BENICIA CHAMBER PLAYERS
String quartets from Beethoven's early, middle, and late periods.
String Quartet No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 18, No. 4
String Quartet No. 7 in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1 "Razumovsky"
Grosse Fuge, Op. 133
Friday, October 27, 2023 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, October 29, 2023 at 3:00 PM
January 12 (7:30pm Pleasanton) and January 14 (3pm Vallejo)
"Slavic Rhapsodies" presents emotionally charged works that exude drama and evoke a sense of Slavic nationalistic pride through uses of nostalgic folk melodies. Dvorak's piano trio Dumky alternates between uninhibited wailing laments and more light-hearted cheerful dances. Fellow Czech composer and former student of Dvorak Vítězslav Novák traversed more tragic and darker emotions struggling between the unreservedly fervent folk melodies with emerging European modernism in his autobiographical piano trio Quasi una ballata. Additionally, the program includes the yearning yet optimistic second piano trio by Dora Pejačević, one of the most prominent 20th-century Croatian composers who was a pioneer in writing concertos and modern symphonies.
March 22 (7:30pm Pleasanton) and March 24 (3pm Benicia)
Her Voice: Chamber Music by Women Composers
“Her Voice” celebrates the rich heritage of string quartet compositions by women composers from diverse historical and cultural backgrounds. Although the fiercely passionate and rhapsodic string quartet by Fanny Mendelssohn was never publicly performed during her lifetime, it stands as one of the earliest surviving romantic string quartets by a woman composer. Strum is a vibrant one-movement work drawing on American folk idioms and dance by living American composer and violinist Jessie Montgomery. The first and unfinished string quartet in G major by Florence Price, the first African-American woman to have her work performed by a major American orchestra, is alternately peaceful and hymnal, yet vibrant and impassioned. The first quartet by Dame Ethel Smyth, an English composer and dedicated suffragist, is full of fiery intensity and raw energy, yet also introspection and lyrical beauty.
May 17 (7:30 Pleasanton) and 19 (3pm Vallejo)
Join the Benicia Chamber Players for the closing concert of their 23/24 season! “French Landscapes' dives into the captivating realm of the French piano trio genre, featuring two monumental compositions by Maurice Ravel and Camille Saint-Saëns. Ravel’s trio, influenced by Basque and Spanish dances as well as Malaysian poetic form, showcases a vibrant palette of colors, intricate textures, and daring instrumental exploration. Equally virtuosic, Saint-Saëns’ formidable second trio is characterized by its brooding nature and unleashed passion. Complementing the program is Three Pieces for Cello and Piano, by the influential 20th-century pedagogue Nadia Boulanger, which navigates delicate sounds, meandering passages and agitated moods. Soir, the exquisite first movement of her op. 76 trio piece by the prolific composer Melanie Bonis rounds out this dazzling French affair.
Founded in 2006, the Benicia Chamber Players’ mission is to provide a classical chamber music concert series to underserved East Bay areas including Benicia, Pleasanton and Vallejo. Our aim is to cultivate a community of local and other world-class professional musicians with a love of playing chamber music who are dedicated to sharing that love with audiences.