Only two of the selections for the upcoming Chamber Music in Idyllwild Series bare the name “Fantasy.” But even when they’re not performing Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces for Cello or Saint-Saëns’ Fantaisie in A Major, the Pacific Trio and their handful of superb string, wind, brass, and piano collaborators from the Idyllwild Arts Chamber Festival faculty will help the listener’s imagination take flight.
Pacific Trio co-founder and distinguished cellist John Walz has been giving wing to music in Idyllwild for half a century. His first visit was in 1964, as a junior high camper who had played the cello for a year. He’d awakened to its beauty at his mother’s feet when her piano was accompanied by a cello for a performance of Max Bruch’s Kol Nidre, which is based on the prayer of atonement recited during the evening service on Yom Kippur.
Along with his Pacific Trio partners—pianist Edith Orloff and violinist Roger Wilkie—and their Chamber Festival faculty friends, Walz will bring his ever-deepening reverence for music to Stephens Recital Hall on the Idyllwild Arts campus on the evenings of July 24, July 27, and July 31.
The New York Times has written that the Pacific Trio plays with “warmth, expertise, and unanimity,” and the Los Angeles Times says that among chamber trios they’re “one of the best.”
The Trio excels partly because of the massive repertoire on display in the Cham Erwin Schulhoff (1894–1942), whose career and life were cut short by the Nazis.
It’s a repertoire that can dazzle even a practiced listener, so KUSC’s Rich Capparela will be on hand to give guidance. His pre-concert talks start at 7:30 p.m., half an hour before the music—anchoring you to the ground with expert commentary on the composers and their intentions so that you don’t float away forever with the beauty of the music.
Program I – Wednesday, July 24
Schumann – Fantasy Pieces for Cello and Piano, Op, 73 (Speltz, Orloff)
Debussy – Sonata for Violin and Piano (Wilkie, Orloff)
Saint-Saëns – Fantaisie in A Major, Op. 124, for Violin and Harp (Trent, Allport)
Martinu – Bergerettes for Piano Trio (Pacific Trio)
Program II – Saturday, July 27
Schumann – Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70, for Cello and Piano (Walz, Orloff)
Arensky – Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 32 (Pacific Trio)
Mendelssohn – String Quartet in D Major, Op. 44, No. 1 (Trent, Wilkie, Kupka, Speltz)
Program III – Wednesday, July 31
Kummer – Duet in G minor for Two Cellos, Op. 22, No. 2 (Walz, Speltz)
Schulhoff – Duo for Violin and Cello (1925) (Trent, Walz)
Schumann – Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 (Orloff, Trent, Tsai, Kupka, Speltz)
Concerts will be held on July 24, July 27, and July 31 in Stephens Recital Hall at Idyllwild Arts located at 52500 Temecula Rd., Idyllwild. The pre-concert talks begin at 7:30 p.m. The series is free and open to the public.