October 17, 2020

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Sparrow Live

Sparrow Live Presents: Fireside Strings - Naomi Steckman and Friends in Concert

Featuring works by Schubert, Faure, Schumann, and Klengel.

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About the Event

Join cellist Naomi Steckman and four of her dear friends and colleagues as they bring in the change of season with a fire side concert that will include works from Schubert, Schumann, Faure and Klengel. During this time of crisis, performing has taken on a whole new meaning for many performers, and for Naomi it has solidified her life’s purpose - which is to share and connect with others through music no matter what external or internal turbulence she might encounter. Each piece on this program has been carefully selected to demonstrate this insight and has been apart of this personal journey of self-realization that Naomi is so thrilled to get to share with anyone who is listening.


The program will start out with the first movement from Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata, which was originally written for piano and an early instrument from the 1800’s called the arpeggione. This was a six stringed fretted guitar-like instrument, but instead of being plucked or strummed, it was bowed like the cello. This piece has been specially arranged for two cellos specifically for this concert so that it could be performed in this manner. It is one of the most challenging pieces in the cello repertoire, but in Naomi’s opinion, very exciting, and acrobatic, as it demonstrates many ranges and colors that the cello can produce.


Faure’s Elegie will be the second piece and will feature cellist Tara Chambers. This piece demonstrates the range of human emotion that the cello can emulate, specifically when experiencing sorrow, grief and loss which especially pertains to today’s world. Although painful and uncomfortable, these emotions are part of the human experience, and necessary in order for healing and transformation to occur.  Originally written for cello and piano, Elegie was also specially arranged for two cellos to allow for Naomi and Tara to switch roles supporting one another through this musical journey.


Following a short intermission, the third piece will be the Schumann Cello Concerto, arranged for string quartet and solo cello. This piece was written to express the internal battle between angels and demons that Schumann was experiencing in his own mind and emotions. Naomi is extremely connected to this piece, as she feels it represents her own personal journey finding herself, her voice and expressing her love for performing, despite the sometimes debilitating performance anxiety that she has experienced while on stage. The first movement is very “spastic” and illustrates the tension between the dark and light in our thoughts and emotions. The second movement is the love theme where the tension calms down and love conquers the darkness. The third and final movement represents all of the different thoughts and voices that often appear in our human minds. In these voices there are conversations which are illustrated between the solo cello and the different instruments. Throughout the movement, there is a conversation that goes back and forth, eventually, concluding with a triumph over the mental and emotional noise.


The final piece on the program will be Klengel’s Hymnus for 12 cellos. This was also specially arranged for string quartet and begins with the faint voice of each instrument slowly and quietly entering the choir.  As the piece progresses, each voice blends together, eventually connecting the entire ensemble together as one voice rather than four (or as in the original score, 12) separate voices. Naomi wanted to conclude the program with this piece as it demonstrates her love for connection through music and that despite the hardships we are all facing, we can come together in some fashion - we are not separate no matter how much our internal or external worlds tell us. At the core, we are all one and share the commonality of being human and this is the power that music and performance has to help us remember this truth.


Violin I- Nicole Wendl

Viola (Violin II)- Teresa Bloemer

Viola- Jessica Cooper

Cello- Tara Chambers

Arranger: Jacob Mashak

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