Taos Trio presents new melodic music
The Taos Trio, a chamber group of professional musicians who met in Taos, N.M., aim to strike up a cheerful tone for the holiday season with their concert featuring Slavic rhythms, Russian folk tunes, honky-tonk and European caf tunes.The concert showcases an eclectic body of repertoire for piano, clarinet and violin, including works by Darius Milhaud, Alexander Arutiunian, Aram Khachaturian, Gian Carlo Menotti and Peter Schickele.Clarinetist Keith Lemmons chose the pieces not only because they’re major works written for the trio of instruments, but also because they’re melodic pieces that audiences love, he said.”The music is not scary,” he said, explaining that even through three of the pieces are recent, they’re not atonal or harsh. When the trio played in Los Alamos recently to an older audience, including scientists, many were moved to tears. “The first movement melody in (Arutiunian’s piece) makes you cry because it’s just so beautiful. (Audience members) were surprised this music was so great. They realized, ‘We like this 20th century music.’ They can enjoy the experience and not feel like they’re depressed.”Strong rhythm, based on folk music, defines the Arutiunian and Khachaturian. The Milhaud is reminiscent of French caf music, and as Lemmons describes Schickele’s piece, “It’s funny as hell,” complete with a violin hoe-down.Behind the notes sit spectacular musicians: Lemmons serves as a presidential teaching fellow and professor of clarinet at The University of New Mexico and is sought after internationally as a soloist, clinician and chamber player. Carmelo de los Santos is one of the top violinists out of Brazil. He is the assistant professor of violin at the University of New Mexico and plays with major orchestras in South America.”They’re both marvelous, accomplished musicians,” said pianist Debra Ayers, who’s no stranger to Breckenridge concerts. She performs extensively as a recitalist with singers, instrumentalists and chamber music ensembles.The three musicians appreciate their friendship with each other; both Ayers and Lemmons occasionally have played in groups where the musicians didn’t all get along or communicate well, so they enjoy performing in this ensemble. “The work is hard; you bare your soul, (and it’s nice when) you bare it with friends,” Lemmon said. “It’s really about making chamber music so it’s fun, and that comes through in the performance.””When you have accomplished musicians and fun … those two things together mean more than anything else,” Ayers said. “It turns into a completely different experience.”
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