MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Leon Kirchner at Seattle Summer Chamber Festival

I was happy to hear Leon Kirchner’s (1919-2009) Trio No. 1 from 1954 programmed on the second concert of the ongoing Summer Chamber Festival. Cellist Ronald Thomas, together with violinist Augustin Hadelich and pianist Orion Weiss, gave an involving and committed performance of this complex score.

By way of introduction, Thomas charmingly recounted memories from years ago of the eccentric composer watching over rehearsals and reacting to the sound of his music. He framed the Trio as a work still rooted in the “gestures of Romanticism” beneath its imposing dissonance and rhythmic complexity. “Imagine it’s Richard Strauss, only with the notes not quite right.”

Filed under: American music, chamber music

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