Music News & Reviews

Chamber society salutes U.S. composers on its world tour of music

The Chamber Music Society of Sacramento
The Chamber Music Society of Sacramento Courtesy of the Society

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento decided to go around the world without leaving the Sacramento area.

The seven-show “Tour Du Monde” kicked off in October with a Russian concert, followed by Scandinavian and German pieces. Its fourth show in the series – focusing on the United States – will hit Davis and Sacramento this weekend.

“The personal communication between the three or four or five of us,” explained flutist Mathew Krejcit, “it’s pregnant with musical, artistic communication, and that’s what so fun about it.”

Chamber music players work directly with each other rather than through a conductor’s baton for performances on a much smaller scale than an orchestra. The term “chamber music” came from its performances in salons, living rooms and at dinner parties, flutist Mathew Krejci said.

In orchestral performances “the idea is to blend, to blend in and to subjugate your personality to the will of the composer,” said Krejci, who also is president of the society’s board. “But in chamber music, it’s the individuality of the composer that you’re trying to emulate.”

The performances – Saturday, Jan. 28, at Congregation Bet Haverim in Davis and Sunday, Jan. 29 at Capistrano Hall, California State University Sacramento – will feature music director William Barbini and Kineko Okumura, both on violin.

Four pieces will be featured: Corigliano’s “Sonata for Violin & Piano,” Vern Reynolds’ “Sonata for Flute & Piano,” Barber’s “Summer Music for Wind Quintet” and Korngold’s “Suite for Left Hand Piano, Two Violins & Cello,” a piece “so beautiful,” Barbini said, that it can be hard to perform “without getting tears in your eyes.”

The Reynolds sonata was written for one of Krejci’s teachers, giving him a special tie to the music. And Barbini has played the Corigliano sonata with the composer himself.

As for the Barber, “It’s summer music. ... It kind of reminds me of sitting on a porch drinking a beer and watching life go by,” Krejci said.

Three more “Tour Du Monde” performances remain this year, with the Czech Republic in March, France in April, and Austria closing out the season in June. The society is planning a second part to the tour next year.

“You know, when a composer writes for 30 violins, he can’t be as personal as he could write for one violin,” Krejci said. “And I think that’s the true nature of chamber music, that it’s so personal. The audience is closer to us as musicians. They can feel us looking at each other and feeding off one another. And that’s … one of the glories of chamber music.”

Chamber Music Society of Sacramento

What: The group presents its 30th-year celebration series, “Tour du Monde” of music from around the world. This month features U.S. composers.

When and where: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28, at Congregation Bet Haverim synagogue, 1715 Anderson Road, Davis; and 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, at Capistrano Hall, CSU Sacramento

Cost: $12-$30 for individual tickets; $90-$180 for season passes

Information: 1-800-838-3006,