La Cafamore approaches its first decade of performing in the Kootenays, and one could say that what has kept the group going has been the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
“That and the fact that we really like each other and enjoy playing together,” says violist Alexis More, one of the group’s founding members.
The group began as a string quartet but three years ago found itself to be a trio.
“We exhausted the two violin/viola repertoire in one concert,” says More.
In order to keep the group going, they shifted gears, turning to piano trio repertoire.
Piano trios happen to be violinist Angela Snyder’s favorite medium, so for her it was a welcome progression to take on the lead violin part. Carolyn Cameron tackled the piano parts and Alexis transcribed the cello parts.
“As a violist, I was not familiar with the piano trio repertoire,” says More, “but as it turns out, the cello part transcribes to viola quite naturally.”
Most piano trios exploit the cello’s upper range, which happily corresponds to the violas’ lower range. More’s rich sound adds to the mix so that for the listener, one is hard-pressed to tell the difference.
“Occasionally there are scale passages where you have to go down then up, which is a bit awkward,” says More “but they are surprisingly rare.”
For Carolyn Cameron, switching from violin to piano was a challenge.
“I have much more experience performing on violin. And the piano parts of most of these trios are monstrous.”
Cameron says that she went from learning 10 page works for solo piano to 50 plus page works for trios.
“The sheer volume is daunting and most of these pieces were composed by accomplished pianists. They don’t make it easy.”
She has enjoyed the process and has nothing but praise for her fellow musicians who fully supported her in her new role.Supported, yes, but violinist Angela Snyder still takes every opportunity to tease her younger sister, Carolyn.
“We are challenged by choice, since there are many beautiful piano trios out there that are not quite as ‘monstrous’ as our chosen favorites,” says Snyder.
La Cafamore will be performing Schubert’s piano trio in E♭+ and Haydn’s piano trio in C+ at Trail United Church, one of the Kootenay’s acoustic gems, on Thursday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors and is free for children under 12.