Trio Fabel, comprising clarinetist Anna Gāgane, cellist Kristaps Bergs, and concert pianist Linda Leine, excels in offering their audience varied and exciting chamber music programs. These three musicians are not only stage partners but also school friends who had long dreamt of performing together as a trio. This dream came true with the formation of Trio Fabel in 2019 – Gāgane, Bergs, and Leine played their first concert together, featuring trios by Brahms, Beethoven, and Evija Skuķe's work "Š," which was specially dedicated to Trio Fabel.
The musicians place great value on creating lasting works, investing long-term in musical development, and bringing new chamber music pieces from their homeland Latvia to the stage. Thus, Trio Fabel has asked five Latvian composers of different generations to write compositions for the trio, which are to be featured in their concert programs and, if possible, recorded. Furthermore, the musicians wish to approach various video artists to reflect the emerging music in audiovisual artworks.
Given the limited repertoire for this instrumentation, particularly in Latvian music, creating a new repertoire is essential. Trio Fabel has approached five composers – Georgs Pelēcis, Oskars Herliņš, Krists Auznieks, Žanete Spirka, and Andris Dzenītis. The goal of the project is to work long-term with these composers to create lasting values in Latvian chamber music and in the broader context of contemporary classical music worldwide, where the number of works for clarinet trio is not too large. The new compositions will deal with concepts of identity, presence, and belonging.
The trio, consisting of three people living in different places - Anna Gāgane in Switzerland, Kristaps Bergs in Belgium, Linda Leine in Germany - was (and is) connected by the feeling of belonging both to Latvia and to their new places of residence, leading a kind of parallel life.
Living alternately in two different countries makes the sense of belonging to a place seem relative. The question of belonging, "Where do I belong?" is central to many cultures. The search for identity has always been relevant, but it has taken on special significance in our time, not least due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the composition commissions from Trio Fabel were given. On the one hand, many have become "society-shy," anxious during this time. However, the pandemic, as a global challenge and the temporary isolation from each other, has also brought people closer together worldwide. While everyone affected by the "lockdown" and isolation experienced it in their own way, people all over the world were connected by similar feelings.
Clarinettist Anna Gāgane has been deputy principal clarinettist of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra since 2019 and teaches at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. In addition to her work as an orchestral musician and teacher, she is a passionate chamber musician, collaborating with young composers and performing regularly as a soloist in Switzerland and Latvia. Anna Gāgane has won various international competitions, such as the Latvian Music Grand Prize and was awarded the Swiss Federal Excellence Scholarship. She completed her studies at the Musikhochschule Lübeck with Sabine Meyer and Reiner Wehle. She also completed two master's degrees with François Benda at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel.
Cellist Kristaps Bergs has been concertmaster of the cello section at the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra since 2016. He has performed in prestigious halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Musikverein Vienna, Vienna Konzerthaus, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Royal Albert Hall in London and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. He has worked with outstanding artists such as Andris Nelsons, Heinrich Schiff, Reinhard Latzko, Natalia Prischepenko, Pēteris Vasks, Giovanni Sollima and Helmut Lachenmann. Born into a family of musicians, he began his musical path at the Emīls Dārziņš Music School. In 2016, he was accepted into the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, where he studied with Heinrich Schiff and Reinhard Latzko.
Pianist Linda Leine was accepted at an early age at the Emīls Dārziņš Music School in Riga and subsequently studied at the Latvian Academy of Music. She continued her education in Germany, first with Prof. Lilya Zilberstein and Prof. Burkhard Kehring at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. She then studied Master degree piano solo at the Musikhochschule Lübeck in the class of Prof. Konrad Elser. From 2015 to 2020, Linda Leine studied piano duo with her partner Daria Marshinina at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock in the class of Prof. Stenzl, where the two completed their master's degree and concert exam with high distinction. The debut CD of the piano duo "Schubert-Stravinsky-Vasks" received the nomination for the OPUS KLASSIK 2019.
In addition to her competition successes as a soloist - including being awarded the Steinway Förderpreis in 2015 - Linda Leine was also successful as a Lied accompanist: in 2015, she was awarded 3rd prize in the Lied Duo category at the competition "Franz Schubert and the Music of Modernity", and in 2016 she won 1st prize at the 9th International Competition "Verfemte Musik". Linda Leine was also a scholarship recipient of the Oscar and Vera Ritter Foundation, the Alfred Töpfer Foundation F.V.S., the AD Infinitum Foundation and the Claussen-Simon Foundation.
Programme No. 1
Ēriks Ešenvalds (*1977)
Trio "Reflections in Water" für Klarinette, Okarina und Glöckchen, Cello und Klavier
Videoprojektionen von Roman Drits
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Trio in d-Moll für Klarinette, Cello und Klavier, op. 120
Allegro non troppo
Finale: Allegro vivo
Andris Vecumnieks (*1964)
Fabel Cinema Fantasy (FCF) on film music themes
Dedication to Trio Fabel, 2020
Nino Rota (1911-1979)
Trio für Klarinette, Cello und Klavier
Videoprojektionen von Roman Drits
Everyone knows it from the cinema: how images are inextricably linked with sounds. Film music is often perceived only as an additional element, as a soundtrack, for example, as the thundering backdrop of Hollywood blockbusters. But it is much more than that: it is an art in its own right, capable of evoking its own images in the listener. Yes, it enables each of us to conjure up our own "film" before our eyes. As we want to show in our concert, this also applies to other music - if only it is imaginative enough. For some pieces, we have invited the photographer and video artist Roman Drits to accompany the music with his visualisations; the other pieces we leave entirely to your imagination.
Let yourself be surprised by our "Cinema reflections", light, playful and contrasting chamber music programme in which the master of film music Nino Rota meets the romantic Gabriel Fauré, the meditative Ēriks Ešenvalds meets the ironically sarcastic Andris Vecumnieks, who paraphrases melodies from Latvian and international films.
The trio for clarinet, cello and piano "Reflections in Water" by Ēriks Ešenvalds was premiered in 2008. Ēriks Ešenvalds is one of Latvia's leading vocal musicians and is also known far beyond his country's borders. About his trio, he notes:
"Reflected on the surface of the lake is a still and fragile image, rocked by the wind and dominated by the sky. Whether they are the walls of a monastery, a flock sleeping on a hill, or waterfowl - they are reflections carried on the shoulders of the water."
The piece takes the listener on a meditative flight of sound, as it were, using clarinet, cello and piano, and ocarina and bells.
Gabriel Fauré's Trio op. 120 is a late work, premiered on the composer's 78th birthday when he was half-blind and almost deaf. All the more striking is the sound-painting means Fauré uses, how he creates the "impression of floating and unlimited freedom" (Claus-Christian Schuster) and opens up associative spaces.
In Fabel Cinema Fantasy, Andris Vecumnieks plays with diverse associations, both to Latvian and international cinema, and draws inspiration from classical music models. With his mix of styles, he creates an inimitable acoustic scenery that sets no limits to the audience's imagination. Ironic-sarcastic, mysterious!
Nino Rota is, of course, best known for his excellent film scores for Visconti, Coppola and especially his friend Federico Fellini. But he also wrote concert music. Admittedly, he never made a distinction between the two. For some music critics, this was a provocation. They were outraged by the outrageous catchiness of his works. Rota's clarinet trio is also not stingy with highly melodic, almost operatic phrases and conjures up some of the craziest scenes from Fellini's films in the humorously overwrought finale.
Programme No. 2
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Trio (“Gassenhauer-Trio”) in B-Dur, Op. 11 für Klarinette, Cello und Klavier
I Allegro con brio
III Tema con variazioni ("Pria ch'io l'impegno": Allegretto)
Georgs Pelēcis (1947*)
Lyrical triptych of Latvian folk songs für Klarinette, Cello und Klavier
I Tumša nakte, zaļa zāle
II Zaļa tautu miežu rija
III Pūt, vējiņi
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Trio in a-Moll, Op.114 für Klarinette, Cello und Klavier
III Andantino grazioso
Three composers, three epochs - connected by the ideal of singing, the attempt to make instruments "sing" as well. Beethoven uses a popular tune of his time, Brahms uses wide-ranging melodies. The third in the group, Georgs Pelēcis, comes from Latvia, which fought for independence by singing. In his "Lyrical Triptych," Pelēcis draws on folkloric themes, giving Trio Fabel a fantastic opportunity to show off its Latvian roots.