New sonata evokes Muskoka experience

A recital by a trio of faculty members in the School of Music will feature the world premiere of a sonata that draws on the composer’s time in Canada’s cottage country.

Clarinetist Trevor Pittman, pianist Gregory Butler and violinist Lillian Scheirich will perform in recital Sunday, November 13, at 2:30 p.m. in Assumption University Chapel. The program includes sonatas by Johannes Brahms and César Franck and the Trio for violin, clarinet and piano by Aram Khachaturian, as well as a new work by former UWindsor instructor Robert Rival.

Rival, who taught in the music school in the 2009-10 academic year, says his “Muskoka” sonata for clarinet and piano recalls summer escapes with his wife.

“One year we rented a cabin in the Muskoka region that had the distinction of sitting on a rock face overlooking a wide lake while at the same time bordering a narrow tributary that led to a vast marsh,” he says. “We spent the bulk of our time canoeing on the open lake and along a winding channel that cut through the marsh—the two scenes I depict in this sonata.”

Pittman commissioned the work, hoping for music somehow associated with the Rocky Mountains of his Alberta home. Rival, who is currently composer-in-residence for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, suggested the Muskoka theme.

“The piece features short expressive melodies and many animated rhythms,” Pittman says. “You can hear loons and insects and rippling water.”

Tickets for the Faculty Trio Recital are $15, with a student rate of $5. Order in advance by phone at 519-253-3000, ext. 4212, or purchase online at Tickets also available at the door. Find more information on the music Web site.

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