By Dennis Tupman
Jack Glatzer, world- renowned violinist, sizzled with local musicians in 100 Mile House on May 3.
He and I have been friends for more than 45 years, and for some reason, we cross paths frequently – in person or n the Internet.
He lives in Portugal and travels the world giving concerts. The sounds he creates on the violin are amazing. He certainly proved that in the 100 Mile Evangelical Free Church.
Glatzer joined forces with local musicians and offered an unusual and varied program of fine and seldom-heard classical music.
Music for solo or small groups is often dubbed “chamber music” because it was the fashion in former times to perform these pieces in intimate settings in elaborate mansion “chambers” for the aristocracy. So, this small ensemble music with a few performers has to capture musical ideas more often heard from large groups, such as orchestras.
To begin the program, we were robustly brought to attention by a rendition of “Trumpet Voluntary” performed by local trumpeter Brian Beattie. He then followed with the well-known “Trumpeter’s Lullaby” by the modern composer Leroy Anderson.
Beattie has generously entertained us in many settings since he came here a few years ago.
After this rousing opening, we were offered a Wolfgang Mozart duet for violin, with Glatzer on violin and Curtis Wolfe on viola. This piece shows what the great Mozart could accomplish with small resources. A viola has a slightly darker tone than the violin.
Wolfe looked completely at home with Glatzer as they confidently rendered this intimate yet complex music.
Next, the gently plucked sound of the classical guitar competently performed by local musician Alex Zamorano. Two pieces from two different eras, the “Air on a G String” by the 18th century JS Bach, and “Prelude for a Jazz Samba” rounded out Zamorano’s entertaining contributions.
Local vocalist Ingrid Mapson, as I write this, is soloing with the Kamloops Symphony in “Beethoven’s 9th Symphony” on a professional assignment. In this local concert, she delighted us with the evocative “Habanera” by Georges Bizet from the opera Carmen. Her subsequent singing of the poignant song “Danny Boy” melted the audience.
A trio closed the first half of the concert and involved local pianist Jasmine Kreschuk on piano, visiting but previously local Anthony Lau on harmonica and Glatzer on violin. From these three performers, we received almost symphonic complexity and conflicting musical intimacy from this lesser-known and compelling piece by the 17th century’s great W.A. Mozart – “Allegro from Oboe (harmonica) and Violin Concerto.”
This selection was a “tour de force” for the three players who were equal to the challenge.
For the second half of the program, we were treated to two monumental works. First, Kreschuk gave us a spirited rendition of Ludwig van “Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Opus 7, First Movement.” Performed by memory by Kreschuk, we at times were emotionally overwhelmed by her intense performance at the Free Evangelical Church piano.
To conclude the listed program, local pianist Pat Friesen teamed with Glatzer in a rendition of “Sonata for Violin and piano in E minor, First movement.” For Friesen to accomplish this difficult piece with Glatzer and to make such memorable music together was an amazing feat.
Communicating by e-mail over thousands of kilometres about how Glatzer wanted to render this piece was indeed a challenge.
To send folks home scratching their heads over how Glatzer could wring such sounds from a small wooden box, such as the violin, he tossed off two impossibly difficult Paganini caprices for solo violin. After hearing these rare sounds an audience member was heard to ask, “How did he just do that?
Hats off go to the local players who joined with this great violinist. I am sure the locals will never forget the ideas and inspiration that Glatzer brought to our musicians in our small, yet vibrant, community.
Dennis Tupman has invited Jack Glatzer to his home for several years and Glatzer gives a world-class concert in 100 Mile House every time.