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La Cafamore to present piano trios with nicknames

La Cafamore is a Kootenay-based chamber music group which regularly tours the Kootenays. Their latest set of concerts will be piano trios with nicknames.
Violinist, violist and pianist, Angela Snyder began her studies in Saskatoon with Dorothy Overholt, Robert Close and Fred Nelson for violin, and Joan Halmo for piano. She went on to the University of Toronto, achieving a Master’s degree in music performance under the tutelage of Lorand Fenyves. She has been a member of the Banff Centre Chamber orchestra, the Saskatoon Symphony and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

La Cafamore is a Kootenay-based chamber music group which regularly tours the Kootenays. Their latest set of concerts will be piano trios with nicknames.

“Some of the most memorable pieces in the Classical music literature are either program music, with a definite story being played out in the music, or works with an interesting story associated with them,” Violinist Carolyn Cameron said. “Works with nicknames fall in to the latter group, with a nickname being assigned to the piece by the composer, or being given after the piece’s composition.”

The first piano trio the group will tackle is called “Jacob’s Dream” by Franz Joseph Haydn. Haydn himself named the trio after the biblical story of Jacob’s ladder leading up to heaven because the first violin part explores the high registers of the instrument. Ever the practical jokester, Haydn wanted to create anxiety in the violinist playing the piece, as this man considered himself to be quite the hotshot, but struggled in the upper registers of the instrument. Haydn sent the music anonymously to his pianist friend knowing that she would perform it with the said violinist. Haydn even made sure that the hardest parts of the piece came right after a page turn to cause maximum panic in the violinist.

As predicted, the violinist was caught off guard and struggled with the very high notes, much to the amusement of the rest of the group. He afterwards declared that this unknown composer did not know how to compose for the violin.

The second work, Beethoven’s piano trio No. 4, Op.70 No.1 is nicknamed “Ghost”. Beethoven’s student Carl Czerny gave the trio this nickname because the second movement reminded him of the ghost scenes in Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet. Indeed, the second movement is the heart and soul of this piece, bookended by two lively movements that really aren’t very ghost-like. Rounding out the program are Clive Mansell’s Lux Aeterna from the soundtrack of the movie Requiem for a Dream and Arvo Pärt’s Mozart-Adagio.

La Cafamore varies its format with each concert, often depending on the availability of its musicians. This time they will play piano trios with Angela Snyder taking on the viola/cello part. “The viola is often substituted for cello in piano trios” says Cameron, “and these works are very suited to the violin/viola/piano combination”. Hendrik Mendes, a frequent collaborator with Cameron, is on piano.

“We are very excited to be returning to Fernie” says Cameron with its wonderful venue and enthusiastic audience.

La Cafamore Presents Trios with Nicknames at Mountainside Community Church, Saturday August 19th, 7:00 p.m.

Cost is $20/person and children 12 and under are free.You can get advance tickets by emailing

Tickets also available at the door.

Hendrik Mendes is a local physician, music lover and enthusiastic amateur pianist.

Carolyn Grant

About the Author: Carolyn Grant

I have been with the Kimberley Bulletin since 2001 and have enjoyed every moment of it.
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