That’Sonata story with Arne Sahlen

Two performances this weekend; one in Cranbrook, one in Kimberley

Arne Sahlen entertains this weekend.

Arne Sahlen entertains this weekend.

For the Bulletin

Lively local pianist Arne Sahlen will present “…but that’Sonata Story!” at Cranbrook United Church, 6:30 pm Sunday the 21st and Kimberley United Church, 7 pm Tuesday the 23rd.  Admission is by donation.

Love-story and murder-mystery elements spice up one of history’s great musical forms.  “We think of the Classical sonata as high-toned,” says Sahlen, “But in truth it dumbed music down from florid past forms. A rising merchant class had time and income to spare, and wanted to follow the players without a program so to speak.”  Simpler melody and chords displaced multi-voice swirl, and elegant proportion replaced turbid emotion. (A prince told composer Joseph Haydn to write music that does not interfere with the digestion.)

Multi-millions of sonatas for any instrument present a 3-act play in music.  Sahlen will describe and play samples simple to complex, with his trademark mix of humour and history – also audience participation and a contest or two.

At the Cranbrook event, young pianist Alec Hammond of Creston will play Beethoven sonata movements, a Nocturne by French composer Faure, and a shimmery etude by Canadian composer Jean Coulthard.  Just 14, Alec has won many awards and performed twice at the BC Provincial Music Festival; he won the 2015 Junior Class.

Following both events, Sahlen will chat about developing a huge Performing Arts focus in the area. “With splendid violin and voice in Cranbrook, a raft of fine piano teachers in the area, excellent school music, a glorious regional symphony and new local orchestra on the scene, great track records in both Cranbrook and Kimberley for event hosting and international focus, our small-city coziness and resplendent surroundings — I’m breathless and have not yet run out!”  he enthuses.

Sahlen has another reason for this project. “The East Kootenays gave me my life back.”  Working away from Kimberly, he endured the devastation of multi-year workplace bullying – worthy of special mention as Anti-Bullying Day approaches – despite delighted students and parents. “Whether school, work, committee or online, bullying has shattering effects that torment body and spirit,” he stresses.  In his case, the pummelling and continued exhaustion triggered what grew into c.diff, the infamous hospital super-bug.  That too has ravaging long-term impacts.

A major key to healing for Sahlen: “In the EK we don’t think it weird or sick to put others first. That was a thorny issue in the other place.  Here we volunteer, care for community and world, and support each other.   – and in fact I’m happy and thankful that it pushed me back here!  A big focus, which may make Kimberley-Cranbrook evolve into a destination for year-around arts excellence, is my thank-you gift to the region.”

For details contact pr 250-427-2159, cell/text 250-540-4242.