'The Trout' serves as music fest's main course

When the second installment of “Music on the Menu” takes place on Feb. 5, the concert portion will feature a performance of Franz Schubert’s piano quintet, “The Trout,” based on the Austrian composer’s song of the same title. 

The concert will begin with soprano Ems Melland, who will perform the original song, followed by a five-movement quintet comprising piano (Glen Inanga), violin (Zuzana Leitmannova), viola (Richard de Lacy), cello (Angharad Parkes), and double bass (Ian Emerson).  

The event, presented by the Cayman Arts Festival at Luca restaurant, begins with canapés and drinks, followed by a three-course meal with wine.  

The musicians 

The musicians live and work in the Cayman Islands but have never performed before as a group. Inanga, the festival’s artistic director, said the concert includes the most performers ever featured in the popular chamber music concert series, which began in 2008, and all performers donate their services. Money raised goes toward the development of the Cayman Youth Choir and building awareness for the arts throughout the year. 

Cambridge-educated Inanga studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music in London and has performed at Lincoln Center in New York. He is a senior lecturer and director of music at the University College of the Cayman Islands. 

British soprano Melland is the conductor of the Cayman Youth Choir and a music teacher at Cayman Prep and High School, where she has built up thriving choirs.  

Leitmannova is a violin and beginner piano teacher at the Cayman Music School and has extensive international experience. She has performed in Japan with a Slovakian music band, as well as in England. 

De Lacy, a Cambridge graduate, played violin in the Philharmonic Chorus of London and violin and viola with a number of opera societies in London, as well as with the Cayman National Orchestra. He is a partner at Ogier law firm. 

Welsh cellist Parkes graduated from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, and has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Toronto, Wales and Croatia.  

Emerson is a music teacher at St. Ignatius school. He plays bass in a number of local bands, including the Cayman Swing Kings. 

The music 

“The Trout” was composed in 1817 by Schubert, who set an extract of a poem telling the story of a trout being caught by an angler. While the purpose of the poem is revealed in the final verse as a moral piece warning young women about young men, it was omitted in Schubert’s setting to allow for the song to be performed by male as well as female singers.  

Inanga said the song was popular with audiences at the time and led to a commission by Schubert’s publisher to produce a piano quintet based on the song as is found in the fourth movement, which is a set of variations on the song. 

Despite the fact that Schubert (1797-1828) died at age 31, he was extremely prolific in his lifetime. His output includes more than 600 secular vocal works, seven complete symphonies, sacred works, operas and a large body of chamber and piano music.  

“Appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited to a few people and admirers in Vienna, but in the decades following his death, there was a significant increase in interest in his music,” said Inanga. “He is now ranked among the greatest of composers of the late Classical and Romantic era and is one of the most performed composers of the nineteenth century.  

“I have been meaning to program this work for quite some time and although it is a popular chamber music work, I believe it is being performed in Cayman for the first time.” 

“Music on the Menu” begins with the reception at 6:30 p.m.; dinner and concert from 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $100, can be reserved by emailing [email protected]  

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Glen Inanga, the Cayman Art’s Festival’s artistic director and director of music at the University College of the Cayman Islands, will play piano at the forthcoming ‘Music on the Menu.’

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Violinist Zuzana Leitmannova

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Cellist Angharad Parkes

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Violinist Richard de Lacy
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