The programs for the three concerts in the 2014 season of the Music in the Mishkan series of chamber music have now been announced by Music Director and violinist Randall Weiss. Once again, Weiss will be performing with his colleagues in The Bridge Players, violinist Jory Fankuchen, violist Natalia Vershilova, and cellist Victoria Ehrlich. The season will also feature, as guest soloist, soprano Sharon Bernstein. Bernstein also serves as Cantor for Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, which hosts the Music in the Mishkan series as a platform for Jewish composers. Bernstein will perform settings of Yiddish poetry by two composers, Mark Warshawsky and Mordechai Gebirtig.
Program details are as follows:
- January 19: The members of The Bridge Players will be joined by violist Patricia Whaley and cellist Michael Graham for a program entitled “Harmony.” The program will consist of three sextets from the last half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. It will begin with the “overture” for Richard Strauss’ 1942 opera Capriccio, which will be followed by Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Opus 10 sextet in D major, first performed in 1917. The second half of the program will consist entirely of Johannes Brahms’ Opus 18 sextet in B-flat minor, composed in 1860.
- March 9: For this program, entitled “Melody,” Bernstein will join a piano trio consisting of pianist Marilyn Thompson and Weiss and Ehrlich. She will sing the Warshawsky settings of Yiddish poetry. Warshawsky’s nineteenth-century style will be complemented by the much more contemporary and jazzy (not to mention more than a little loopy) “Café Music,” which Paul Schoenfield originally wrote for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and later arranged for piano trio. The second half of the program will present Franz Schubert’s D. 929 trio in E-flat major.
- June 1: The final concert is entitled “Rhythm;” and Bernstein will perform settings of Yiddish poetry by Gebirtig, who was almost 30 years younger than Warshawsky. Cellist Robert Howard will replace Ehrlich for performances of two piano trios. The program will begin with the second trio, in G major, of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 1 and conclude with Antonín Dvořák’s Opus 65 trio in F minor.
All performances begin at 4 p.m. and last about two hours. Each is then followed by a wine and cheese reception. Congregation Sha’ar Zahav is located at 290 Dolores Street at 16th Street. The full subscription costs $55 with a special $40 rate for Congregation Members. Single tickets cost $20 and $15 for Members. Orders may placed by calling the synagogue at 415-861-6932.