Try to Stay Seated

Amid Lively Dances in a Concert Frame


The title for this Eko Nova performance “Tumble, Rag, Freylakh! ” says a lot already. Footsteps on the move. Music of our time, of course, mostly from the 90s but something from 10 years ago.

“Tumble”, for violin, marimba and computer, comes from Argentina-born Alejandro Vinao who cites African, Latin American and Asian traditions. He reminds us that a tumbler is an acrobat and that the players, like tumblers, “unfold the shifting rhythms in the vertigo of a pulse which changes with every step.” The rhythms, he says, take precedence over harmony. http://www.vinao.com/

The “Four Rags for Two Jons” are by John Novacek, calling them modern takes on a style made popular by granddaddy of them all Scott Joplin.  Various influences, he points out, include showpieces and stride piano, the latter a “highly embellished, virtuosic offshoot of ragtime” e.g. James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. Novacek wrote these  in 2006 for clarinetist Jon Manasse and pianist Jon Nakamatsu. Hence the title. http://www.parkerartists.com/John-Novacek.html

You don’t have to be Jewish to recognize the word “Freylakh” but it could help to get you set for  that thus-named element, eastern European Jewish dance, in “Trio” a clarinet/violin/piano combo in Hassidic modes by Paul Schoenfield. Here he evokes feelings similar to those at celebratory Hassidic gatherings, calling forth such moments in the old countries where klezmorim performed. There’s also a flavor of Russian Cossack dances taking the floor at Jewish weddings. Schoenfield wants to combine the essence of such spirits within a sense of classical chamber music, “to be both entertaining and artistic.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Schoenfield

Taking on all this are visiting Kansas City artists clarinetist John Klinghammer, Sean Chen at the piano, Noah Geller playing violin plus percussionist Mari Yoshinaga. The essence of the resonance of Eko Nova.

“Tumble, Rag, Freylakh!” an Eko Nova concert, is April 17th at Kaneko, 1111 Jones St.  Mon.  7 p.m. Tickets: $15.   http://www.omahachambermusic.org


Category: Music

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