Violinist Elisa Barston, left, joins her friend, pianist Paige Roberts Molloy, for two duo recitals this week on the Olympic Peninsula. (Port Angeles Symphony)

Violinist Elisa Barston, left, joins her friend, pianist Paige Roberts Molloy, for two duo recitals this week on the Olympic Peninsula. (Port Angeles Symphony)

Duo recitals offered this week in Port Angeles, Sequim

PORT ANGELES — One of the best things about playing music with her friend Elisa Barston is that “we know how each other breathes.”

So said Paige Roberts Molloy, the pianist who will join violinist Barston for two duo recitals this week. The Seattle women have performed together many times in recent years, so they do have that sense of breathing together, “and I just think that’s key,” Molloy added.

The Port Angeles Symphony will present its performances in Sequim and Port Angeles, marking the first chamber concerts of the symphony’s new season. Barston and Molloy will offer an all-Brahms evening — a scherzo and three sonatas — at 7 p.m.:

• Friday at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave., Port Angeles;

• Saturday at Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Ave., Sequim.

Tickets, available at portangelessymphony.org, Port Book and News (104 E. First St., Port Angeles) and at the door, are $20 general admission, and free for those 18 and younger with a ticketed patron.

This gathering of Brahms’ music, starting with the Scherzo in C minor he wrote at age 20, is a rich and full experience, Molloy said.

“It’s a lot like having an entire orchestra in my hands,” she added. This is an intimate recital, though. Barston, who has the nights off from her position as principal second violin in the Seattle Symphony, is Molloy’s singular collaborator.

The evenings will follow Brahms as he developed into one of the greatest composers of all time. Their finale, his Sonata No. 3 in D minor, is similar to his earlier pieces, making these recitals a full-circle experience, said Molloy.

“Even his early stuff sounds so mature to me. I think he was an old soul from the beginning,” she said.

Barston, for her part, revels in her return to Port Angeles and Sequim. One year ago, she and Molloy gave a pair of recitals here, and Barston remarked on the positive vibration she felt from the audience. That feeling: It’s why musicians do what they do, she said.

As for Port Angeles Symphony conductor and artistic director Jonathan Pasternack, this weekend’s recitals are pure pleasure.

“I am absolutely thrilled that these two consummate artists are going to perform the complete sonatas for violin and piano by my favorite composer, Johannes Brahms,” Pasternack said.

Friday and Saturday’s recitals are part of the Port Angeles Symphony’s 91st season, which promises full orchestra concerts in November, December, February, March and May. The May 4, 2024, performance will bring the Brahms Requiem with the Port Angeles Symphony Chorus and soloists.

These concerts will be at the Port Angeles High School Performing Arts Center, 304 E. Park Ave. More information is available by contacting the symphony office at 360-457-5579 or at pasymphony@olypen.com.

The season also features two more sets of chamber concerts in Sequim and Port Angeles in January and May.

“Elisa [Barston] is one of my favorite musical collaborators, and Paige is a powerhouse pianist,” Pasternack said. He noted too that Molloy will be back to perform Shostakovich’s Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings with the Port Angeles Symphony Chamber Orchestra May 17 and 18.

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