top of page



2023-24 SEASON

Of Ballad and Breath

March 22, 2024 | 7:00pm

Merit School of Music, Gottlieb Hall

38 S. Peoria St., Chicago, IL

March 23, 2024 | 7:30pm

Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church

4511 N. Hermitage Ave., Chicago, IL

CHAI Collaborative Ensemble (CCE) continues their 2023-24 Season with music written for piano trio (violin, cello, and piano) and songs for soprano and cello that explore the concepts of ballad and breath. Anchoring the program is Antonín Dvořák's Piano Trio in E minor, Op. 90 ("Dumky"), which is one of the composer's most significant chamber music compositions. The subtitle of the the trio, “Dumky” (plural of dumka), describes the overarching style of all six of its movements. A "dumka" is a form of a Slavic (some sources state specifically Ukrainian) ballad marked by abrupt changes between melancholy and lively throughout. James Kallembach's Eleven Songs on Poems of Anne Bradstreet contemplate various stages of life including first love, vocation, joy, tragedy, and mortality. While Bradstreet was the first woman to be recognized as an accomplished New World Poet, she still lived with the realities of life in New England in the 1600s and within the Puritan religious faith to which her father and husband ascribed. Bradstreet's poetry manages to be both lyrical yet very direct, and some of it is considered to have been written in a ballad style. Reena Esmail's Saans (Breath) is inspired in part by the story of the composer Cesar Franck, who dedicated his soaring violin sonata for his friend Eugene Ysaye. The composer and the violinist sightread the sonata on the night of Ysaye's wedding. As she was completing her Clarinet Concerto, she saw that the second movement of it would be the perfect wedding present for her dear friend and colleague, pianist Suzana Bartal, and her husband, the composer Eric Tanguy.



Rebekah Dotzel, cello

Talar Khosdeghian, piano

Laura Perkett, soprano

Caroline Rothstein Wendt, violin

bottom of page