The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Concerts by UW cellist Parry Karp and the chamber music group Con Vivo take place this Saturday night

October 11, 2018
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ALERT: The Rhapsodie Quartet, featuring members of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, will perform a FREE public concert (suggested donation is $5) at the Capitol Lakes Retirement Community,  333 West Main Street, two blocks off the Capitol Square, this Friday night, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m.

The program is the String Quartet in G minor, Op. 74, No. 3, by Franz Joseph Haydn and the “Razumovsky” String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, by Ludwig van Beethoven. For more information and background, go to:

By Jacob Stockinger

It is a busy week for classical music in Madison, and all the listings have still not been included here.

On Saturday night, Oct. 13, two more noteworthy events will take place.


A Faculty Concert Series recital by UW-Madison cello professor Parry Karp (below), who is also the longtime cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet, will take place on Saturday night in Mills Hall at 8 p.m.

Karp will be joined by two pianists: his mother Frances Karp, a longtime Madison piano teacher; and Thomas Kasdorf (below), who is pursuing his doctoral degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music.

The program is an interesting and unusual one.

It features “Hamabdil” (1919), or Hebrew Rhapsody, by Granville Bantock (below), who, Karp says “was a wonderful British composer, a favorite of Elgar.” (You can hear “Hamabdil” in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

“Phantasma for Solo Cello” (2006) is by Jesse Benjamin Jones (below), who is on the faculty of the Oberlin College Conservatory.

The Violin Sonata in A Major, Op. 30, No. 1 (1801-02), by Ludwig van Beethoven, continues the exploration of Beethoven’s violin sonatas transcribed for the cello by Karp himself.

The Cello Concerto (1956) by William Walton (below), says Karp, who performed it this summer with the English Symphony Orchestra, “is one of the great cello concertos of the 20th century. This version features a piano reduction of the orchestral score.


Con Vivo (below), the critically acclaimed Madison-based chamber music group, will also give a concert to open its 17th season on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in the First Congregational United Church of Christ, at 1609 University Avenue, near Camp Randall Stadium.

Free parking is two blocks away, at the nearby UW Foundation, 1848 University Avenue.

The eclectic program, called “Members Choice,”will include the  “Kegelstatt” Trio for piano, clarinet and viola by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; and the Suite for Organ, Violin and Cello by Josef Rheinberger (below).

The night will be rounded out by solo works from the group’s talented and veteran performers many of whom also play with other major groups including the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.

Tickets are available at the door, and cost $18 for general admission; $15 for seniors and students.

For information, go to

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Classical music: Back from Carnegie Hall, the Madison-based chamber music group Con Vivo concludes its 11th season this Friday night with a concert of J.S. Bach, Corelli, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Gliere, and asks four student musicians from WYSO to join it. Plus, vocal music by Verdi, Copland, Mozart and Puccini can be heard for FREE on Friday at noon.

May 15, 2013
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ALERT: The FREE Friday Noon Musicale, from 12:15 to 1 p.m. this Friday at the historic Frank Lloyd Wright First Unitarian Society Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive, will feature soprano Rachel Eve Holmes (below top) and pianist Thomas Kasdorf (below bottom) performing songs and arias by Verdi, Copland, Mozart, Puccini and others.

Rachel Eve Holmes big

thomas kasdorf 2:jpg

By Jacob Stockinger

Back from its Carnegie Hall debut last winter, Con Vivo or “music with life” will conclude its 11th season of chamber music with a concert entitled “Homecoming” this Friday, May 17, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1609 University Ave., across from Camp Randall.

Con Vivo is a professional chamber music ensemble comprised of Madison area musicians assembled from the ranks of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and various other performing groups familiar to Madison audiences.

Members of Con Vivo (below in a photo by Katrin Talbot) include organist Donald DeBruin; pianist Dan Lyons; violinists Olga Pomolova and Kathryn Taylor; violist   Janse Vincent; cellist Maggie Darby Townsend; and clarinetist Robert Taylor.

Con Vivo by Katrin Talbot

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $18 for adults and $15 for seniors and students.

The performance will feature chamber music by Mozart, Corelli, Bach, Tchaikovsky and Gliere.

The magnificent organ will be featured with none other than Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in b minor, BWV 544.

The famous “Kegelstatt” Trio by Mozart (at bottom in a YouTube video), and works for strings by two Russian composers, Tchaikovsky, and Gliere will also be performed.

As part of their student outreach, Con Vivo has invited some outstanding musicians from Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) to join them in performing Corelli’s Concerto Grosso No. 3 in C Minor.

WYSO rehesrsal Philharmonia Violins

Audience members are invited to join Con Vivo musicians after the concert for a free reception to discuss this chamber music literature and to hear about their Carnegie Hall debut (below, photo courtesy of Con Vivo)  this past December.

Here is a link to the blog post The Ear did about that appearance:

About this Friday night’s concert, the ensemble’s Artistic Director Robert Taylor, said: “This concert promises to be enjoyable in many ways. We share a responsibility to tomorrow’s musicians to expose them to great chamber music both as performers and listeners. To that end we are excited to have four members of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra join us for this concert.

“We continue the tradition of bringing to our audience works that are familiar and some that are new. So come welcome us back from our Carnegie Hall debut!”

Con Vivo at Carnegie Hall

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