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Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter Bringing Chicago Premiere of Sebastian Currier's Ghost Trio to Symphony Center
Acclaimed violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter (photo courtesy of Ms. Mutter)
Composer Sebastian Currier’s Ghost Trio, written for violinist and longtime champion of his music Anne-Sophie Mutter, receives its world premiere at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, March 12 at 8:00 p.m. Performed by Mutter with cellist Daniel Müller-Schott and pianist Lambert Orkis, the piano trio explores the history and legacy of the genre through allusions to classic works. The artists will reprise the work at Chicago’s Symphony Center on Sunday, March 17.
The Chicago program includes Ravel’s Violin Sonata and Beethoven’s Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1 (“Ghost”). Both programs feature Mozart’s Violin Sonata in E Minor, K. 304 and Poulenc’s Violin Sonata.
Comprising nine short movements, Ghost Trio reflects Currier’s interest in the piano trio as a genre that flourished among composers in the 19th century, but which has since been used less and less. Says Currier, “Playing off of the name of Beethoven’s ‘Ghost’ Trio, I decided to write a piano trio that would create a dialogue with the form in its heyday. Brief fragments of the trios of Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms appear as fleeting apparitions, like ghosts from the past, creating brief flashes of sound, gone before one can even fully perceive them.”
The work is written for and dedicated to Anne-Sophie Mutter, who has been performing Mr. Currier’s music since 1994. Mutter says, “I became fascinated by Sebastian Currier's music upon hearing Clockwork in 1992. Lambert Orkis and I approached him to write for us, which resulted in the poetic Aftersong, and sparked an artistic relationship that extends to today. His original and witty Ringtone Variations for violin and double bass followed. But the violin concerto Time Machines, where this great composer plays with our perception of time and pulse, is so far the high point of our musical endeavors together. In the new Ghost Trio, Sebastian convincingly merges past and present, with a series of alternating slow and virtuosic movements subtly introducing fragments of renowned piano trios. This is a worthy tribute to Beethoven's great work, and a significant addition to the piano trio repertoire.”
Currier’s Aftersong (1994) has been performed by Mutter extensively in the US and Europe, including at Carnegie Hall, London’s Barbican, and Salzburg’s Grosses Festspielhaus. She premiered and recorded Time Machines (2007) with the New York Philharmonic led by Alan Gilbert, and premiered Ringtone Variations (2011) with Roman Patkoló, with whom she also performed the U.S. premiere at Carnegie Hall. Most recently at Carnegie Hall, in April 2017, Mutter performed Currier’s Clockwork (1989) with Lambert Orkis.
Tickets for all Symphony Center Presents Chamber Music series concerts can be purchased by phone at 800-223-7114 or 312-294-3000, online at cso.org or at the Symphony Center box office: 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604.