Sunday, November 22nd, 2020

The British Cello

2:00-4:00 pm


$30/$20 (students and youth)



Paul Marleyn, cello

Carson Becke, piano


Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

Six Studies in English Folk Song

Frank Bridge (1879-1941)

Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, H 125

Visual Artist Spotlight:

Dominique Chauvaux, oil portraits of British composers

'I draw and paint in response to the overwhelming need to express the questions, concerns, and wonders aroused in me by the mystery of life. I am interested in transitional periods, trauma and recovery, loss and rebirth.  Through my art, I strive to go beyond one’s appearance, to the energy that connects and animates us all. I want to translate the dignity of the person, regardless of age or physical traits.  Through my work I attempt to realign myself and reorder today’s sometimes chaotic pace of life.  Painting and drawing people is a way to understand others as well as a search to discover myself.'

Dominique is a long-time audience member at Pontiac Enchanté, and we are delighted that she will be producing a new series of portraits in celebration of this concert's theme.  To read more about her and her work, visit her website here.

Junior Artist Series:

Cello students from the studio of Joan Harrison

Cellist Joan Harrison is a dynamic and versatile musician who maintains an active teaching and performance schedule on both modern and baroque cello. She has taught at prestigious institutions including Carleton University, the Juilliard School, Princeton University, The Perlman Music Program, the United Nations International School and New York School for Strings. She is often heard on CBC radio in performance as principal cellist of both the Aradia Baroque Ensemble and the Toronto Chamber Orchestra.  Along with performing, Joan is dedicated to promoting music education for young children.  She maintains a Suzuki cello studio in Ottawa, where she also directs the I Cellisti cello choir and is on the executive board of the Ottawa-Gatineau cello club. In addition, she regularly gives workshops and lectures on education with special interests in both early childhood development and citizenship education. Along with producing numerous published articles on teaching, Joan is the founder of The Enterprising Rabbit, where she develops and sells motivational materials for young musicians.

British cellist Paul Marleyn (professor of cello, Ottawa University) and pianist Carson Becke share a  musical heritage: both spent a portion of their formative musical years in the United Kingdom, and both were students at the Royal Academy of Music in London.  In celebration of this shared heritage, they explore music for cello and piano by three of the most influential British composers of the twentieth century.  All of Vaughan Williams' output is intimately connected to the folk music traditions of the British Isles: he spent significant time traveling the British countryside notating folk tunes as he heard them sung.  The Six Studies distill his understanding of English folk tunes to their essence.  Frank Bridge laboured over his Sonata for Cello and Piano for four years, between 1913 and 1917, and its composition is saturated with Bridge's intense despair over the outbreak of the First World War (Bridge was a staunch pacifist).  Its language is a synthesis of the late romantic idiom that informed his earliest works, and the more experimental modernism that was to be a hallmark of his later style.  Benjamin Britten studied with Frank Bridge. Britten's Cello Sonata was the result of his meeting with the famous Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007):  Rostropovich asked Britten to write a piece for him, and the Cello Sonata was the first of many.  The piece is largely based on Rostropovich's muscular, physical approach to the cello, and calls to mind the sound of Dmitri Shostakovich's cello music, with which Rostropovich was closely associated.  

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)

Cello Sonata, op. 65