Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival perfroms at Eureka Women's Club

Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival presents
 2020 Midwinter Classics:
“Beethoven's Last Words”
(calendar editors see below for event details)
            The Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival will kick off the new year with the fifth annual Midwinter Classics series, presenting a concert at the Eureka Women's Club on Sunday, January 5 at 7:00pm. Entitled Beethoven's Last Words, this concert will feature the composer's final work for piano, the “Six Bagatelles Op. 126,” and his last major work he completed before his death in 1827, the “String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135.”
            The organization began offering Beethoven-themed winter programs in 2016, which involved inviting professional string players to enjoy a week-long winter residency, where they would be able to immerse themselves in studying and performing the composers famous “late quartets”, and offer a series of public concerts in and around North State California.
            Composed near the end of Beethoven's life, when Beethoven was suffering from serious illness and increasingly isolated due to deafness, these five string quartets are seen as some of the most complex and influential music ever written. “This music contains everything,” says festival director Ian Scarfe, “Beethoven manages to cover all of the expressive terrain – there is darkness and despair, there is joy and light-hearted dance, there is inner peace and thoughtfulness, and all of it is framed in the context of a discussion between four instruments: a quartet of string players.”
            The program will feature a contrast of firsts and lasts. Pianist Ian Scarfe will perform his very first Piano Sonata in F Minor Op. 2 No. 1, and his very last works for piano, the Six Bagatelles Op. 126. The Sonata was written in 1795 when Beethoven was only 25 years old and not yet a superstar, but nevertheless shows his fiery dramatic personality and willingness to shock his audiences out of their seats.  The Six Bagatelles were written in the 1820s, when Beethoven was well into the experimentations of his “late style”. They offer wonderful, and sometimes hyperactive, examples of the wide range of expressive music, contained into a seamless set of six character pieces.
            The finale of the program will be Beethoven's String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135, the last major work he composed. This quartet also moves quickly between styles – from charming elegance to deeply profound. Beethoven titles the final section of the work “A Difficult Decision”, with two different musical themes presented to the audience. The first is a question: “Must it be?” - the second, a definitive answer “It MUST be!”.
            Scarfe will be joined by violinists Ellen McGehee and James Keene, violist Stephen Fine, and cellist Charles Akert, all regular members of the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival. The musicians will share stories of the history and context of Beethoven and these works, offering the audience a kind of “listening guide” to help follow these strange and wonderful masterpieces.
            The 2020 Midwinter Classics tour will feature concerts in Hyampom, Weaverville, Petaluma, Palo Alto, and San Francisco, in addition to the January 5 event in Eureka.
            For more information on concert dates, times, tickets, and venues, please visit the website at

Sunday, January 5, 7:00pm
Eureka Women's Club,1531 J Street, Eureka
Pay-What-You-Can Admission

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Sunday, January 5, 2020 - 7:00pm