evening at Lincoln Memorial University. After the LSQ gave a fantastic performance of quartets by Haydn and Brahms, we gave our TN premiere of Krehl's Quintet. Besides being surprised at various surprising tempo changes and harmonic surprises (lots of surprises), we all agreed that the piece has some really beautiful moments and great potential.
The next day was spent in Nashville where we made a stop at WPLN (Nashville NPR Affiliate) Studio to play for a live interview and broadcast for their Classical 90.1. LSQ gave another very exciting performance of the first movement from Brahms String Quartet, Op. 51/1, and we played the Lento movement from Krehl's Quintet.
Our final concert together in TN was scheduled at Tennessee Tech University where I teach. The LSQ gave their Center Stage Presentation in the morning, pouring a great deal of insights and inspiration for our music students. We had a relaxing afternoon strolling around the downtown Cookeville. The turnout for our evening Center Stage Recital was terrific, and I tremendously enjoyed playing Krehl again with the LSQ. I truly appreciate the LSQ's courage and willingness to work with me in giving a new life to this rather obscure work. I truly look forward to our number of upcoming performances together as well as a recording session for Naxos, featuring the quintet and Krehl only string quartet. Please stay tuned for our exciting upcoming projects!
I spent past couple days in Evansville, IN working with the Larchmere String Quartet. I got to know them through my friend and violinist Alicia who joined the quartet some time ago. We read through some music last year and planned several exciting projects together for coming years. This weekend, we began working on Quintet for Clarinet and Strings by the little-known composer named Stephan Krehl. I came across the work by chance and was immediately intrigued by it. Learning this sort of unknown piece (from late 19th century) can be both exciting and challenging. I feel very fortunate to meet a quartet that is willing to commit great deal of time and effort in learning this piece and give it a new life. Our work this weekend definitely shed some light and gave us a good prospect.
Here is a preliminary list of dates and places where we will perform Krehl's Clarinet Quintet during 2014-15:
- October 14 - Lincoln Memorial University, TN
- October 15 - WPLN Nashville Noon Live Broadcast (with performance and interview)
- October 16 - Tennessee Tech University
- November 10 - Middle Tennessee State University
- January 24 - University of Evansville, IN
- June - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
It is exceptionally rewarding and invigorating to make music with a group of wonderful friends. Look how much fun we are having!