This month the Old First Concerts series at Old First Church will feature the third visit from the Aleron Trio. It will also be the first Old First event to feature their new pianist, Sophie Xuefei Zhang, performing with violinist Solenn Séguillon and cellist Anne Suda. On this occasion they will revisit their interpretation of Antonín Dvořák’s Opus 90 trio in E minor, consisting of six movements, all in the dumka folk form, which they performed in their Old First debut recital. They will also continue their survey of the piano trios of Ludwig van Beethoven with a performance of the first of his Opus 70 trios in D major, sometimes called the “Ghost” because of the spooky connotations of the hushed trills in the second (Largo assai e espressivo) movement.
The highlight of this new recital, however, will be the world premiere of “A Bitter Letter,” written on commission by the Persian composer Shahab Paranj. This is Paranj’s first work for piano trio. He has structured it in three movements, all of which are influenced by traditional Persian classical music. The first movement takes a parlando approach to what is known of the vocal style from ancient Persia, constructed from phrases that are almost ametrical. The second movement builds on an ostinato in the piano, above which both violin and cello play Azari and Persian folk melodies. The sources for both of these movements reflect the “Taazie” style of music for religious mourning. The third movement then synthesizes these sources with new material to provide a more jubilant finale.
Old First Concerts events take place in the Old First Church at 1751 Sacramento Street (on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue). This recital will be held on September 13 at 8 p.m. General admission is $17 with a special $14 rate for full-time students and seniors. These may be purchased through the event page on the Old First Concerts Web site. Further information may be obtained by calling 415-474-1608.