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Appalachian’s Hayes Chamber Players perform Feb. 6

BOONE—Appalachian State University’s Hayes Chamber Players will present a program of contemporary and classical works Feb. 6 in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. The program begins at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

The Hayes Chamber Players is comprised of various faculty members from the Hayes School of Music. At the heart of the group are the bowed strings, guitar, and harp faculty, as well as pianists and wind and brass performers.

Members of the Hayes Chamber Players are violinists Nancy Bargerstock and Jacob Dakon, violist Eric Koontz, cellist Kenneth Lurie and pianist Bair Shagdaron.

The program opens with Steve Reich’s “Different Trains,” a 1988 composition for string quartet and pre-recorded performance tape. Brahms’ “Quintet in f minor, opus 34″ closes the performance.

As a child, Reich would travel by train to visit his father in New York and his mother in California. While the trips were adventurous for a young boy, in later life, Reich realized that if he had been in Germany at the time, a train ride would have been an entirely different experience for him given his Jewish background.

He collected recordings of train whistles, pistons and brakes—along with audio of a porter and three holocaust survivors—to create a composition that results in great intensity as the rhythmic patterns and pitch of the different voices combine with the quartet.

The New York Times said the piece was “a work of such astonishing originality that breakthrough seems the only possible description….possesses an absolutely harrowing emotional impact. The composition, as performed by the group Kronos Quartet, won a Grammy in 1989 for Best Contemporary Composition.

Written in 1864, Brahms’ composition originally was written for string quintet with two cellos. It was later arranged as a two piano sonata. A fellow musician suggested that Brahms combine strings and piano for the final version.

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