Ronald Lantz, violin and Laura Kargul, piano
Celebrate the holiday of love with Lantz and Kargul as they journey back to La Belle Époque,
the most romantic era in French art and culture. Savor the lush pastoral scenes portrayed in
Joseph Canteloube’s evocative suite, Dans la montagne, and revel in the passion of Jacques
de La Presle’s rhapsodic Sonata for Violin and Piano.
Valentine's Day with Lantz and Kargul: La Belle Époque
Violinist Ronald Lantz and pianist Laura Kargul will present another of their popular Valentine’s Day concerts at Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland on Sunday, February 18 at 2:00 p.m.
The concert, titled "La Belle Époque," will focus on music composed in France during the early decades of the twentieth century, one of the most romantic periods in French art and culture.
The program will include a seldom-heard work, Dans la montagne (1906), a four-movement suite for violin and piano by Joseph Canteloube (1879-1957). Born in the Auvergne, a region in southern France known for its stunning mountains, meadows and forests, Canteloube collected and arranged the folk melodies of the region. He is now best known for his much admired and well-loved series of folk song arrangements, Chants d’Auvergne, for soprano and orchestra.
"This gorgeous violin suite, too, is infused with the modes and colors of folk music from the Auvergne," says Lantz. “It is cinematic in the way it evokes the French countryside. With nature as his muse, Cantaloube paints a highly sensuous scene in the mountains, setting the stage for romantic inclinations, if not actual adventures. With its mists, streams, singing birds and calling shepherds, it’s always Valentine’s Day in the Auvergne.
The duo will also include one of their signature works, the rarely performed Sonata for Violin and Piano by Jacques de la Presle (1888-1969).
"This ravishing and thoroughly romantic sonata was written between 1913 and 1914, during de la Presle’s courtship of Anne-Marie Portalis, his muse, future wife and love of his life," says Kargul.
Lantz and Kargul were contacted by de la Presle's granddaughter, Alix Evesque, a few years ago when she discovered via the internet that they were performing the sonata. She shared some of her grandfather's letters with them and wrote, of the sonata: “I love this piece, so delicate, and I find in it all the love from my grandfather to my grandmother, which was great.”
Kargul adds that de la Presle, like Canteloube, depicts a landscape of romance: "While Canteloube conjurs visual images of enchanting scenes in nature, de la Presle portrays just as vividly the internal landscape of a heart filled with love, by turns dramatic, spirited, playful, tender and passionate."
Lantz and Kargul first performed as a duo on the LARK series in 2010 and have continued to delight audiences near and far with their impassioned performances of Romantic music, combined with thoughtful and lively remarks from the stage. Recent tours include concerts in Arizona, Florida and Jamaica, West Indies, as well as appearances throughout Maine and northern New England.
Ronald Lantz has taught and concertized in over 30 countries as a founding member of the Portland String Quartet. He has also performed with numerous symphony orchestras both as soloist and as principal player, and has served on the faculties of the University of New Hampshire, Bates College, the University of Southern Maine, Bowdoin College, and Colby College, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree. Mr. Lantz performs on a violin made in Paris in the 1850's by the renowned instrument and bow maker, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.
Laura Kargul is the Director of Keyboard Studies at the University of Southern Maine School of Music. She has appeared as a soloist and collaborative artist throughout Europe and the USA, as well as in Canada and the West Indies, in venues such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Liszt-Haus in Weimar, the Aspen Music Festival, the Evian Festival of Chamber Music and the Chamber Music Festival of Lucca in Italy. She holds a doctorate in piano performance from the University of Michigan, where she studied with pianists Leon Fleisher and Theodore Lettvin, and conductor Gustav Meier.
Tickets are available online from USM at http://usm.maine.edu/music/boxoffice or by phone at (207)780-5555, or by phone from the LARK Society at (207) 761-1522. Tickets are $22 general public; $20 seniors; free for students and/or 21 and under. Subsidized tickets are available from the LARK Society. The concert will be held at Woodfords Congregational Church, 202 Woodford Street, Portland.
Sponsored by Dr. Newell and Tenney Augur and Piper Shores
Co-presented by the LARK Society and the University of Southern Maine School of Music.
Those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Lori Arsenault, (207) 780-5142, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646.