ABS Soloists Circle donors gathered on Sunday April 26th at the Napa home of Development Committee member Tom Flesher for a delightful afternoon of wine, camaraderie, and music. Providing the music for this especially congenial gathering were the 2015 recipient of The Jeffrey Thomas Award, Gretchen Claassen, and accompanist Derrick Tam.
On the eve of her performances of Leonardo Leo’s Concerto for Violoncello in A Major with ABS at Bach, Vivaldi, & Leo (May 1-4), Claassen offered an engaging program of musical works that spanned three musical styles and eras. The program included Schumann’s Drei Fantasiestücke, Op. 73, Beethoven’s Violoncello Sonata Op. 102, No. 2, and Pergolesi’s Sinfonia in F Major. At the conclusion of the Beethoven sonata, Ms Claassen provided an introduction to the final work on the program, explaining how Pergolesi and Leo both wrote works for the instrument during the 1730s for the same cello-playing patron, Domenico Marzio Caraffa, Duke of Maddaloni. As we are all looking forward to hearing Claassen’s performance of the Leo concerto, it was a special treat to hear her perform a composition that was written for the same musician by another significant Italian composer. For the Pergolesi Sinfonia, Claassen switched to a Baroque bow and gave a splendid performance with lovely, responsive accompaniment by Mr. Tam.
After the recital, guests enjoyed appetizers and wine provided by Delicious! Catering, strolled the grounds, chatted with friends, and took the opportunity to get acquainted with the artists.
Tickets for Bach, Vivaldi, & Handel are still available. The program includes Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 4, Concerto for Two Violins, and Gott soll allein mein Herze haben (Cantata 168), Vivaldi’s Psalm setting Nisi Dominus for alto solo and strings as well as Leo’s Concerto for Violoncello in A Major featuring Gretchen Claassen. We look forward to seeing you there and at our summer festival in August.