(from l) Cvetozar Vutev, Martin Kratky, and Ashley Kroecher will be performing Bach’s Goldberg Variations in Ashcroft on Feb. 14. (Photo: Submitted)

Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’ in concert in Ashcroft on Feb. 14

Three members of Kamloops Symphony Orchestra bring new life to a tour de force

By Alice Durksen

They say that variety is the spice of life. If so, we are in for a lively evening when the Sycamore String Trio from the Chamber Musicians of Kamloops comes to St. Alban’s Church, Ashcroft on Feb. 14 to present their “Goldberg Variations, à tre” concert for our enjoyment.

There is variety involved at the outset, as most of us have probably only heard Bach’s Goldberg Variations for the piano. However, since Bach wrote the composition for the harpsichord, in more recent times it has been performed by stringed instruments as well.

Cvetozar Vutev, the outstanding violinist who is concertmaster with the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, will be bringing two highly talented musical colleagues from the orchestra—Ashley Kroecher (principal viola) and Martin Kratky (principal cello)—with him to perform the wonderfully inventive Goldberg Variations.

At once epic and intimate, the Sycamore String Trio brings to life J. S. Bach’s tour de force in all its conversational ingenuity. This iconic work is sublimely refined in the hands of these three string players.

Bach’s earliest biographer said of the Variations that “two melodies are so interwoven that they converse together like two persons upon a footing of pleasant equality interweaving, out of which new forms of musical expression emerge. If more parts are interwoven in the same free and independent manner, the apparatus of language is correspondingly enlarged, and becomes practically inexhaustible. True harmony is the interweaving of several soothing, yet lively melodies.”

Another “variation” to our usual Classical Concert is that Feb. 14 is Valentine’s Day, so chocolate and other treats are in order at the intermission, along with the coffee blend that the coffeehouses of Bach’s day served, provided by our local coffee roaster.

So mark your calendar for Friday, Feb. 14 and contact me at alice@durksen.ca or at (250) 457-3227 before Feb. 13 for tickets ($20 each; $10 for those 19 and under; no charge for children under 12). Tickets can also be purchased at the door. The concert starts at 7 p.m. in the church.


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