Black Cedar began as the duo of guitarist Steve Lin performing with Kris Palmer playing a wide variety of flutes, including the different sizes of modern concert instruments, wood flute, and the Renaissance recorder. Last year, joined by cellist Nancy Kim, they became a trio, giving their first San Francisco recital as such at the Emerald Tablet last August. Next month they will perform at the Forte House, another recently opened salon setting providing a space particularly conducive to chamber music.
Their program will revisit two of the particularly striking offerings they presented at the Emerald Tablet. The first of these will be Chinary Ung’s 1997 “Luminous Spirals,” an abstract work created as a reflection of the horrors that the Khmer Rouge brought to Ung’s native Cambodia. The other is by New Zealand composer Ross Carey. The title of his 1994 “Te Whanganui-a-Tara” is Maori for “the great harbor of Tara,” the original name for what is now Wellington Harbor; and Carey’s music evokes that geographical setting. Another “geographical” composition in the program will be Nathan Kolosko’s 2012 “Hungarian Trio,” which uses modern resources to evoke the sounds of Hungarian folk instruments.
The remainder of the program will cover three past centuries. The earliest piece will be John Dowland’s 1588 lute song “Fortune My Foe.” From the eighteenth century Black Cedar will play an arrangement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 304 violin sonata in E minor. Mozart composed this in 1778 while visiting Paris with his mother, who fell ill and died, which may explain why he turned to an expressive minor key for this particular work. The nineteenth century will be represented on the program by a pavane that Gabriel Fauré composed for piano in 1887, which is better known in his orchestrated version.
This concert will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 20. The Forte House is located at 1498 24th Avenue. This is about a block south of Judah Street, making it easily accessible by the Muni N trolley line. All tickets will be sold at the door for $20.