Concordia Opener Explores A Variety Of Emotions

Roy Ziegler

Photos by Ray Kinlock

The Ensemble rehearses the Brahms Quintet. Carmit Zori, Calvin Wiersma, David Krakauer, Michelle Djokic, Robert Rinehart.


In its sixth season opener this week the Concordia Chamber Players displayed dramatic examples of chamber music’s ability to grab our emotions and lead us on a roller coaster ride of subtlety, melancholy, fear, joy and peace.

Jean Francaix seems to portray a night on the town in his String Trio. Violinist Calvin Weirsma and violist, Robert Rinehart communicated a sense of laughing and joking at our favorite pub. Then Michelle Djokic’s cello briefly introduced a note of sobriety to the piece before surrendering to the gaiety enjoyed by the violin and viola as if joining them in a fabulous dinner party with friends and ending with a flirtatious musical wink at the audience.


Carmit Zori watches Calvin Wiersma rehearsing the Francaix Trio.

In his Art of the Fugue, Johann Sebastian Bach plunges the listeners into dramatic moments of intensity and uncertainty as if we are living through a monumental problem that needs to be resolved, but no quick or easy solution appears viable. How fitting this music seems to be for the time in which we all live three centuries later. Violinist Carmit Zori led the ensemble of violinist Calvin Weirsma, violist, Robert Rinehart and cellist, Michelle Djokic into the principal theme of the fugue that unfolded with elegant precision into a dramatic counterpoint before ending with a feeling of ultimate solemnity in the face of impending death. The Concordia Chamber Players selected Bach’s Choral: “I herewith step before thy throne” (the great composer’s last work) to follow the fugue that death had prevented Bach from completing, thus concluding with a feeling of final tranquility.

David Krakauer watches Michelle Djokic and Robert Rinehart rehearsing the Bach Art of the Fugue

In Brahms’ Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet the Concordia players transported the audience through a melancholic and subdued episode in the first movement in which clarinetist, David Krakauer continued to stir the emotions of the strings in a dazzling but futile attempt to help them escape. Here the strings vividly portrayed the attempt to recover lost joy that carried over to the third movement. Zori produced heart-wrenching, melancholic tones that flowed like tears from her violin on to the concert stage and out to the audience. And, finally, Brahms saves us by providing a peaceful end to our dilemna taking us back to the subdued original theme.

The Concordia Chamber Players will continue its concert season on Februay 2, 2003 at 3 PM at the Stephen Buck Theater with a salute to Franz Schubert’s birthday. For more information and tickets visit the website at or call 215-297-5972

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