Primary tabs

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble Francophilia

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble's season finale, Francophilia, is a concert celebrating French classical music and exploring the question: “What defines the French sound?” Distinctly sophisticated, refined, brutal and ravishing, French classical music is cooly passionate. For this concert Left Coast flutist Stacey Pelinka chose music from this incredible sound world including Maurice Ravel's Chansons madécasses and the more contemporary Sonatine by Henri Dutilleux. “The modern school of flute playing arose in France and French music is at the heart of the flute repertoire,” explains Pelinka. “The Ravel is one of my favorite pieces. It's so economic, making very sensual and expressive music out of very few notes, a brilliant piece of orchestration--some of the best writing for piccolo ever.”

Soprano Nikki Einfeld and the ensemble also perform Debussy, Massenet, and Caplet, along with selections from Aaron Copland’s Songs of Emily Dickinson. Copland, an American composer, went to Paris as a young man to study music and came home to create an American sound. His combination of austerity and sincerity blends American and French sensibilities. According to American composer Ned Rorem, “…the solar system is torn between two aesthetics: French and German…Blue is French. Red is German. Yes is French. No is German.” Rorem believed he and Copland belonged in the French category.

Complementing its foray into the French sound, Left Coast is proud to present the world premiere of Power Is Everywhere songs on texts by Foucault by celebrated American composer Kurt Rohde. “I find the writings and lectures of the groundbreaking thinker Michel Foucault to be direct, anything but simple, and yet always so clear,” said Rohde. “This new work is an assemblage of various writings and lectures, all in English. The singer is the observer, actor, and deliverer of the message; she is not there to simply sing the text – she is there to instigate the way the music unfolds.” Rohde’s piece is influenced by a confluence of operatic works, song cycles and theater. “It is not supposed to be any of those all the time. It is OK if it seems like it is from time to time,” the composer explains. “The power of how we think a voice is supposed to be used in song was a big part of how I wrote this piece – trying to be direct and clear, but not simple.”

About Award-winning American Composer Kurt Rohde

Kurt Rohde plays viola and composes. His newest works are for the Lyris Quartet, tenor Joe Dan Harper, cellist Rhonda Rider, pianist Genevieve Lee, and the Borromeo String Quartet. Rohde plays with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, where he serves as Artistic Advisor. Kurt teaches composition at UC Davis, has received Rome Prize, Berlin Prize, Radcliffe-Harvard Institute for AdvancedStudy, and Guggenheim fellowships, and awards from American Academy of Arts and Letters, Barlow, Fromm, Hanson, and Koussevitzky Foundations. He lives in San Francisco with his husband Tim.

About Left Coast Chamber Ensemble

Left Coast is a versatile group of musicians that performs in different combinations, presenting chamber music new and old. It is the mission of Left Coast Chamber Ensemble to forge connections through stirring presentations of chamber music across the Bay Area. The Ensemble strives to make connections between composer and performer, performer and audience, audience and music, and between music of all eras by staging a spectrum of imaginative programs that enchant and delight the listener, and give diverse audiences multiple entry points for engaging with the music.

Additional Dates:
Thu June 1, 2017 7:30pm
Berkeley Piano Club

Buy Tickets


Claude Debussy

Chansons de Bilits

Henri Dutilleux

Sonatine for Flute and Piano

Kurt Rohde

Power Is Everywhere - WORLD PREMIERE

Aaron Copland

selections from Songs of Emily Dickinson for Soprano and Piano

Maurice Ravel

Chansons madécasses