A Sunday sun may shine when three Omaha musicians,calling themselves “The Harp Trio,” offer special sounds in which to bask during a Vesper Concert which they describe as “looking back to move forward.” This is a chance to bask in a colorful, yet nontraditional combination of instruments as played by violist Brian Sherwood, flutist Maria Harding and harpist Kathleen Wychulis.  

They perform “Le Soleil Multicolore”  (“The Multi-Colored Sun”) by France’s Jacques Bondon. He wrote it in 1970 incorporating many of the compositional ideas for which he became known, impressionistic reflections and rhythms akin to those of Claude Debussy, by whom he was decidedly influenced. Bondon also wrote a number of film scores from 1958 to 1984. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0094161/ http://www.allmusic.com/artist/jacques-bondon-mn0001368045/biography

You’ll hear the kinship with Debussy when this concert offers the 1915  “Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp,” known to  many music lovers as Debussy’s most special and appealing chamber work, written during World War I. Blair Johnston of All Music Guide  finds in it “ a sense of repressed passion…and psychological tension” pointing out that the composer once said that he didn’t know whether this piece “should move us to laughter or to tears. Perhaps both?” And also that anyone who described such music as “impressionistic” was “an imbecile.”

The program further includes Benjamin Britten’s 1950 composition “Lachrymae: Reflections on a song of Dowland” written in the aftermath of World War II. It’s a set of variations for viola and piano and delicately spins off from the earlier Englishman’s penchant for lovesick melancholy, clearly seen in the Latin word for “tears.”  Actually it turns out to be variations on two Dowland songs “Flow My Tears” from 1600 and “If my complaints could passions move” from 1597.

Mr. Sherwood and Ms. Harding are parts of the Omaha Symphony. Omaha’s Ms. Wychulis is principal harpist of the Lincoln Symphony and the Boulder Philharmonic.


The Harp Trio performs at The Vesper Concerts  April 2, Presbyterian Church of the Cross, 1517 South 114 St, Sun. 3 p.m. Free. http://vesperconcerts.org/

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