Performing this Week

Yuja Wang
Yuja Wang

William Preucil
William Preucil

Ralph Kirshbaum
Ralph Kirshbaum

Jon Kimura Parker
Jon Kimura Parker

WFMT Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Summer 2011 — Program 4

Welcome to the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival radio series production blog, home of program out takes, artist commentary, and other related tangents we like to call "web extras."

In week 4 of our concert broadcasts, violinist William Preucil joined forces with cellist Ralph Kirshbaum and pianist Jon Kimura Parker. They played an 1891 work by Antonín Dvorák, the Piano Trio No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 90. That's the one known as the "Dumky Trio" for all the Bohemian dances that flavor its melodies. First though, pianist Yuja Wang performed a set of short pieces Alexander Scriabin composed between 1895 and 1903. Inspired by Chopin and Liszt early on, in time Scriabin developed his own highly original musical voice, driven and inspired to a great extent by his own experiences with synesthesia. Scriabin grew increasingly interested in expressing extra-musical aspects involving all the senses, and creating events which would invite the other senses to participate, from the eyes to the taste buds, and everything else!

Louise Frank
Series Producer

PS - These nationally syndicated radio concerts of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival can be heard in the Chicago area Saturdays at 5pm, from April through June 2011, on 98.7 WFMT. You can also listen anywhere there's Internet. WFMT provides free, live streaming at and via a free, downloadable app for your iPhone.

Alexander Nikolajevitch Skrjabin

Alexander Nikolajevitch Skrjabin (Source: Wikimedia Commons)


Prelude in B Major, Op. 11, No. 11 (1895)
Prelude in B Minor, Op. 13, No. 6 (1895)
Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 11, No. 12 (1895)
Etude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 8, No. 9 (1894)
Počme in F-sharp Major, Op. 32, No. 1 (1903)

  • Yuja Wang, piano


Kerry and Marc discuss the transition in Scriabin's work, which was heavily influenced by Chopin early on, and very individual as he developed his own sound.


Marc tells Kerry that he finds Scriabin to be a very interesting character, especially later in his career when the composer experimented with expressing an all-encompassing artistic experience through his music, including "colors and music and everything else."


"The most striking thing to me was she didn't use them as a lightning bolt," explains Marc to Kerry about pianist Yuja Wang.


Couldn't make it to Santa Fe last summer for Yuja's concert? Don't worry, recording engineer and music producer for our radio series, Matthew Snyder, has posted her performance on YouTube.


Was Scriabin a Synaesthete? Galeyev & Vanechkina have an opinion which you can find by clicking here.

Evan Grant demonstrates the science and art of cymatics, a process for making soundwaves visible. Useful for analyzing complex sounds (like dolphin calls), it also makes complex and beautiful designs. Here is the talk Grant gave at a recent TED Conference.


Now I understand the intention to convey how people with synesthesia experience sounds, letters, smells and other sensory experiences as colors, flavors or the like, but this vid is just plain weird.


Antonin Dvorak

Antonín Dvořák, Czech composer (1841-1904) (Source: Wikimedia Commons)


Piano Trio No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 90, "Dumky" (1891)

  • William Preucil, violin
  • Ralph Kirshbaum, cello
  • Jon Kimura Parker, piano


"Over the long run the composer I come back to over and over again happens to be Dvořák," explains Marc, "he had the most natural ability to sing to an audience."


"And what about the fact that the piano is such a dominant instrument in this threesome?" Kerry asks Marc.


Marc and Kerry discuss Dvořák's music and how he based the Piano Trio No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 90 on the Bohemian dance known as the Dumka.


dumka: a piece of Slavik music, originating as a folk ballad or lament, typically melancholy with contrasting lively sections. origin late 19th cent.: via Czech and Polish from Ukranian.

Muslim Magomaev, the Soviet (Azeibarjan born) opera singer, performs the Ukranian folk song, "Dumka" in this 1969 concert in Kiev.