French romanticism for Valentines at USM

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 in Culture

French romanticism for Valentines at USM

Pianist Laura Kargul and violinist Ronald Lantz

GORHAM -- Violinist Ronald Lantz and pianist Laura Kargul will celebrate the Valentine season with a program of French romantic music, featuring the Maine premiere of the little known "Sonata for Violin and Piano" by Jacques de la Presle.

"This gorgeous masterpiece from 1913 exemplifies the full flowering of the French romantic tradition. We feel it is a major addition to the sonata literature that richly deserves to be heard and will eventually take its rightful place beside the great works of Franck, Fauré and Debussy," says Lantz.  

Valentine’s means coupling, so it’s only appropriate that the two musicians will perform in two separate concerts:

Saturday, Feb. 11, at 7:30 p.m. at The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, ticketing information at or call the box office at 633-5159.

Sunday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m. in USM School of Music’s Corthell Concert Hall, College Avenue, Gorham. Tickets to the USM event cost $15 general public; $10 seniors/USM employees; $5 students/children. For reservations, contact the Music Box Office at or 780-5555. In case of snow emergencies, call 780-4800 for concert information. TTY: 780-5646.

Also on the program is the well-known and beloved "Sonata in A Major" by César Franck along with several transcriptions of songs by Liszt and Fauré. "We’ve created violin-piano arrangements of two of Liszt's most passionate songs, ‘Oh! quand je dors’ and ‘O Lieb,’ and Fauré’s sublime ‘Après un rêve,’” says Kargul. “We’re also delighted to introduce Maine audiences to the stunning ‘Nocturne’ by Lili Boulanger, younger (and even more gifted!) sister of revered music pedagogue Nadia Boulanger.”

Laura Kargul is the Director of Keyboard Studies at the University of Southern Maine School of Music. She has appeared as a soloist throughout Europe and the USA, as well as in Canada and the West Indies. As a collaborative artist she has appeared with ensembles such as the Michigan Chamber Strings, and the Lark, Da Ponte and Portland String Quartets in venues including the Aspen Music Festival and the Chamber Music Festival of Lucca in Italy. She holds a doctorate in piano performance from the University of Michigan.

Ronald Lantz has taught and concertized in over 30 countries as a founding member of the Portland String Quartet. He has also performed with numerous symphony orchestras both as soloist and as principal player, and has served on the faculties of the University of New Hampshire, Bates College, the University of Southern Maine, Bowdoin College, and Colby College, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree. Mr. Lantz performs on a violin made in Paris in the 1850's by the famous instrument and bow maker, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.

The pair began to perform together in 2010 and their collaboration immediately elicited rave reviews: “They gave the audience an unforgettable concert, one that provided sincere as well as passionate music making, a marvelous mix of intellect and musicianship of the highest order.” (Journal Tribune, Nov. 2010.)

For more information on the USM School of Music’s spring concert season and programs of study, visit Sign up for e-notices, or find us on Facebook as USM School of Music,

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