Vaughan String Quartet
St. Albert Chamber Music Society
Saturday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m.
St. Albert United Church
20 Green Grove Dr.
Tickets: $35 adults, $30 students/seniors. Contact Musée Heritage Museum, The Art Gallery of St. Albert or www.eventbrite.ca
Four years ago, the Edmonton-based Vaughan String Quartet made its first appearance in St. Albert.
Word spread quickly of its beautifully blended sound and doors swung open welcoming the professional ensemble to the chamber music scene.
The four musicians return to the St. Albert Chamber Music Society Series on Saturday, March 16, at St. Albert United Church.
The program selection is simple and direct in its sentiments. The foursome will feature compositions from Italy’s Davide Piero Runcini, Brazil’s Antônio Carlos Gomes and France’s Claude Debussy.
“We want to tell the story about ourselves. We are four immigrants to Canada from Italy and Brazil. We would like to represent where we came from,” said violinist Vladimir Rufino, the ensemble’s Brazilian spokesperson.
This time around, what was once a four-way musical fusion of two married couples, is now a thriving long-distance relationship.
Violist Mattia Berrini and cellist Silvia Buttiglione moved to Montreal last summer. Berrini is a member of the Université de Montréal’s research laboratory studying biomechanics and health issues associated with string playing.
Interested in devoting his creative urges to the project, Berrini and Buttiglione settled in Montreal but continue performing with the quartet.
Meanwhile, violinist Vladimir Rufino is expanding his role as first violinist with Vaughan String Quartet as well as performing regularly with Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
Like her husband, violist Fabiola Amorim devotes her energies to the quartet and teaching at MacEwan University Conservatory of Music.
Berrini and Buttiglione return to the region for a series of concerts and Rufino admits preparatory rehearsals will have a slightly different tone.
“Where we would meet two or three times a week before, now when we’re together we do an intensive of 10-hour day rehearsals. But because the four of us are two couples, we can rehearse parts of it together,” said Rufino.
The opening number is Runcini’s four-movement Suite Porpora, a tribute to women’s strength and sensuality. It is structured as four Italian ancestral dances from different time periods and social origins.
From Brazil, the quartet plays Carlos Gomes’ Sonata in D Major, a lively, romantic work demanding a great deal of emotional sensitivity and technical expertise.
Completing the recital is Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor, a work that ranges from delicate subtlety to ravishing grandeur.
“As the quartet, we are eager to see everyone in St. Albert. It has been a long time that we have not played near our home, and this concert will is special.”
Opening the program are emerging stars Benjamin and Jennifer Nguyen, a brother and sister duo on violin and piano.