MET Orchestra Musicians To Honor Departed Members with ‘Songs without Words’ Concert

By Logan Martell

On April 25, 2021, MET Orchestra musicians will present a concert of chamber music in the memory of the five members who have passed away since the pandemic began. They will be joined by renowned mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade as the host and guest artist.

This performance comes as the sixth in the MET Orchestra’s virtual “Spotlight Series,” with a program that pays respect to each of the departed musicians. First will be a special arrangement of Mozart’s “B-Flat Piano Sonata, K. 333,” as well as Purcell’s “When I am Laid in Earth,” by Shmuel Katz, in honor of fellow violist Vincent Lionti, who passed away on April 4, 2020.

Next will be Mendelssohn’s “Song without Words, Op. 30, No. 1,” played by Natalia Katukova in honor of Assistant Conductor and Pianist Joel Rezvan, who passed away due to COVID on May 25. This selection is one of the last works that Rezvan performed during his lifetime and will be followed by Chopin’s “Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major, Op. 47.”

Paying tribute to clarinetists Jim Ognibene and Joseph Rabbai will be Anton Rist, joined by Katyukova and cellist Jerry Grossman for the Adagio from Brahms’ “Clarinet Trio in A Minor, Op. 114.” Both Ognibene and Grossman passed on August 11.

In honor of associate violinist Patmore Lewis, Xiao-Dong Wang and David Cerutti will perform Dvořák’s “Terzetto in C Major, Op. 74,” joined by Catherine Sim. Lewis had been associated with the Met since 1977, and died of cancer on November 6.

Following the performance, there will be a live chat with the artists. The concert is sponsored by the MET Orchestra Alumni, in support of their fellow musicians.