Trio Fibonacci: More Present Than Ever in 2020-21

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

Although the number four does not appear in Fibonacci’s mathematical sequence, the Trio Fibonacci has embraced it by presenting a rich and varied season of four concerts, two in the fall and two in the spring, annually at Bourgie Hall. The ensemble’s new season will take the path of eclecticism and discovery – through French, Russian and minimalist music – and conclude on a multidisciplinary note. Cellist Gabriel Prynn guides us through the season and revisits his lockdown experience.

Extensive repertoire, daring programs

Trio Fibonacci formed in 1998 with violinist Julie-Anne Derome, Prynn and pianist André Ristic. At the time, they concentrated on contemporary repertoire, recording music by Jonathan Harvey, Guilherme Bauer and even Harry Crowl. The hard work that contemporary repertoire requires created a learning laboratory for the musicians, who acquired an analytical rigour and an advanced approach to execution. After Ristic’s departure in 2006-2007, the trio broadened its musical perspectives, returning to classical sources with pianists Wonny Song, Anna D’Errico, and now Steven Massicote. In addition to the great names of the repertoire – Haydn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky – such lesser-known composers as Joaquín Turina, Gaspar Cassadó, Louise Farrenc and Guillaume Lekeu add colour to the programs.

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The discipline developed with contemporary repertoire allows the three musicians to map out and X-ray classical repertoire, playing it with clarity while preserving an emotional charge. These are the favourites they now include in their programs year after year, according to their own inclination or the preferences of the loyal audiences who continue to follow them. The trio never ceases to surprise. For a third consecutive year, it is presenting a program of minimalist music a genre that musicians probably never imagined one day playing.

Light, passion, meditation

This year, Trio Fibonacci presents each one-hour program twice on the same day to compensate for the reduced capacity of concert halls and offer the public a more intimate experience. The first concert, on Oct. 11, will honour the Belle Époque, a privileged era of peace and economic growth spanning the end of the 19th century to the outbreak of World War I. Music is by Fauré, Saint-Saëns and Ravel. This is an opportunity to remind ourselves that life goes on – and better yet, that more togetherness is to come. On Dec. 4, Russian music will have its turn: “We performed a Slavic program two years ago, and we wanted this season to revive this Slavic spirit, with music imbued with passion and nostalgia,” says Prynn. The program explores musical kinship, from Tchaikovsky’s Trio, written in memory of Nikolai Rubinstein, to Shostakovich and Schnittke.

A long-awaited moment for the public will come on March 4 with the third edition of Les géants du minimalisme, the second having taken place just before the lockdown announcement. This program, expected to sell out quickly, will bring to the stage works by Philip Glass, Brian Eno, Ludovico Einaudi, and Max Richter and a premiere by a Montreal composer.

The season concludes on May 8 with a surprising mix of music and painting. “Bourgie Hall has a large screen that takes on a very interesting dimension in the space,” Prynn explains. “We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to use it in a program that unites the musical with the pictorial.” Although the concept is still being developed, this program promises a dialogue between disciplines. Music is by Bach, Schumann and Mendelssohn, who was a fine painter in his time.

When everything stops…

A few days after the Les géants du minimalisme II concert, a success that gave a the trio a boost, everything stopped. “It quickly became clear that the season would not go any further,” Prynn says. “We decided to present a 45-minute program online, D’une saison à l’autre, to bridge the gap between the two seasons.” Blending minimalist, romantic, and modern music, this concert can be viewed on the trio’s YouTube channel.

It is sometimes said that when everything stops, we learn what matters most. Many people undoubtedly experienced this during the lockdown. Prynn did too, by delving back into the music of Bach: “I recorded one movement after another of Bach’s Cello Suites, which I continue to post regularly online. When we go back to Bach at different times in our lives, we have a different vision of his music each time. I realized this every week as I continued to teach my students remotely, and my new understanding of Bach was reflected in my teaching.”

The trio also took advantage of the cancelled concerts to put out an album with works interpreted during the 2019-20 season. This is for sale on the Fibonacci website. These concert memories from a very distinctive year, with background noises and breathing, have an energy that is both warm and vibrant. Strangely, this life-changing year corresponds to the trio’s 21st anniversary, a number found in the Fibonacci sequence. If the trend continues, we can expect great upheavals on the musical stage in 13 years! Until then, the trio will enchant us as they present skillfully constructed programs juxtaposing great classics and forgotten masterpieces.

Translated by Isabel Garriga

Trio Fibonacci will present La Belle Époque on Oct. 11 at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Bourgie Hall. www.triofibonacci.com

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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About Author

Benjamin Goron est écrivain, musicologue et critique musical. Titulaire d’un baccalauréat en littérature et d’une maîtrise en musicologie de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, il a collaboré à plusieurs périodiques et radios en tant que chercheur et critique musical (L’Éducation musicale, Camuz, Radio Ville-Marie, SortiesJazzNights, L'Opéra). Depuis août 2018, il est rédacteur adjoint de La Scena Musicale. Pianiste et trompettiste de formation, il allie musique et littérature dans une double mission de créateur et de passeur de mémoire.

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