Champagne and Schumann

Coquitlam pianist Rosemary O
Coquitlam pianist Rosemary O'Connor is hosting the QuiRING the New Year on Dec. 31 with her husband, violist Reg Quiring, and special guests
— image credit: photo submitted

When Coquitlam violist Reg Quiring talks about certain pieces, it's as if you can almost hear the music running through his head.

That's because he speaks in such detail — and with such passion — about the classical music compositions.

Take, for example, the last work he, his wife and their guests will perform at the sixth annual QuiRING in the New Year at Coquitlam's Evergreen Cultural Centre on Dec. 31: Robert Schumann's Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Opus 44.

Quiring calls it a "powerful piece" from the 19th century, and launches into it with such emotional vigor that you can feel its flow throughout. "The first movement has these really romantic, beautiful melodies that are so joyous," he says of the Allegro Brillante. "It's got a lot of energy and buoyancy."

But the second movement, In modo d'una marcia, brings a darker tone with a funeral march, a juxtaposition from the opening. "Then it goes in and out of these dreamlike opposites — kind of like Schumann was, like having these two characters in his mind, going back and forth," he says.

The third movement, a Scherzo, "is famous for musicians fearing they're going to fall apart because it's very fast but it's also optimistic and energetic," he says.

The finale is similar to the first in its lyricism; however, it also has "a tricky fugue and everything stops. The piano starts with another fugue and it's really powerful. Each instrument follows for the moving end that's big and great."

But while Quiring's enthusiasm about the music is evident, he won't be the star of the New Year's Eve show to offer background or history nuggets for the audience.

Rather, Quiring and his pianist wife, Rosemary O'Connor, have left that to Leah Roseman, an Ottawa-based violinist who played in the Quebec Symphony with Quiring years ago. Currently, Roseman is with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, performs with the Gruppetto Baroque Ensemble and the Silflay String Quartet. As well, Roseman is the artistic director of the Mackay Chamber Music Series.

Roseman will be starting the QuiRING concert with Mozart's Sonata for Violin and Piano in B-flat, K454, with O'Connor. And she will be joined on stage for the second composition, Haydn's Opus 20 No. 4 Quartet, by Quiring and siblings Andrew Luchkow (cello) and Angela Malmberg (violin).

Afterward, the quintet will wrap up the evening a whimsical arrangement of Auld Lang Syne and a champagne reception. "It's going to be a night to remember," Quiring said, noting past QuiRING concerts have been sold-out.

• Tickets for QuiRING in the New Year at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 are $38/$34/$15 through the Evergreen Cultural Centre box office at 604-927-6555 or online at evergreenculturalcentre.ca.
















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