From Beethoven to Brahms – introducing the Carousel Chamber Music EnsembleBlank Mobile From Beethoven to Brahms – introducing the Carousel Chamber Music EnsembleBlank
From Beethoven to Brahms – introducing the Carousel Chamber Music Ensemble

From Beethoven to Brahms – introducing the Carousel Chamber Music Ensemble

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On the afternoon of Sunday 2 April, we welcome the Brussels-based Carousel Chamber Music Ensemble to Truro for the first time. With their combination of combination of clarinet, cello and piano, the trio offer a uniquely warm and mellow sound in the world of chamber music. The programme for their inaugral Cornwall Playhouse visit is bookended by two of the greatest masterpieces for this ensemble, written almost 100 years apart, by Beethoven and Brahms.

The programme

Beethoven’s elegant, lively and youthful “Gassenhauer” Trio, written in Vienna while he was still in his twenties, earned its nickname due to his use of a popular melody of the day in the third movement’s set of variations.

By contrast, Brahms wrote his great Clarinet Trio near the end of his life, in 1891. It is one of four late works inspired by the playing of clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld and is full of glorious autumnal melody and rich, sonorous harmonies.

Between the trios, the clarinet and cello each have an opportunity to showcase their individual qualities in iconic pieces which perfectly capture the essence of these particular instruments.

Claude Debussy wrote his Cello Sonata in Normandy during the First World War. After performances in London and Geneva, the French premiere took place in Paris in 1917 with the composer himself at the piano.  He planned it as the first in a series of six sonatas, but was only able to complete two others (the Violin Sonata and the Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp) before his premature death from cancer in 1918. The yearning, slow first movement of the Cello Sonata is followed by a Serenade and a lively virtuosic finale.

Robert Schumann’s “Fantasy-Pieces”, written in just two days in 1849, are central to the clarinet repertoire, much-loved by musicians and audiences alike.  The poetic title is reflected in the highly Romantic, imaginative and expressive music, which is full of contrasts and sudden changes of mood. The three pieces are marked “Tender and with expression”, “Lively, light” and “Quick and with fire”.

The musicians

Annelien Van Wauwe, clarinet

Belgian clarinettist Annelien Van Wauwe is forging a reputation as one of the most exciting and original clarinettists of her generation. Her playing has been described as having “abundant warmth and lyricism, allied to a sinuous vocal quality”. (Classical Source). Of herself, she says: “If I was not a musician, would be a yoga teacher, an interior designer, a journalist or an artist manager - or all of these at the same time.”
A former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, Annelien has won numerous international competitions and awards, including an Opus Klassik as Best Young Artist 2020 for her debut album ‘Belle Epoque’ on Pentatone. She describes her passion for chamber music as “reaching out to other musicians via a piece of music, its composer and giving space for those unexplainable sparkles of musical magic to appear without even moving an inch from your chair”.

Annelien made her BBC Proms debut in 2017 and the following year performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in a televised Prom.  Her solo engagements take her to many prestigious European concert halls and festivals, performing with leading orchestras and conductors. She is also a passionate advocate for new music and has inspired a number of composers to write especially for her. Her intensive practice of yoga, with its positive influence on her clarinet playing, led her to become a certified yoga teacher and to commission SUTRA, a concerto for clarinet, orchestra and electronics from Wim Henderickx, a work based on breath and meditation; co-commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, the concerto was premiered with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins in 2022.

Annelien returns to the Heidelberg Spring Festival this year, with pianist Paloma Kouider, in a recital programme entitled ‘FRagrANCE’, which contains “flowery, harmonious and radiant French repertoire”. The renowned Amsterdam-based live-perfumer Erich Bergmann, aka Odo7, transforms their music live into a multi-sensory concert experience with scent.

Annelien also regularly gives masterclasses and teaches at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.

Louis Rodde, cello

French cellist Louis Rodde studied in Paris, Leipzig and at the Mozarteum Salzburg. Enchanted from an early age by chamber music, he founded the prize-winning Karénine piano trio in 2009 with violinist Fanny Robilliard and pianist Paloma Kouider.

As soloist and chamber musicians, Louis performs regularly in European concert halls such as Musikverein Vienna, Konzerthaus Berlin, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord Paris and Wigmore Hall London. He has given concerts in New York, Montreal, Tokyo and Buenos Aires, and appeared at many music festivals around the world.

Louis Rodde’s recordings have received international acclaim. His albums include music by Fauré, Schumann, Ravel, Shostakovich, Schubert and Dvorak. He also works with contemporary composers and is a member of the artists’ collective Les Dissonances, which performs symphonic repertoire without conductor, and of the project Le Salon Idéal, collaborating with jazz and world music artists.

Louis enjoys sharing his passion for music and is a committed volunteer in teaching masterclasses and playing concerts in countries such as Haïti, Sénégal and Lebanon for people without access to music. However, he also has many other interests and says “if I was not a musician, I would be an ornithologist or an actor”.

Paloma Kouider, piano

Award-winning French pianist Paloma Kouider studied in Paris, Florence and Vienna. With violinist Fanny Robilliard and cellist Louis Rodde, she founded the Trio Karénine - winner, among other prizes, of the 62nd ARD Competition in Munich. As a young musician, Paloma was particularly inspired by the playing of Alfred Brendel, Paul Badura-Skoda and Menahem Pressler (of the Beaux Arts Trio).  She also has great interest in contemporary composers and in the interpretation of baroque music.

Paloma’s current and upcoming highlights include concerts in the Auditorium du Louvre and Salle Pleyel in Paris, London’s Wigmore Hall, Berlin’s Konzerthaus, and at international festivals such as Aix-en-Provence and La Roque d’Anthéron.  In chamber music, as well as the Trio Karénine, she regularly performs with cellists Aurélien Pascal and Anastasia Kobekina and the violinist Alexandra Soumm. Paloma’s recording of Beethoven sonatas and Liszt Rhapsodies was awarded 5 Diapasons and 4 stars by Classica, along with very enthusiastic reviews.

Involved in charity projects aimed at creating opportunities through the arts, Paloma founded with two friends the non-profit organization Esperanz’Arts.  Away from the piano, Paloma’s other passion is Literature, which she studied in the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris.

Book your tickets

Carousel Chamber Music Ensemble perform on Sunday 2 April at 3pm. You can book your tickets here, by calling our Box Office on 01872 262466 or by popping in to see our brilliant Box Office team on the Boscawen Stree entrance to Hall for Cornwall.


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