February 22, 2011

Chamber Music Society to present concert

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society, an affiliate of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale School of Music, presents a chamber music concert sure to seduce the senses with musical selections ranging from eerie to vivacious.

The concert, entitled “Soulful and Decadent,” begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship (105 N. Parrish Lane, Carbondale). Tickets are $15 for general admission, $3 for students.

The concert opens with Late Romantic German composer Max Reger’s (1873-1916) “Cantata,” followed by “Contrasts,” a Béla Bartok (1881-1945) composition influenced both by Hungarian folk music and jazz music. The concert closes with a darkly beautiful song-cycle from German born American composer Charles-Martin Loeffler (1861-1935).

Aurélien Pétillot, instructor of viola at the School of Music, discussed the different works selected for this “soulful and decadent” musical program. He said the “Cantata” is both “pious and lush” and “a far cry from any dryness or austerity sometimes wrongfully associated with Sacred music,” while the Bartok selection is “endearingly quirky.” Loeffler’s music, he said, “recalls the ghoulishness and sensuality of Poe and Shelley.”

The Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society (SICMS) presents concerts both to promote chamber music in Southern Illinois, but also to provide scholarships for School of Music students. This concert features Victoria Moore (Salem, Ill.), winner of the SICMS Scholarship, and guest conductor, graduate student Renée Rybolt (Berne, Ind.) along with SIUC faculty musicians Pétillot (viola), Yuko Kato (piano) and Eric Mandat (clarinet). Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Pétillot, faculty at John A. Logan and Rend Lake colleges, also joins the chamber musicians.

“Over the years, the Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society has been a vital part of Carbondale’s cultural life, and has made a strong impact on its community,” Aurélien Pétillot said. “Live chamber music, because of its intimacy and immediacy, is a very powerful and bonding experience for musicians and audiences alike. It is able to convey a wide variety of emotions and moods, on a deep and personal level.”

Chamber music is instrumental art music for two or more people. The name “chamber” refers to the classical venue of choice for this music -- a small room with an intimate atmosphere. It differs from music performed by a symphony in a way similar to the difference between “arena rock” and an “unplugged” performance.