They’re two of our city’s finest musicians. Artistically enticing, sympathetic, creative, and dynamic – oboist Caitlin Broms-Jacobs and pianist Madeline Hildebrand are, together, the DUO CBJ&MH.
Founded in 2014, the pair pride themselves on expressive music-making paired with compelling and unusual repertoire and this weekend they present a recital filled with the dramatic and enchanting melodies of Eastern Europe.
Centered by the Suite for Oboe and Piano by Pavel Haas, a 20th-Century Jewish composer killed in Auschwitz during the Second World War, the program is filled with moving, charged works by composers of the Soviet era.
“They (the composers) were required to compose in a certain way for political reasons or out of fear of survival,” says Hildebrand. “And that’s just a story we wanted to tell.”
Also on the program is music by Ukrainian Valentin Silvestrov, Azerbaijanian Fikret Amriov, Bulgarian Georg Cherkin amongst others, including two works arranged by Broms-Jacobs – the principal oboist with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra who has started to make a name for herself as a talented and clever arranger in the city.
At the suggestion of her duo partner – who had performed works by Czech composer Vítězslava Kaprálová and Armenian composer Gayane Chebotaryan in their original form – Broms-Jacobs adapted the music for their two instruments.
In the case of the latter composer, it marks the first time she has arranged a solo piano work and added a part.
“It was really interesting because it was more than just dividing up the solo piano music,” says Broms-Jacobs. “I didn’t want to leave it too sparse at the same time, I wanted to preserve the original arc of the piece.”
The DUO CBJ&MH performs at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 9 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (600 Cambridge Street). Admission by donation.
Later this fall, they take the program on the road, touring through Ontario and British Columbia before a planned studio session to record an album in spring 2024.