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Discover Trio De Moda, a new group playing fresh material

Trio De Moda is the region's newest chamber ensemble.
Trio ab
From left to right: Violinist Neda Yamach, cellist Kathleen de Caen and violist Clayton Leung form the new and effervescent Trio De Moda performing at Red Willow Place on Saturday, Nov. 18.

PREVIEW Trio De Moda With emerging artist Mark-Olivier Knoefel St. Albert Chamber Music Society Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Red Willow Place 7 Tache St. Tickets: $35 adults, $30 students and seniors, at door
Say hello to the region's newest chamber ensemble. Trio De Moda, which means fashionable trio, is St. Albert Chamber Music Society's second presentation of the season at Red Willow Place on Saturday, Nov. 18. The trio, composed of St. Albert raised violinist Neda Yamach, cellist Kathleen de Caen and violist Clayton Leung, is attracting converts with its style, flair and stimulating choices of universally popular pieces as well as more uncommon material. All first-rate musicians performing at the top of their game, the trio injects a youthful zest into recitals that lets you know it enjoys the fine fare it plays. Yamach is a violinist with Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, de Caen is acting as the principal cello of Symphony Nova Scotia, and Leung doubles as both a classical and jazz musician. "We played together in the ESO and other settings, and talked about starting a chamber group. We became friends and liked how each other played," said Yamach. As she explained, the classical canon is infused with a wealth of material for quartets. Less so for trios. However, the field is also more crowded with quartets than trios. "Some people have asked what we'll do when we run out of repertoire. But there's lots of stuff we haven't delved into and there are other musicians we can collaborate with." Tonight Trio De Moda performs three pieces: Beethoven's passionate String Trio No. 3 in G Major, the lyrical String Trio by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, and Hungarian composer Ernö Dohnány's Serenade in C Major, a multi-movement work  that is soulful, defiant and exotic. "Beethoven's String Trio No. 3 is beautiful, complex and romantic. He composed it when he was 28 years old. At that time it was a significant milestone for him as a composer. He regarded it as his best work until he wrote the string quartets which became his leading genre," Yamach said. Penderecki, a modern classical composer who has been at the forefront of musical changes since 1960, and is renowned for Threnody (Lament) to Victims of Hiroshima, has written abundant significant works. "His pieces are very complex and very much 21st century. String Trio is very exciting, but probably of the three pieces, the most challenging to put together. It has heavy chords that must be played in unison. Interspersed are solos. It breaks into a moving, continuous tempo. But the tempo varies and the style of the pieces varies." Yamach is particularly delighted to perform the closing work, Dohnány's Serenade. "Clayton played it and introduced it to us. It's such a beautiful work. I couldn't believe I hadn't heard it before. It's very progressive. He (Dohnány) has a way of developing the themes in a way that brings Brahms to mind. It's played in the traditional style, but in a very cutting edge way." Violinist Mark-Olivier Knoefel, a Grade 12 student at Strathcona High School, and a frequent competitor at St. Albert Rotary Music Festival, opens the recital with two romantic works – Vittorio Monti's Czardas and Antonín Dvorák's 4 Romantic Pieces, Op. 75. Pianist Natalia Krupinova accompanies him.

Anna Borowiecki

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