Cellist Edward Aaron makes Highlands-Cashiers festival debut with William Ransom and Vega Quartet

by Mark Gresham | 13 Jul 2014


l-r: William Ransom, Jessica Shuang Wu, Edward Arron, Domenic Salerni, Guang Wang, Yinzi Kong

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The Highlands Cashiers Chamber Music Festival presented the fourth program of its 2014 season this past Friday, July 11, featuring music by Beethoven, Prokofiev and Glazunov. Cellist Edward Arron joined HCCMF director/pianist William Ransom and the Vega String Quartet (violinists Domenic Salerni and Jessica Shuang Wu, violist Yinzi Kong and cellist Guang Wang) in the concert at the Highlands Performing Arts Center.

This concert marked Arron’s HCCMF debut. He and Ransom opened the show with Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69. It’s the middle child among the composer’s sonatas for cello and piano, between the pair that makes up his early Op. 5, essentially piano sonatas with cello obbligato, and the complexly visionary pair of Op. 102 from the beginning of his third creative period. Number 3 is the first cello sonata where cello and piano are treated as eqyal partners, thoroughly classical in proportion and interplay of instruments. The opening Allegro ma non tanto movement starts with cello alone for a few bars.

The Vega Quartet followed with Prokofiev’s wartime (1941) String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op. 92.

The Highlands Festival has an unusual social twist in that the intermission doubles as the concert’s reception, with snacks and wine before the second half of the concert.

Arron returned to the stage with the Vega Quartet for Glazunov’s String Quintet in A major, Op. 39, often called “Cello Quintet” because it includes a second cello instead of a second viola added to the standard string quartet.

The concert was repeated in Cashiers on Saturday evening at the Albert Carlton Library. The Festival runs through August 3. Arron heads next to the Pacific Northwest next week, performing at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival with violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianists Inon Barnaton and Max Levinson.

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