“Forgotten” composer will be featured Aug. 21 at The Academy

Pianist David Korevaar, Carpe Diem Quartet will play quintets by Perrachio, Dvořák

By Peter Alexander Aug. 19 at 10:02 p.m.

Luigi Perrachio was a very modest man.

As a young composer, he hardly published any music. He was little known while he was active, over the first half of the 20th century, and after his death in 1966 he virtually disappeared. “He’s completely forgotten,” pianist David Korevaar says.

David Korevaar. Photo by Matthew Dine.

Korevaar, the Helen and Peter Weil Faculty Fellow at the CU College of Music, first discovered—or “re-discovered,” as he prefers to say—Perrachio’s music a few years ago in the CU Music Library. Since then he has recorded a full CD of Perrachio’s music and travelled to Perrachio’s hometown, Turin, Italy, where he uncovered some of Perrachio’s manuscripts.

You can enjoy the fruits of Korevaar’s research Saturday, when he and the Carpe Diem String Quartet will perform Perrachio’s Quintet for Piano and Strings in the Chapel Hall of The Academy University Hill in Boulder (7 p.m. Aug. 21; admission free with advance registration and proof of vaccination). The performance will also include Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A major.

Born in Turin in 1883, Perrachio studied both music and law. After traveling to Paris, where he encountered the music of Ravel and Debussy, he returned to Turin and taught both piano and composition at the Liceo Musicale. He was influenced by French Impressionism in his compositions, but turned more toward neo-classicism after his return from Paris. 

“There’s something about his writing that is not French at all, a kind of muscularity in his writing,” Korevaar says.

“I met a couple of people in Italy who were aware of him. I met one person who had actually recorded the 25 Preludes that I also recorded. So I wasn’t totally alone, but in terms of going in and looking at these manuscripts, the others haven’t done that.”

Korevaar is calling the Aug. 21 performance the “modern premiere” of Perrachio’s Quintet. He has not found a record of an earlier performance, so he has no idea when the original premiere might have been. The Quintet was completed in 1919—which coincidentally means the Quintet ties in with next week’s Colorado MahlerFest, which will devote an entire concert to little known composers of Mahler’s time (Aug. 24; see more here.)   

Carpe Diem String Quartet

Korevaar’s bubbling enthusiasm for Perrachio’s music is infectious, as he describes the music. The quintet is “a very beautiful piece” he says. “The first movement is pretty dramatic. The first theme has an intensity to it, and a lot of rolling arpeggios. But then the second theme is very spare and haunting and very thinly orchestrated.

“The Scherzo is wonderfully playful, just kind of a romp where he’s got constantly shifting [groups of measures] that keep you on your toes: alternating four and five bar sections, in wonderful patterns. It’s hard! The third movement is marked allegretto semplice (simple allegretto). It’s in a lilting triple meter that’s really beautiful. And the finale is a joyous pealing of bells.”

Korevaar and the quartet were looking for “a nice friendly piece” to go with the Perrachio—something that was familiar and well loved. “Dvořák seemed like a nice fit,” Korevaar says.

“Everything in that quintet resolves to a kind of joy,” he adds. “Even in the first movement, at the end it’s very exuberant. The second movement has got a bit of everything in it, and is so beautiful. The third movement, as is typical for Dvořák, is a furiant (a very fast Czech folk dance).

“The last movement is a nice rondo. Something that Dvořák loves to do at the end of a piece, where you’ve got this fast movement full of quick peasant rhythms, and then at a certain point you hit the coda and everything seems to expand and slow down. He just stretches and stretches and stretches, and finally there’s just a little tag at the end that’s fast. He does that in the Quintet as well.

“It’s like the end of the day, with the beautiful evening light and the shadows are getting longer but it’s happy and off in the distance somebody’s still trying to dance.”

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David Korevaar, piano, with Carpe Diem String Quartet
Charles Wetherbee and Marisa Ishikawa, violin; Korine Fujiwara, viola; and Ariana Nelson, cello.

  • Luigi Perrachio: Piano Quintet
  • Dvořák: Piano Quintet in A major

7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21
Chapel Hall, The Academy University Hill
970 Aurora Ave., Boulder

Admission is free with registration.
Note: The concert at The Academy requires proof of vaccination

2021 MahlerFest features hike, concerts, “decadence and debauchery”

Festival returns to Boulder August 24–29

By Peter Alexander Aug. 19 at 12:55 p.m.

From “Decadence and Debauchery” to fifth symphonies to a hike in the mountains, the 2021 Colorado MahlerFest will cover a lot of ground, literally and figuratively

Over five days, Tuesday–Saturday Aug. 24–28, concerts, films and a symposium will explore the music of Gustav Mahler, his contemporaries and heirs, in venues from the Dairy Arts Center to the Huntington Bandshell and Mackey Auditorium. Composers will include Mahler’s European contemporaries and successors Korngold and Krenek, but also American ragtime musicians Scott Joplin and James Reese Europe (see the full schedule here).

Read more in Boulder Weekly.

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Colorado MahlerFest XXXIV—The Return
Kenneth Woods, artistic director

7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24
The Gordon Gamm Theater at the Dairy Arts Center
“Mahler’s Contemporaries”
Colorado MahlerFest Festival Artists

  • Alexander von Zemlinsky: Sonata for Cello and Piano (1894)
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Suite from Much Ado about Nothing for violin and piano (1919)
  • Robert Kahn: Trio for piano, clarinet, and cello (1905)

Tickets

4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25 (additional screenings as necessary)
The Boedecker Theater at the Dairy Arts Center

Films by Jason Starr: “Mahler’s Titan” & “On Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer”

Tickets

4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26
The Academy, 970 Aurora Avenue (entrance on 10th Street), Boulder
“Mahler’s Heirs”
Colorado MahlerFest Festival Artists

  • Erwin Schulhoff: Duo for Violin and Cello (1925)
  • Philip Sawyers: Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano (1969)
  • Grażyna Bacewicz: Trio for Oboe, Violin, and Cello (1935)
  • Hans Gál: Viola Sonata in A (1941)

Free, with advance registration 

8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27
Huntington Bandshell, 1212 Canyon Boulevard, Boulder
“Decadence and Debauchery: Music of the Roaring ‘20s”
Colorado MahlerFest Chamber Orchestra, Kenneth Woods, conductor

  • Scott Joplin, arr. Gunther Schuler: Maple Leaf Rag (1899)
  • Erwin Schulhoff: Suite for Chamber Orchestra (1921)
  • James Reese Europe, arr. Gunther Schuler: Castle House Rag (1914)
  • Darius Milhaud: La Création du monde (1923)
  • Eubie Blake, arr. Gunther Schuller: Charleston Rag (1917)
  • Ernst Krenek, arr. Emil Bauer: Fantasie from Jonny Spielt Auf (1926)

Free

9 a.m.­–3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 28
Symposium at the Bar
License No. 1, 2115 13th Street (under Hotel Boulderado), Boulder

Full schedule here

Free, with advance registration

7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28
“Festival Finale: Mahler’s Fifth Symphony”
Stan Ruttenberg Memorial Concert
Colorado Mahlerfest Orchestra, Kenneth Woods, conductor

  • Philip Sawyers: Symphony No. 5 (2021; world premiere)
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 5 (1902)

Pre-concert talk at 6 p.m.
Macky Auditorium

Tickets

From 7 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 29
“Visit Mount Mahler”

Registration