2016-2017 Season Calendar

September October November December January February March AprilMayJune July

20-concert series: Mondays at 2pm and 7:30pm 
All performances, except where noted, are held at
 Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church
152 West 66th Street, New York, NY 10023
Find out more about the Jupiter Players and our Guest Artists.

Tickets  $25, $17, $10  Call 212.799.1259
or e-mail admin@jupitersymphony.com
Printable Calendar &Ticket Order Form (pdf)

 
September
September 12  Beautiful Minds

Adam Neiman piano
Mark Kaplan
violin
Hyunah Yu
soprano
Yoo Jin Jang violin

Cong Wu viola
David Requiro
cello
Vadim Lando
clarinet
 

MENDELSSOHN  Rondo Capriccioso in E Major Op. 14 • 1830
 • a favorite in new guise ~ arranged by G. Günther for two violins and viola from the original for solo piano

The Rondo’s interesting origins are unveiled by the Mendelssohn scholar R. Larry Todd. It began as an Étude in E minor composed in 1824 “in his trademark elfin style, with delicate points of imitation and scurrying passagework, but also powerful martellato passages. Then, in 1830, he found a special occasion to revive the work. While visiting Munich en route to Italy and the beginning of his Grand Tour that led him as far south as Paestum, he encountered the talented pianist Delphine von Schauroth (1814–1887), whom he described as ‘slim, blond, blue-eyed, with white hands, and somewhat aristocratic.’ The daughter of a noble but impoverished family, Schauroth’s intrusion into Mendelssohn’s life prompted his sisters to begin speculating about her being a potential sister-in-law, and his mother to inquire discreetly about the Schauroths. In Munich the two made a musical exchange: Schauroth penned a lyrical—and Mendelssohnian—Lied ohne Worte in E major, and Mendelssohn reciprocated by adding to his Étude a lyrical and Lied ohne Worte-like Andante, also in E major, with a brief transition to the former Étude. Covering up all traces of the recomposition, he described the process as adding ‘sauce and mushrooms.’ The finished product appeared later in 1830 in England and 1831 in a German edition as the Rondo capriccioso, and became a favorite virtuoso concert piece of the nineteenth century.”

Robert KAHN  Jungbrunnen “Fountain of Youth” Op. 46 • 1906
 • his remarkable song cycle revealing Brahms’s lifelong influence, the lyrics by the Jewish poet Paul Heyse, Nobel laureate for Literature in 1910 ~ for soprano, violin, cello, and piano

During a visit to Vienna Kahn befriended Brahms, who was so impressed with the young man he offered to give him composition lessons, but Kahn was too overawed to accept. Kahn’s work was suppressed by the Nazis in 1938, after which Albert Einstein persuaded him to flee to England. From a distinguished family of bankers and merchants, his seven siblings included Otto Kahn, the financier and chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Opera; and Felix Kahn, a banker, director of Paramount Pictures, and noted violin collector.

SCHUBERT  “Shepherd on the Rock” D. 965 • 1828
 • composed barely a month before his death at age 31 for the soprano, Anna Milder-Hauptmann, whom Schubert admired ~ premiered by Milder on 10 February 1830 at the House of the Blackheads in Riga ~ for soprano, clarinet, and piano

BRAHMS  Piano Quintet in F minor Op. 34 • 1864
 • “The Quintet is beautiful beyond words...a masterpiece of chamber music,” confirmed Hermann Levi, the German conductor and an admirer and friend of Brahms

September 26  The Gewandhaus

Maxim Lando piano
Stefan Milenkovich
violin
Emily Daggett Smith violin
Xiao Wang violin
Adelya Nartadjieva violin

Cong Wu
viola

Sung Jin Lee viola
David Requiro cello
Arlen Hlusko
cello
Vadim Lando
clarinet
Stanislav Chernyshev
basset horn

The music of 4 composers LinkedIn to the Gewandhaus in Leipzig is featured on this program. The orchestra had its origins in a concert society founded in 1743 by 16 merchants. It first held performances in private homes, then at the Three Swans tavern. In 1781 it moved to the meetinghouse of the cloth merchants—the Gewandhaus. Mozart performed there in 1789, and the orchestra was instrumental in promoting Beethoven, performing all his symphonies in his lifetime. In 1835 Mendelssohn was appointed music director and conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Thomasschule (St Thomas School). “In Mendelssohn’s hands, it became Germany’s leading orchestra, and one of the most influential musical institutions in Europe.... The Gewandhaus concert season...was built around twenty subscription concerts.... Where repertoire was concerned, Mendelssohn’s central objective appears to have been providing the Leipzig public sustained exposure to the music of Mozart and Beethoven; the work of these two proliferates.... At the same time, his commitment to supporting what he considered to be the worthiest of newer compositions—Ignaz Moscheles, Ferdinand Hiller, and Niels Gade were among those most enthusiastically supported—yielded an especially impressive crop of symphonic premieres [The Cambridge Companion to Mendelssohn].” Gade succeeded Mendelssohn at the Gewandhaus upon the latter’s death in 1847.

MOZART  Adagio and Allegro in F minor K. 594 • 1790
 • an extraordinary piece written for a funeral mass in memory of Field Marshal Laudon, a hero of the Turkish War, meant to be played on a mechanical organ, the sound of which Mozart scorned as “infantile” in a letter to his wife, Constanze ~ in Antoni Orlowski’s version for string quintet entitled “Grande Fantaisie de Mozart”

Money had been tight for Mozart as work was scarce. Not only was his popularity waning, but Austrian cultural life was suffering the consequences of a debilitating and unpopular war against Turkey between early 1788 and 1791—concert activity in Vienna had declined sharply in 1789 and 1790, both in the concert halls and in private salons. Thus, “It was a matter of great discouragement that at the end of 1790 he was reduced to writing a work he despised (‘It is a kind of composition which I detest’) for an unsatisfactory instrument...simply so that he could ‘slip a few ducats into the hand of my dear little wife’ [Maynard Solomon, Mozart].” Yet, despite his distaste for the shrill mechanical clocks that had organs built into them (with “tiny pipes”), Mozart wrote a profound work of the highest merit.

Orlowski was a Polish violinist, pianist, conductor, and composer. Born in Warsaw in 1811, the same year as Liszt, he left in 1830 for Paris, where he studied with Le Sueur, and from 1835 he worked as a conductor in Rouen, dying there in 1861. He composed 2 operettas, a ballet, some vocal music, chamber works, and piano miniatures modeled on Chopin.

BEETHOVEN  “Kakadu” Variations Op. 121a • circa 1803, rev. 1816, pub. 1824
 • ten clever, refined variations on “Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu” (“I am the tailor Cockatoo”) for piano trio

The theme, introduced with exaggerated gravity, comes from a popular ditty from Wenzel Müller’s comic opera Die Schwestern von Prag (The Sisters of Prague), which premiered at the Leopoldstadt in Vienna in 1794 and had a run of 136 performances. The variations advance in complexity and invention, ending with a whirling segment and a bubbly coda.

MENDELSSOHN  Konzertstück No. 1 in F minor Op. 113 and No. 2 in D minor Op. 114 • 1832-1833
 • Concert Pieces sparkling with effervescent counterpoint and lyrical tunes, composed for the clarinet virtuosi Heinrich and his son Carl Baermann in exchange for a culinary treat of sweet dumplings and cheese strudel ~ for clarinet, basset horn, and piano

Apart from their musical prowess, the Baermanns were renowned for their cooking, and even the royal house of Saxony craved their dumpling specialty made from flour, yeast, sugar, butter, and eggs and cooked in a wine sauce.

Niels GADE  String Octet in F Major Op. 17 • 1848
 • mellifluous, graceful, and Mendelssohnian ~ by the genial, urbane Danish master, who was Mendelssohn’s successor as director of the Leipzig Conservatory and conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra

In a review, Robert Layton observed, “the craftsmanship is impeccable, the musical architecture finely structured, and the musical ideas and the atmosphere cultured.” Work on the Octet began soon after Gade assumed leadership at the Gewandhaus and was completed in Copenhagen, as the outbreak of the 1848 Prusso-Danish war forced him to leave Germany, but the turbulence of the times is not evident in the sunny disposition of the piece.

 
 
 
October
October 10  Sweet ’n’ Sassy

Max Levinson piano
Elizabeth Fayette
violin
Cong Wu viola
David Requiro
cello
Beomjae Kim
flute

Rita Mitsel oboe
Stanislav Chernyshev
clarinet
Karl Kramer
french horn
Gina Cuffari
bassoon

Charles Edouard LEFEBVRE  Suite Op. 57 • 1910
 • fit for a stroll and a frisk in the park, the superb quintet of jeux d’esprit for winds was written for Paul Taffanel’s Societé

Son of the French figurative painter Jules Lefebvre, Charles won the Prix de Rome in 1870 and was awarded the Prix Chartier twice, in 1884 and 1891. The New Grove Dictionary notes, “In his own words, he worked in pastels rather than oils. The style and texture of his instrumental pieces might be compared to those of Mendelssohn, whom he admired greatly.”

Jean FRANÇAIX  String Trio in C Major • 1933
 • jittery, tuneful, ironic, sweetly sad, scintillating

The French Neoclassical composer, whose style was vibrant, witty, concise, and marked by lightness, attended the Paris Conservatoire and studied composition with Nadia Boulanger. He was also influenced by Ravel, but wrote in his own very individual style—polished, ingenious, and fresh.

Francis POULENC  Sextet for piano and wind quintet • 1932, rev. 1939
  • charged with lightheartedness, good humor, satire, enormous charm, wit, and not least of all, melody, for that was paramount for the French composer

Poulenc was a member of Les Six, a group of friends who hung out together with Jean Cocteau and Sergei Diaghilev, united in their pledge to compose freely in the French spirit, unencumbered by Romanticism and Impressionism. Formed under the eye of Eric Satie, the other members were Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honneger, Georges Auric, Germaine Tailleferre, and Louis Durey. As the Poulenc family was affluent (the wealth came from pharmaceutical manufacturing—the forerunners of the chemical giant, Rhône-Poulenc), Poulenc was able to live and compose without financial duress.

Alexis, Vicomte de CASTILLON  Piano Quartet in G minor Op. 7 • 1869
 • reveals his original mind and brilliance, while bearing the influence of Schumann, whom he admired ~ dedicated to the Russian composer and pianist Anton Rubinstein

As a member of the Languedoc nobility, Castillon was prepped for a military career and served valiantly in the Franco-Prussian War, but preferring music, he left the army and returned to composing, only to die two years later at the age of 34. The exceptionally talented French composer became a friend of Saint-Saëns and was one of “Franck’s Gang” (that is, a pupil of César Franck). He was among the first of his generation to devote himself to chamber music, and his work in this genre was considered first rate by his contemporaries—Vincent d’Indy, for one, called Castillon one of the best chamber music composers of his generation. His funeral was attended by Bizet, Franck, Lalo, Duparc, d’Indy, Massenet, Saint-Saëns, and others who “had loved the artist and the man [Daniel Gregory Mason, The Art of Music].”

October 17  Town and Country : English composers of style, culture, and accomplishment

Alexander Kobrin piano
Itamar Zorman
violin
Kobi Malkin
violin
Cong Wu
viola

Zlatomir Fung cello
Vadim Lando
clarinet
Karl Kramer
french horn

Samuel WESLEY  String Quartet in Eb Major • circa 1810
 • lovely tunes in a blend of Viennese classicism with early Beethoven, but in his own voice, somewhat in concertante style, giving all the strings soloistic passages

Born in Bristol in 1766, little Sam was initially overshadowed by his elder brother, Charles, but in the end proved the more gifted—by age 8 he composed a complete oratorio, Ruth. In 1778 the family moved to Marylebone, London, where he continued his superior education. Although he lived much of his adult life in a state of near-destitution, Wesley had many enthusiasms, including Bach, his passion. He became a prolific composer and the finest English organist of his day. He was also an articulate correspondent, his letters revealing a keen mind and warm heart, a man of ideas, with literary tastes and gifts. Today, Wesley is considered the most important composer of the Classical period in England. Francis Routh, one of the foremost British composers of the 20th Century, explains, “His mature style, after 1784, represents a meeting point of many traditions...in the orchestral and instrumental works, of Beethoven, Weber, Mendelssohn. His best works are the first by an English composer in classical vein to link the English musical heritage of the past with the mainstream European tradition of his time, in a musical language that is both individual and distinctive. Its chief characteristics, are a constant striving for large-scale structures, a mastery of counterpoint, a highly colourful chromaticism of the melodic material, and a visionary quality which caused him to transcend the limitations and constrictions of his day.”

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS  Quintet in D Major • 1898
 • sort of Anglicized Brahms, very beautiful, and full of Romantic passion ~ written in his mid-20s, the year after his marriage ~ for clarinet, horn, violin, cello, and piano

Ralph’s mother, Margaret, was one of three daughters born to Josiah Wedgwood III and Caroline Darwin. Thus, Charles Darwin was his great-uncle and Josiah Wedgwood was his great-great-grandfather, founder of the pottery at Stoke-on-Trent. In 1897 Vaughan Williams married the gifted cellist and pianist Adeline Fisher, a first cousin of Virginia Woolf.

Edward ELGAR  Piano Quintet in A minor Op. 84 • 1918
 • masterful and majestic, the Quintet is full of vitality and personality ~ George Bernard Shaw, upon hearing it performed at Elgar’s home, wrote that the music “knocked me over at once” ~ Elgar is considered England’s greatest composer

October 31  Hair Raisers

Drew Petersen piano
Danbi Um
violin
Lisa Shihoten
violin
Cynthia Phelps
viola
Timotheos Petrin
cello
Hassan Anderson
oboe
Rita Mitsel oboe

Vadim Lando clarinet
Oleksiy Zakharov
bassoon
Gina Cuffari
soprano
Olga Perez Flora mezzo-soprano
Albert Rudolph Lee tenor
Barry Crawford bass

Camille SAINT-SAËNS  Danse macabre Op. 40 • 1874
 
• the composer’s arrangement for violin and piano from his symphonic poem ~ based on the tale of Death summoning the dead from their graves at midnight on Halloween for their skeletal dance of death while it plays the fiddle, stopping only at dawn upon the rooster’s crowing, when they must return to their graves for another year

Charles-Valentin ALKAN  Marcia funèbre sulla morte d’un Pappagallo “Funeral March on the Death of a Parrot” • 1858
 • an extraordinary curiosity—bleak and grotesque, yet foxy and funny—by the asocial French composer and virtuoso pianist ~ for vocal quartet, 2 oboes, and bassoon

The critic Adrian Corleonis draws attention to “A footnote near the beginning of the score telling us, tongue-in-cheek, ‘This reminiscence is due solely to an ornithological accident. I pray you, connoisseurs of La gazza ladra [Rossini’s opera, The Thieving Magpie], do not attribute the slightest impertinence to the deceased parrot’s song.’ And the score’s title page, comically strutting, casts the composer as an Italian—Parole e Musica del Cittadino C° Vino Alkan (primogenito).

Franz LISZT Après une lecture du Dante, fantasia quasi sonata • 1849
 • The “Dante” Sonata, as the piano sonata in one movement is often called, was published in 1856 as the final work in the second of three suites, Années de pèlerinage: (Italie) “Years of Pilgrimage: Italy” ~ the program music was inspired by Dante Alighieri’s epic poem, The Divine Comedy—feel the suffering of the tortured souls in Hell as well as the joy of those who made it to Heaven

SCHUBERT  String Quartet No. 14 in D minor “Death and the Maiden” D. 810 • 1824 • his testament to death

Schubert had contracted syphilis in late 1822 or early 1823; the following year he became ill. In a letter dated 31 March 1824 to a close friend, the painter Leopold Kupelwieser, he confided his anguish: “...I feel myself to be the most unhappy and wretched creature in the world. Think of a man whose health will never be right again, and who from despair over this always makes things worse instead of better; think of a man, I say, whose brightest hopes have come to nothing....” Remarkably, he also expressed hopes of completing a few songs, and writing two string quartets and an octet. Understandably, death’s shadow pervades this deeply melancholy masterpiece, Der Tod und das Mädchen. Its moniker comes from his famous song (written in 1817), which provides the theme and variations for the slow movement.

 
 
 
November
November 14  Aeolian Gold

Sivan Magen harp
Areta Zhulla
violin
Paul Neubauer viola
Zlatomir Fung cello

Barry Crawford flute
Hassan Anderson
oboe
Vadim Lando
clarinet
Gina Cuffari
bassoon
 

Joseph WEIGL  Concertino • circa 1815
 • singable themes abound in this quintet for harp and four winds, his melodic style grounded in Viennese Classics ~ by Haydn’s god-child and a pupil of Albrechtsberger and Salieri, and Kapellmeister at the court theater in Vienna

Weigl was a successful conductor and composer in his day. Beethoven, his contemporary, was aware of his work and Schubert knew him. In fact, it was Weigl’s hit tune that provided the inspiration for Beethoven’s variations movement of the raucous “Gassenhauer” or “Street Song” Trio. Schubert, who was younger than Weigl by 30 years, was well acquainted with the latter’s accomplishments. He had played many of Weigl’s overtures in his school orchestra, and had seen Weigl’s operas, two of which in particular had impressed him: Das Waisenhaus (The Orphanage) and Die Schweizerfamilie (The Swiss Family). In January 1821 Weigl and Salieri signed a testimonial for Schubert attesting to his musical abilities. And in January 1827, when Schubert learned that the post of deputy court Kapellmeister he had applied for was granted to Weigl instead, he remarked, “Since it has been given to so worthy a man as Weigl, I have no reason to complain.” Schubert’s longtime friend, Josef von Spaun, also affirms that Schubert had a very high regard for Weigl. The Viennese publisher Thaddäus Weigl, Joseph’s brother, later issued a number of Schubert songs under his own imprint.

BEETHOVEN  Serenade in D Major Op. 8 • 1797
 • musical variety in seven graceful, enchanting movements for string trio

As the 19th century violinist and musicologist Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski so well explains, “...since we do not really know of the circumstances relative to the composition of this ‘serenade’ one can imagine that he wrote it to give the impression of the spontaneous artistic spirit. It is that which this work reflects perfectly. It is an ephemeral pièce d’occasion, but a small, finely worked tableau.... A sense of humor is the center of gravity in this work.”

SCHUBERT  4 impromptus et momens musicale • 1824, 1827
 • transformed by the French composer Jean Françaix in 1973 into a quintet for flute, violin, viola, cello, and harp from the originals for solo piano

Françaix selected 3 of the six character pieces from Moments Musicaux D. 780, 2 Impromptus from D. 935, and one from D. 899. Jupiter will perform the Allegro vivace (No. 1) of the Moments Musicaux and all 3 Impromptus. The critic Donal Henahan called the Moments Musicaux “six of the most ingratiating little masterpieces in the piano literature. Each is a jewel containing more real music than the four-movement sonatas of many a master, composed in Schubert’s most deceptively simple, songful style.” The Impromptus, among Schubert’s most powerful and introspective works, are ranked with the most important examples of this popular genre. The first Impromptu appeared in 1817, written by the Bohemian composer Jan Václav Vorisek, a piano pupil of Hummel’s. Schubert’s Impromptus, so named by his publisher, Tobias Haslinger, were composed in 1827 and published in two sets of four.

No. 1 ~ from MM No. 5 ~ Allegro vivace in F minor, D. 780/Op. 94 • 1827
No. 4 ~ from 4 Impromptus No. 3 ~ Theme & Variations in Bb Major, D. 935/Op. 142
  • the theme is from the incidental music to Rosamunde
No. 5 ~ from 4 Impromptus No. 3 in Gb Major ~ Andante in G Major, D. 899/Op. 90
No. 6 ~ from 4 Impromptus No. 4 ~ Scherzando in F minor, D. 935 / Op. 142

November 21  Mighty Russians

Maxim Lando piano
Dmitri Berlinsky
violin
Xiao-Dong Wang
violin
Cong Wu viola
Christine Lamprea
cello

Xavier Foley double bass
Barry Crawford
flute
Vadim Lando
clarinet
Karl Kramer
french horn

TCHAIKOVSKY  Méditation in D minor Op. 42 No. 1 • 1878
 • from the suite Souvenir d’un lieu cher (“Remembrance of a Dear Place”) for violin and piano

Tchaikovsky’s patroness Nadezhda von Meck had offered him the “dear place”—her country estate, Brailov in the Ukraine—where he found respite from his unconsummated, much-regretted marriage to Antonina Milyukova. In a letter to von Meck, he penned: “In my opinion, the first of these is the best, but it gave me the most trouble; it is called Méditation and is to be played a tempo Andante. ...I experienced an indescribable melancholy, which stayed with me even as I sat down to write this; until I saw the lilacs still in full bloom, the grass still long, and the roses only just starting to blossom!”

TCHAIKOVSKY  String Quartet No. 1 in D Major Op. 11 • 1871
 • considered the first great Russian string quartet

At the suggestion of his colleague Nikolai Rubinstein (Anton’s brother), Tchaikovsky wrote the String Quartet to fill out a benefit concert of his own music in order to raise funds to ease his straitened circumstances. Composed in just a few weeks, it was hit, especially due to the lovely Andante cantabile based on the folksong “Sidel Vanya,” which he had heard two years earlier at his brother-in-law’s family estate at Kamenka in the Ukraine. In 1876, Tchaikovsky wrote in his diary, “Perhaps I was never so flattered in my life nor was my pride as a composer so stirred as when Lev Tolstoy, sitting beside me listening to the Andante of my First Quartet, dissolved in tears.”

Anton RUBINSTEIN  Octet in D Major Op. 9 • 1856
 • Russia’s first great pianist and founder of the St. Petersburg Conservatory reworked his Piano Concerto of 1849 into an octet for piano, flute, clarinet, horn, violin, viola, cello, and double bass in the Mendelssohn-Schumann-Chopin tradition of early Romanticism, with a brilliant, virtuosic piano part

 

 
 
December
December 5  German Masters

Elizaveta Kopelman piano
Mikhail Kopelman
violin
Lisa Shihoten
violin
Cynthia Phelps
viola

Cong Wu viola
Ani Aznavoorian
cello
Zlatomir Fung
cello
Barry Crawford
flute

Carl Maria von WEBER  Trio in G minor Op. 63 • 1819
 • Louis Spohr was the first to hear this ingratiating, early Romantic Trio for flute, cello and piano, played at his home, after which Weber recorded in his diary, “it went very well, and came off just as I wanted.”

The venerable critic Harold Schonberg called Weber “an authentic genius whose greatest tragedy was that he was born about thirty years ahead of his time.”

Max BRUCH  Piano Trio in C minor Op. 5 • 1858
 • his first significant work, written at age 19, a star pupil of the influential pianist-composer Ferdinand Hiller, who was a close friend of Mendelssohn

Although the Trio is a work of great beauty, it was not well received by the stuffy, conventional audience at a performance on 4 November 1858 at the Hotel Disch: “The impression of the first movement, which otherwise has truly beautiful moments, is obviously spoilt, for the audience did not really know what to make of it; an initial movement in such a slow tempo and such dimensions was somewhat unexpected as the first, and therefore, main movement of a trio. We cannot approve of this form, and sincerely hope that the talented composer will not be inclined to an interest in searching for new forms [Christopher Fifield, Max Bruch: His Life and Works].”

BRAHMS  String Sextet No. 2 in G Major Op. 36 • 1864-1865
 • a gorgeous, luscious work, with subtle reference to his one-time fiancée Agathe von Siebold, made immortal by the notes a-g-a-d-h-e in the first movement

 December 19  Geniuses

Roman Rabinovich piano
Itamar Zorman
violin
Lisa Shihoten violin
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt
viola

Vicki Powell viola
Christine Lamprea
cello
Zlatomir Fung
cello
Vadim Lando
clarinet

HAYDN  Clarinet Trio No. 3 in Bb Major Hob. IV: B1 • circa 1781
 • possibly written about two years before Haydn met Mozart, who was 24 years younger

Mozart held Haydn in high regard, and by 1784 the two were fast friends. In 1798, seven years after Mozart’s death, a biography of him affirmed his affection: “Mozart...became a most sincere admirer of the great and incomparable Joseph Haydn, who had already become the pride of music.... Mozart often called him his teacher.”

MOZART  Allegro in Bb Major K. 516c • 1787
 
• movement for clarinet and string quartet, written in the spring of 1787, originally for basset clarinet, possibly for his friend and fellow freemason, Anton Stadler, clarinetist in the imperial wind band, then later, the court orchestra in Vienna

“Ninety-three measures of an incomplete quintet movement [thought to be originally complete] for clarinet and strings, K. 516c, Anhang 91, survive in the Bibliothèque Nationale. The written pitch d or basset note d appears seven times. When writing for basset clarinet, Mozart refers to it in his scores, simply as clarinet. The basset notes are written in the bass clef in the great octave range, as are French horn parts. In 1970 Nagels-Verlag published a completed version of the fragment, composed by Robert Levin. [Pamela Poulin, The Basset Clarinet of Anton Stadler].”

Ernst von DOHNÁNYI  String Sextet in Bb Major • 1893, rev. 1896
 
an ardent admirer of Brahms, Dohnányi wrote the admirable Sextet at age 16 under his spell ~ its premiere performance in Budapest was praised in a review on 1 April 1898: “Dohnányi’s sextet shows, in spite of its early date of composition...the claws of a lion” ~ dedicated to the Archduchess Isabella of Austria

Born in 1877 in Pressburg, Hungary, young Ernst was first taught the piano by his father at age 6 and was composing by age 7. On 9 September 1894 he presented 3 works (including the Sextet) as part of his composition exam for entrance into the National Hungarian Royal Academy of Music. In 1896 he won the Second and Fourth of the Royal Prizes offered by Franz Joseph I in commemoration of the Hungarian Millennium for his Symphony in F and Zrinyi Overture; the Sextet was awarded an honorable mention. A first prize was not awarded, and it is rumored that the Sextet did not win the Third Prize because the committee was reluctant to give 3 prizes to the same composer.

Richard STRAUSS  Piano Quartet in C minor Op. 13 • 1884
• a glorious homage to Brahms, bursting with exuberance and originality by the 19-year-old ~ first performed in Weimar on 8 December 1885 with Strauss at the piano

When Strauss played the piano with the Mannes Quartet in Mendelssohn Hall, it was reviewed by the New York Times on 19 March 1904: “Dr. Strauss showed himself to be an extremely skillful and resourceful pianist in his playing...not as a virtuoso and not through seeking the effects of a virtuoso but with the truly musical insight of a composer. [The piece is] technically difficult...but his mastery of the all problems presented by his own music was unquestionable, and he put great fire and spirit into the performance.”

 
 
 
January
 January 9  Opera Without Words
Janice Carissa piano
Xiao-Dong Wang
violin
Lisa Shihoten violin
Maurycy Banaszek
viola
Zlatomir Fung
cello
Xavier Foley double bass
Barry Crawford
flute
Vadim Lando
clarinet
Karl Kramer
french horn

Giacomo MEYERBEER  Clarinet Quintet in Eb Major • 1813
 • stretching the limits of virtuosity, the operatic quintet bears the imprint of Jewish folk music, which was an influence on the early work of the German-born Jewish composer of grand opera

It was Heinrich Baermann, the clarinet virtuoso and Meyerbeer’s friend, who persuaded him to write the quintet. Meyerbeer later became the most renowned composer of operas in all of Europe between 1831 and 1865. Thought to be lost for more than 150 years, the quintet was found among the papers of Baermann’s great-granddaughter. The manuscript bears an inscription in the hand of Carl Baermann, also a great clarinetist: “Meyerbeer composed this quintet in Vienna for my father, H. Baermann, on the occasion of his name-day, just as did Weber.” Meyerbeer’s diary documents that he closely collaborated with Baermann, mentioning a Clarinet Quintet for Baermann several times in 1812 and adding, “Visit from Baermann, who gave me a few written-out phrases that he wanted to have turned into a clarinet quintet” (9 July 1812), and “Visit from Baermann. I collected material for his quintet in his presence” (10 July 1812).

Frédéric CHOPIN  Variations on “Non più mesta” from Rossini’s La Cenerentola • 1824
 • the charmer for flute and piano was written at age 14 while in high school, where he studied with Józef Elsner, director of the Warsaw Conservatory

The opera-loving teen composed the duet possibly for his father, who was an amateur flutist, or for one of his father’s flutist friends. “Non più mesta” (“No longer sad”) is sung before the curtain falls—at the happy ending of Cinderella. We owe the survival of this juvenilia to Jozef Nowakowski, one of Chopin’s friends, who kept the manuscript as a memento. Elsner, Chopin’s only piano teacher, who also taught him theory and composition, made an assessment of his brilliant pupil in his diary: “amazing capabilities, musical genius.”

Giuseppe VERDI  String Quartet in E minor • 1873
 • After the premiere of his only piece of chamber music, Verdi said, “I don’t know whether the quartet is beautiful or ugly.” He continued to fret over it for many years; the New York Times critic Vivien Schweitzer, however, thought of it as “grandly operatic [with] full of soaring melodies, triumphant climaxes, lyrical interludes and rigorous contrapuntal writing.”

Franz DOPPLER  Souvenir du Rigi Op. 34 • 1876
 • the flute, horn, piano, and handbell create an aura of nostalgia in this appealing memento of the queen of mountains in Switzerland

Franz and his brother Karl toured as flutists before he joined the German Theatre from 1838, then the Hungarian National Theatre from 1841. He composed a German opera and several Hungarian operas that were produced at the Theatre, all with appreciable success. In 1853, together with Karl and others, they founded the Hungarian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the brothers also resumed their concert tours throughout Europe.

Mikhail GLINKA  Grand Sextet in Eb Major • 1832
 • the last of the Russian composer’s “Italian” works, influenced by Bellini and Donizetti, is akin to a concerto for piano with string quartet and double bass

Living in Milan in 1832, Glinka went to the opera at La Scala as often as he could and flirted with the idea of writing opera, which he later did. He also flirted with the local women, including the married daughter of his doctor De Filippi, an accomplished pianist who often played with Chopin, and who was the inspiration for the elaborate piano part of the Grand Sextet. Glinka is variously called the “Father of Russian Music,” the “Father of Russian Opera,” and the “First National Russian Composer.”

 January 23  Eastern Europe’s Stars

Timur Mustakimov piano
Robin Scott
violin
Siwoo Kim
violin
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt
viola
Karen Ouzounian
cello

Xavier Foley double bass
Barry Crawford
flute
Vadim Lando
clarinet
Karl Kramer
french horn
Sarah Tako
bassoon

Johannes [Matthias] SPERGER (1750-1812)  Trio in D Major • n.d.
 • a handsome Classical showpiece for virtuoso double bass as well as flute and viola

Born in Feldsberg, now Valtice in the Czech Republic, Sperger was a pupil of Albrechtsberger in Vienna. He became one of the leading double bass players of his day, serving at a number of different courts and performing in several cities, including Prague, Berlin, Ansbach, Passau, Parma, Trieste, and Bologna. His achievements were acknowledged in his obituary in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung: “The orchestra loses in him one of its most distinguished members in that he displayed a rare mastery and purpose on his instrument, knowing how to impart character to the performance as a whole. Apart from these distinctions as an outstanding ripienist, Sperger also performed concertos...composed by himself....” His oeuvre includes 45 symphonies, 18 double concertos, and numerous chamber works, demonstrating his skill at instrumentation and use of an obbligato bass.

Dora PEJACEVIC  Piano Trio in C Major Op. 29 • 1910
 • hints of Brahms, Schumann, and Fauré echo through this radiant, late-Romantic work by one of the most important Croatian composers of the 20th century

Descended paternally from a distinguished noble family, Peja?evi? was born in Budapest. Her father was a “ban” (viceroy) and her mother, the Hungarian Countess Lilla Vay de Vaya, was her first piano teacher. She died in 1923 at age 37 after giving birth to her son. The film Countess Dora (1993), directed by Zvonimir Berkovi?, is a fictionalized story of her life.

Antonín DVORÁK  Octet-Serenade in E Major Op. 22 • 1873
 • a reconstruction of the marvelous Serenade for strings by Nicholas Ingman of what is believed to be the original version, scored for a mixed octet of two violins, viola, double bass, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and piano ~ the original was lost and rewritten for strings in 1875

The Serenade for strings was written in 11 days during a productive year when the Czech composer was happy—recently married, he had became a father, and for the first time in his life, at age 33, was gaining recognition as a composer and had won a generous award of 400 gulden to ease his straitened circumstances and anxiety.

 
 
 
February
February 6  Fanny’s Berlin Salon
Roman Rabinovich piano
Miriam Fried
violin
Yoo Jin Jang violin
Dimitri Murrath viola
Mihai Marica
cello
Vadim Lando
clarinet

Fanny MENDELSSOHN  String Quartet in Eb Major • 1834
 • admirable writing from Felix’s older sister by 4 years—imaginative and daring, yet sensitive and flowing with expressive melodies

A prodigy and composer in her own right, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel wrote more than 450 compositions. R. Larry Todd, the expert on the Mendelssohns, states that her music is “more free in form, more experimental in harmony, and epigrammatic in intensity.” Many activities filled her days: “Fanny organized the household, raised her son, Sebastian, organized her husband’s business affairs, kept a diary, ran a fortnightly concert series in her home attended by 200 guests, and composed throughout her life. When her father died in 1835, she put away her diary, and in effect her music became her diary. The concerts were spectacular events that featured a chorus directed by Fanny from the piano (they performed Bach cantatas, Handel oratorios, Gluck operas, and, of course, music of Mendelssohn). The guest list included a number of celebrities—Franz Liszt, the Schumanns, the young Joseph Joachim, Charles Gounod, and non-musical figures—luminaries such as Hans Christian Andersen.” Her String Quartet was probably performed at the Berlin salon.

Beethoven loomed large in the lives of the Mendelssohns. “Felix and Fanny were most likely first introduced to the piano works of Beethoven before 1820 during piano lessons with Madame Marie Bigot in Paris and Ludwig Berger in Berlin, two sought-after pedagogues especially famous for their interpretations of Beethoven’s piano sonatas.... The fiery and charismatic Beethoven proponent Adolph Bernhard Marx also heavily influenced Fanny and Felix in the early 1820s, and signs of Beethoven’s style are easily found in works of both siblings around this time, and for the rest of their lives” [Angela Mace, Mendelssohn Perspectives]. Felix in his teens memorized everything by Beethoven available in print or manuscript copy. A provisional list of most frequently programmed composers at the salon between 1833 and 1847 shows Mendelssohn’s compositions at 40 and Beethoven’s at 38, followed by Bach lagging at 16, Mozart at 13, and Weber at 12. Other composers on the list include Gluck, Handel, David, Eckert, Moscheles, Hummel, Bériot, Chopin, Rossini, Spohr, and Vieauxtemps.

Ignaz MOSCHELES  Fantasy, variations and finale Op. 46 • 1819
 • in the spirit of improvisation, the enjoyable musical banter on the Bohemian folksong “To gsau kone” is among the piano, clarinet, violin, and cello

The Czech-born German composer taught Mendelssohn in the classic style, became good friends with his pupil and gave him entrée to the musical elite in London, where he taught piano at the Royal Academy of Music for more than 20 years. They performed Mendelssohn’s Concerto for 2 Pianos and amazed listeners in dueling cadenza recitals. When Mendelssohn founded the Leipzig Conservatory Moscheles was persuaded to leave London in 1846 to become its principal professor of piano, remaining there for the rest of his life. His music was introduced to Leipzig by Mendelssohn. “Mendelssohn’s death in 1847 was a profound blow, and he resolved to maintain the high standard of teaching for which his former pupil would have wished [The New Grove Dictionary].” As a child Moscheles idolized Beethoven; he later made piano arrangements of many of his compositions, including Fidelio in 1814, under the composer’s supervision.

BEETHOVEN  Piano Trio No. 6 in Eb Major Op. 70 No. 2 • 1808
 • lyrical, radiant, genial, and lovable, the Trio is perceived by Sir Donald Francis Tovey as “…the integration of Mozart’s and Haydn’s resources, with results that transcend all possibility of resemblance to the style of their origins, and are nowhere more transcendent...where Beethoven discovers new meanings for Mozart’s phrasings and Haydn’s formulas.”

The Trio is dedicated to his great friend Countess Marie Erdödy, in whose house in Vienna he was a guest; she also hosted the Trio’s first performance in December 1808.

February 20  C’est Si Bon
Ilya Itin piano
Alexi Kenney
violin
Emily Daggett Smith violin
Cong Wu viola
Vadim Lando
clarinet
Karl Kramer
french horn

Frédéric Nicolas DUVERNOY  Horn Quartet No. 2 in C Major • pub. 1838
 • pleasing melodies from the innovative leading horn player of his day

Duvernoy was the first major figure of the native French school of horn playing and a musician of considerable intelligence. Greatly admired by Napoleon who, after he became emperor, appointed Duvernoy first horn of the imperial chapel, a post he retained under Louis XVIII and Charles X until the 1830 Revolution. The Horn Quartet was published the year of his death.

Darius MILHAUD  Suite Op. 157b • 1936
 • fully entertaining, the colorful trio for violin, clarinet, and piano is an expression, in a deeply personal voice, of his myriad interests—the Suite begins with sassy Latin rhythms in bold gestures and syncopation and ends with a nod to jazz; in between are a charming reverie and lively French country fiddling that includes a hoedown for clarinet and piano

Milhaud is best known for his development of polytonality—the simultaneous use of different keys—while remaining lyrical. Born of a Provençal Jewish family in Aix-en-Provence, he emigrated to the United States in 1940, when forced to leave by the rise of Nazism.

Edouard LALO  String Quartet in Eb Major Op. 45 • 1859, rev. 1880, pub. 1886
 • unique, and dramatic at times, the impressive quartet with soaring melodies and a flair for rhythm and color, includes a Scherzo of Spanish origin

Stephen Hefling is of the opinion that “this work unquestionably marks a significant moment in the history of the genre in France. Lalo’s score, concise and animated with an intense rhythmic life, includes a slow movement whose density and harmonic daring baffled listeners at its first public hearing in 1859 [Nineteenth-Century Chamber Music].”

After several years working as a string player and teacher in Paris, Lalo formed the Armingaud Quartet with friends in 1848, playing viola and later second violin. The Quartet, in vogue for many years, gained a reputation for technical perfection and the musical beauty of its performances. It popularized the works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Mendelssohn, and also played Lalo’s compositions, including the Eb Major String Quartet, which was rewritten in 1880 and published in its new form in 1886. When Lalo died, the journals did not print any eulogies, but nearly all the musicians of French renown were present at his burial, in tribute to a composer of great talent and character.

Gabriel FAURÉ  Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor Op. 45 • 1885-1886
 • a real beauty, pulsating with life ~ first performed in 1887 with the composer at the piano

Unique and beguiling, the elegant, emotional quartet bares the influence of the technical mastery of his teacher Saint-Saëns, as well as César Franck’s cyclic, mystical chromaticism and Wagner’s bold Romanticism.

 
 
 
March
March 6  One-Two Punch

Alexander Sitkovetsky violin
Cynthia Phelps
viola
David Requiro
cello

Hyunah Yu soprano
Raymond Storms
countertenor
John Matthew Myers
tenor

Arvo PÄRT  Stabat Mater • 1985
 • piercingly beautiful, the Estonian composer’s intense, moving work for string trio and vocal trio resonates with the grief of the Virgin Mary, witness to the crucifixion of her son—a gem of the most exquisite cut

Music critic Robert R. Reilly feels that “It is not a study in musical archaism, but a living testimony of belief. This is music to listen to on your knees.” According to Wikipedia, the tour de force is composed in Pärt’s characteristic tintinnabuli style (which he has employed nearly exclusively since 1976) in which arpeggiations of a major or minor triad are combined with ascending or descending diatonic scales.

BACH  Goldberg Variations BWV 988 • pub. 1741
 • a monumental work, arranged by Dmitry Sitkovetsky for string trio in 1985

Long regarded as the most important set of Baroque variations, it was praised in 1774 as “the best variations” by one of Bach’s pupils, Johann Philipp Kirnberger, and in 1802 as “the model according to which all variations should be made” by Johann Nicolaus Forkel, Bach’s first biographer.

The Variations were named after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who was 13 at the time of its composition. The little boy was already an exceptional and virtuosic keyboard player by the age of 10. He was a student of Bach’s son, Wilhelm Friedemann, in Dresden, and also studied with J S Bach in Leipzig.

Dmitry Sitkovetsky is a Soviet-Russian-born violinist, composer, and arranger; his nephew Alexander Sitkovetsky will perform the Variations in his Jupiter debut.

March 13  Reicha’s Reach

Drew Petersen piano
Francisco Fullana
violin
Lisa Shihoten violin

Ayane Kozasa viola
David Requiro
cello
Barry Crawford
flute

 

Anton REICHA  18 variationen und fantaisie on “Se vuol ballare” from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Op. 51 • 1804
 • creative variations for the flute, violin, and cello by the Czech-born French “Father of the Wind Quintet”

Reicha was man of breadth and depth. Born in Prague, he lived in Bonn from 1785 to 1794 and in Hamburg from 1794 to 1799, when he moved to Paris, earning a living by teaching the piano, harmony, and composition, as well as giving flute lessons and writing a variety of pieces for the flute, among other works. He met Haydn in the early 1790s while in Bonn, and also in Hamburg in 1795, and again in 1801 when he moved to Vienna. Their common interest in canons and variations led to a close friendship. He returned to Paris permanently in 1808. Reicha was also a lifelong friend of Beethoven, and played the violin alongside Beethoven (who played the viola) in the court orchestra in Bonn. Both composers respected Reicha’s music. During his time in Vienna he studied with Albrechtsberger and Salieri, while reading mathematics and philosophy; he also began to reflect seriously upon pedagogy. His treatises are known to have influenced Giacomo Meyerbeer, Schumann, and Smetana. (Schumann once noted, “his often curious ideas should not be entirely dismissed.”) In 1818 Reicha was appointed professor of counterpoint and fugue at the Paris Conservatoire, where he taught Franck, Liszt, Berlioz, Gounod, and a number of lesser known composers whose works have been performed by Jupiter.

“Se vuol ballare” (“If you want to dance”)—a cavatina (a simple, melodious song)—is sung by the valet Figaro when he discovers that Count Almaviva (his boss) is scheming to use his right as a feudal lord to sleep with Figaro’s wife Susanna before the consummation of their marriage.

SCHUMANN  Kinderszenen “Scenes of Childhood” Op. 15 • 1838
 • exquisite miniatures in many moods—musical sketches of childhood, but written for adults and meant to be played by adults ~ transcribed for string quartet by the French composer Benjamin Godard

In March 1838 Schumann wrote to his fiancée Clara Wieck, “I have been waiting for your letter and in the meantime I have been composing a whole book of pieces—wild, wondrous and solemn.... You once said to me that I often seem like a child, and I suddenly got inspired and knocked off around 30 quaint little pieces.... I selected twelve and called them Kinderszenen. You will enjoy them, although you will need to forget you are a virtuoso when you play them.” Schumann’s five-year courtship with Clara was fraught with challenges—primarily stemming from her father’s objections to the match that included lawsuits and court battles, his banishment from the Wieck home, and a seven-month separation in 1838 resulting from a concert tour. It was during this time apart that Schumann, despite his difficulties, composed much piano music, including the Kinderszenen.

Benjamin Godard was a French violinist and Romantic composer of Jewish descent. Jens Nygaard championed his music, performing the “Gothic” Symphony, “Oriental” Symphony, Piano Concerto No. 1, Violin Concerto No. 2, Aubade for cello (and orchestra), Suite de 3 Morceaux for flute, Scènes Écossaises, and Fragments Poétiques (with 2 harps), all at Good Shepherd Church from 1996 to 2000.

César FRANCK  Piano Trio in F# minor Op. 1 No. 1 • 1840
 • the Belgian-born French composer’s striking, virtuosic Romantic piano trio in cyclic form was admired by his contemporaries, and later by Vincent d’Indy ~ recorded by the great pianist Sviatoslav Richter, Oleg Kagan, and Natalia Gutman in 1983

March 27  All Over Italy

Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner piano
Stefan Milenkovich
violin
Lisa Shihoten violin
Dimitri Murrath
viola

Zlatomir Fung cello
Barry Crawford
flute
Vadim Lando
clarinet
Gina Cuffari
bassoon

 

Gian Francesco MALIPIERO  Epodi e giambi • 1932
 • the all too short quartet for violin, oboe, viola, and bassoon, with its intriguing harmonies and free directional tunes, may not be everyone’s cup of coffee, but it’s much more likable than anchovies

The title itself is descriptive of the structure and character of the quartet as it reflects a comparable poetic meter and literary genre. In classical lyric poetry epodi (epodes) are composed of rhyming couplets (the first is longer than the second); giambi (iambs) refer to the poetic meter (one short syllable followed by one long syllable) that was traditionally associated with satire or invective.

John C. G. Waterhouse, author of the Malipiero article in the New Grove Dictionary, calls the Venetian “the most original and inventive Italian composer of his generation.” Among his significant contributions is his edition of all of Claudio Monteverdi’s works, which awakened an interest in the Renaissance composer.

Nino ROTA  Trio • 1973
  • deliciously lyrical Neoromantic trio for clarinet, cello, and piano, with a poignant cantilena for its middle movement, and a festive Allegrissimo that cavorts to the finish line

Born in Milan, Rota is best known for his film scores, including the score for Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather and many scores for Federico Fellini.

Ottorino RESPIGHI  Piano Quintet in F minor Op. 6 • 1902
 • an engaging mood portrait written while a student in St Petersburg, Russia, where he studied with Rimsky-Korsakov and supported himself by playing viola in the Imperial Orchestra ~ the Quintet expresses a wide range of emotions with evocative moments, as in the depiction of tolling bells that reflect his experiences in Russia

Respighi, best known for his three orchestral tone poems—Fountains of Rome, Pines of Rome, and Roman Festivals, was born in Bologna into a musical family.

Giacomo PUCCINI  Crisantemi “Chrysanthemums” • 1890
 • in response to the death of the Duke of Savoy, Puccini wrote the elegy—one dark-hued, continuous movement—for string quartet in a single night ~ the Tuscan-born opera composer later reused his two liquid melodic ideas in the last act of Manon Lescaut in 1893

Alessandro LONGO  Piano Quintet in E major Op. 3 • 1897
 • the influential Neapolitan master’s late Romantic work with attractive lyrical melodies

Longo is credited with the revival of Domenico Scarlatti’s music—in 1892 he founded a Scarlatti society in Naples and published 11 volumes comprising 544 sonatas and a fragment of keyboard music. The New Grove Dictionary describes his compositions (over 300) “as combining a Germanic instrumental style with Italian vocal characteristics.”

 
 
 
April
April 3  Serpent Sighting

Michael Brown piano
Frank Morelli bassoon
Gina Cuffari bassoon
Barry Crawford flute
Nicholas Schwartz serpent

Vadim Lando clarinet
Stanislav Chernyshev
clarinet
Karl Kramer french horn
Audrey Flores
french horn

BEETHOVEN  12 Variations on a Russian Dance in A Major WoO 71 • 1796
 • in high Classical style, the delightful variations for piano are based on a thème russe by Giovanni Giornovichi from Paul Wranitzky’s ballet Das Waldmädchen

Written most likely while Beethoven was touring Bratislava and Budapest in November 1796, the solo piano work is dedicated to Countess Anna Margarete von Browne, whose husband was one of Beethoven’s major early patrons; in acknowledgment, the Brownes gave him a riding horse, which he soon forgot about and got rid of when he received its feed bill. Giornovichi (?1740-1804), the violin virtuoso and billiards player, is also known as Ivan Mane Jarnovic (as well as several different names which he is believed to have used)

Nikolay RIMSKY-KORSAKOV  Quintet in Bb Major • 1876
 • unlike his String Sextet, which won an honorable mention at the chamber music competition sponsored by the Russian Music Society, the classy Quintet for piano, flute, clarinet, horn and bassoon was passed over by the jury, but it’s an absolute charmer and was subsequently performed by the St. Petersburg Chamber Music Society

Rimsky-Korsakov described it in his autobiography, Chronicle of my Musical Life, published in 1909: “The First Movement, Allegro con brio, in the classical style of Beethoven. The Second Movement, Andante, contained a good fugato for the wind instruments with a very free accompaniment in the piano. In the finale, Allegretto vivace, I wrote in rondo form. Of interest is the middle section where I wrote cadenzas for the flute, the clarinet and the horn to be played in turns. Each was in the character of the instrument and each was interrupted by the bassoon entering by octave leaps”

BEETHOVEN  Grand Serenade • [1805]
 • brilliantly transcribed by Bernhard Crusell (the illustrious Finnish clarinettist and composer) from Beethoven’s Septet, with a wicked Eb clarinet part ~ for flute, Eb clarinet, 2 Bb clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, trumpet, bass trombone, and serpent ~ here’s your chance to get an up-close look at a musical “reptile,” if you dare

When Beethoven heard of the Septet’s sensational reception in London in 1815, he snarled, “That damn work; I wish it could be burned!” But for the poet Walt Whitman, it evoked thoughts of “Nature laughing on a hillside in the sunshine...spontaneous, easy, careless....”

April 17  German Rarities

William Wolfram piano
William Hagen
violin
David Requiro
cello

Xavier Foley double bass
Vadim Lando
clarinet

Justus Johann Friedrich DOTZAUER  Grand Trio in Eb Major Op. 52 • n.d.
 • early Romanticism lights up this engaging string trio by the influential maestro of the Dresden School

By the turn of the 18th century, the Dresden Court had become an important center for the study of the cello in Europe, and at its helm was Johann Justus Friedrich Dotzauer, the founder of the Dresden School. Born in Haselrieth, his studies included various instruments, among them the piano, violin, cello, double bass, clarinet, horn, and trumpet. He was a member of the Meiningen court orchestra until 1805, when he left for the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, where he stayed till 1811. His interest in chamber music led to the founding of the celebrated Leipzig Professors’ Quartet, which won great acclaim for its twelve concerts in Leipzig—among the first public quartet concerts in Europe. The noted German composer and violinist Louis Spohr spoke highly of Dotzauer as a chamber musician, and emphasized the purity of his intonation and perfect technique. Dotzauer later joined the Court Orchestra at Dresden, where he excelled and was appointed solo cellist.

Hans PFITZNER  Sextet in G minor Op. 55 • 1945
 • his penultimate serenade-like work in the spirit of Schumann and Brahms was appreciated by his contemporaries, including Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler ~ for the unusual combination of clarinet, single strings, and piano

Music writer Scott Morrison views the Sextet by the avowed Romantic as “a little masterpiece, a jolly divertimento.... The first movement is a sonata-allegro with especially winsome themes.... The Quasi-Minuetto is almost a classical-era miniature.... The Rondoletto is an outdoor-piece that could almost have been written by Schubert except for its startlingly effective modulations and its creative changes of instrumental combinations. The fourth movement, Semplice misterioso, is in strophic songform, with varying intermezzi between stanzas. It leads without pause into the finale, Comodo, which alone among all the movements features a number of double bass solos...and it builds to a joyful conclusion.”

Pfitzner, a man with a quick, penetrating mind and quizzical humor, was born in 1869 into a family of musicians in Moscow. When he was two, the family returned to his father’s hometown of Frankfurt. From 1886 to 1890 he studied at the Hoch Conservatory, where his piano teacher was James Kwast. He later married Mimi (Kwast’s daughter and a granddaughter of Ferdinand Hiller) against her parents’ wishes and after she had rejected the advances of Percy Grainger. He worked at some low-paying jobs before his appointment as opera director and head of the conservatory in Strasbourg in 1908. His most important work, the musical legend Palestrina, was completed in 1915. In 1925 he was made a knight of the Pour le Mérite and a senator of the German Academy in Munich, but his activities diminished after his wife died in 1926. “In 1934 Pfitzner, in poor health though still mentally active, was relieved of his ‘life’ post in Munich; he spent the years of Nazi rule, which he detested [albeit for personal reasons], as a conductor and accompanist. Though his sight grew weaker he continued to compose. When his home was destroyed in an air raid, he moved to...Vienna, then to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and finally, in 1946, to an old people’s home in...Munich. All of his possessions had been lost: Reger’s widow gave him a piano. He was buried with honor in the Vienna Zentralfriedhof [The New Grove Dictionary].” His work was championed by Bruno Walter.

BRAHMS  Piano Trio [No. 4] in A Major Op. posth. • [1856]
 • discovered in 1924, scholarly opinion remains divided on the gorgeous Trio’s authenticity

 
 
 
May
May 1  Ties to Brahms
Stephen Beus piano
Mayuko Kamio
violin
David Requiro cello
Vadim Lando
clarinet

Carl Georg Peter GRÄDENER  String Trio in G minor Op. 48 • n.d.
  • influenced by Schumann and Brahms, Grädener’s chamber music is of interest for its ingenuity and freshness of harmonies and excellence of form

The accomplished composer, conductor, teacher, and cellist became one of Brahms’s important friends after meeting him in the fall of 1854 through Theodor Avé-Lallemant. Their close friendship is recounted by Darwin Floyd Scott: “In 1851, Grädener had founded his own Concert and Singing Academy, presenting subscription concerts with such soloists as Joachim and von Bülow. These concerts provided the setting for several premieres of Brahms’s music [including Ave Maria, Op. 12]. Brahms’s own Frauenchor was made up largely of girls and women who sang in Grädener’s Singakademie.... They shared a great admiration for J. S. Bach and the goal of performing Bach’s music in what they understood to be an authentic manner. Grädener was Hamburg’s earliest subscriber to the Bach Gessellschaft’s complete edition published by Breitkopf and Härtel—and for a long time the only other subscriber in town was Brahms. Both men had something else in common: they chafed at Hamburg’s musical mediocrity, and dealt with it in a less than tactful manner. Grädener, in fact, moved to Vienna in disgust for three years, but returned. He was known as a writer full of wit and fighting spirit, and indeed, he wrote a fierce and fiery defense of Brahms’s First Piano Concerto when the Leipzig press treated the work with disdain. For his part, Brahms performed Schumann’s Zigeunerleben in Grädener’s arrangement for chorus and orchestra, and had plans to perform Grädener’s Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 20. There was a lighter side to their friendship as well. They once attended a party at Avé’s house as a mechanical doll and its handler; Brahms played the piano until he wound down and fell off the piano stool, incapacitated until Grädener wound him up again—whereupon Brahms took up his seat and continued playing exactly where he had left off.” In 1872 Grädener praised Brahms as “this greatest composer of recent times” and ranked him alongside Bach and Beethoven.

Clara SCHUMANN  Piano Trio in G minor Op. 17 • 1846
 • in the musical language of Schubert and Mendelssohn, the lovely Trio imparts deep feeling

In 1846 Schumann wrote in her diary, “There is nothing like the satisfaction of composing something oneself and hearing it afterwards.” Yet, when she compared her Trio to her husband Robert’s D minor Trio, she dismissed her work as “effeminate and sentimental.” Not so. She had a fan in Mendelssohn, who admired it, especially the fugato in the last movement.

Born in 1819, Clara was touring Europe as a piano prodigy by the age of 11. Her debut solo recital at the Leipzig Gewandhaus included bravura works by Kalkbrenner, Herz, and Czerny, and two of her own compositions, which were praised by the critics. When Louis Spohr heard her perform some of her works in 1831, he wrote: “Her compositions, like the young artist herself, are among the most remarkable newcomers in the world of art.” Her admirers also included Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, and Robert Schumann. She went on to become a formidable pianist and held that reputation for six decades. During her marriage to Schumann (1840-1856), Clara bore him 8 children while continuing to perform, compose, teach the piano, run the household, and provide financial and moral support to Robert and his career.

Walter RABL  Quartet Op. 1 • 1896
 • the luscious late Romantic Schumannesque Quartet exhibits “both technical proficiency...and a wonderful ear for the distinctive characteristics of each instrument and also how they might blend. Nothing hurts the ear but charm [Michael Wilkinson]” ~ it won a competition judged by Brahms, who was so taken that he recommended it to his publisher and it became Rabl’s Opus One

In 1896 Brahms was the honorary president of the Vienna Tonkünstlerverein, which was founded in 1885 to support the music and musicians of Vienna. He exerted a strong influence on the society in his endeavor to promote and teach promising young composers; he also served as the de facto head of the competition juries. Eduard Hanslick, Brahms’s longtime friend and music critic of the Neue Freie Presse wrote, “He was a zealous promoter of competitions, especially chamber music competitions, to bring young talents to fore. When it came to the examination of the anonymous manuscripts that had been submitted, he showed astonishing acuity in guessing, from the overall impression and technical details, who the author was, or at least his school or teacher. Last year Brahms was very interested in an anonymous quartet whose author he was quite unable to identify. Impatiently he waited for the opening of the sealed notice. On it was written the heretofore entirely unknown name: Walter Rabl.” Dedicated to Brahms, the Quartet appears to be the first piece ever written for the combination of clarinet and piano trio. After 1903, Rabl stopped composing and became a conductor and highly regarded vocal coach.

 May 15  Divine Madness

Alexander Kobrin piano
Josef Spacek
violin
Lisa Shihoten
violin
Christine Lamprea
cello

Barry Crawford flute
Vadim Lando
drums
Gina Cuffari
bassoon

Gaetano DONIZETTI  Larghetto in C Major • circa 1819
 • bel canto lyricism pervades this delightful trio for flute, bassoon, and piano

Living rather at loose ends in Bergamo at the age of 21, Donizetti attended musical parties, engaged in flirtation, and wrote some sacred and instrumental works, including this Trio, which reveals early inklings of his creativity as an opera composer: a ta-da entrance, coloratura flourishes, and humor. The wind instruments also get to show off, while the piano bubbles along.

The Italian composer had suffered for decades from fevers, headaches, nausea, and lightning indispositions—ailments that were never properly diagnosed. By 1845, at age 47, he was struck by paralysis and declined rapidly into dementia; he died in 1848 of syphilitic insanity in a sanatorium.

Frantisek KOCZWARA  The Battle of Prague • circa 1788
 • an immensely popular programmatic sonata by the Bohemian composer and vagabond of sorts, who died under the most unusual circumstances—inspired by an episode in the Seven Years War, the musical depiction of the military skirmishes and attacks is replete with cannons, artillery, trumpet calls, galloping horses, reveille, cries of the wounded, and even the anthem God Save the Queen and a Turkish march ~ for piano with violin, cello, and drum to heighten the effect

The Battle of Prague, according to the New Grove Dictionary, “had a phenomenal success and was widely reprinted in London, the U.S. and on the Continent. Nearly 40 issues can be found. First published with accompaniments, it also became a standard parlor piece for solo piano. In Boston it was ‘indispensable to climax every concert.’ Appearing shortly before widespread political upheaval in Europe, it provided the model for a host of imitations.” Jane Austen is known to have had a copy of the piano version. In addition to composing, Koczwara played the viola and the double bass. The influential 19th century Belgian critic, François-Joseph Fétis, recorded that he also played the piano, violin, cello, oboe, flute, bassoon, and cittern.

Koczwara became infamous for the manner of his death. “He was reputed to have had unusual vices, and was accidentally hanged while conducting an experiment in a house of ill repute. [New Grove Dictionary].” Erotic asphyxiation is the modern term for the means of his demise. He must have been off his rocker!

Hugo WOLF  Intermezzo in Eb Major • 1886
 • ahead of its time, this complex, experimental string quartet takes the listener on an incredible journey to unimagined places, returning at the end to the familiar and well loved ~ the New Grove Dictionary describes it as a “rondo with episodes and varied restatements all so cunningly derived from the main theme as to suggest different aspects of same characters linked by the same dialogue or colloquy with a hint of dance...”

Expelled from the Vienna Conservatory for his outspoken criticism of his masters, Wolf then taught himself composition, which was of importance to his development as an experimental composer, especially in his instrumental music. Under the spell of Wagner, whom he idolized, Wolf became a representative of the New German School in lieder, adhering to the expressive, chromatic, and other dramatic innovations of Wagner. He also became a strong opponent of Brahms and the old guard. His mercurial temperament made it impossible for him to hold a steady position, but he managed to work for most of the rest of his life as a critic and music teacher in Vienna. As a composer, he reached new heights in lieder and is regarded as the greatest master, after Schubert, of the art form. (Jens Nygaard performed a number of his lesser-known songs in the mid-1970s.) Like Schubert, Wolf died at age 43, possibly of tertiary syphilis. And, like Schumann, he died in an insane asylum after a drowning attempt; he also composed in manic bursts between periods of depression.

SCHUMANN  Piano Quintet in Eb Major Op. 44 • 1842
 • the first in line of the great Romantic quintets, the jewel is a masterpiece of the genre ~ Clara Schumann wrote in her diary that it was “Magnificent—a work filled with energy and freshness” ~ musicologist Homer Ulrich deemed it “noble, exuberant, and vital”

Schumann had a weak constitution and most likely was bipolar. To quote Jens Nygaard, “I wish I could have shared my Wellbutrin with Schumann.” The German composer’s life ended miserably at age 43 in a private asylum, with a descent to insanity brought on by syphilis.

 
 
 
Summer Season 2017

3 Mondays at 7:30 PM

The summer concerts will be held at:
Christ and Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church

Air-Conditioned ~ Handicap Accessible
120 West 69th Street (east of Broadway)

Tickets $25, $17, $10  Call (212) 799-1259 or e-mail admin@jupitersymphony.com
Find out more about the Jupiter Players and our Guest Artists

 
 
 
 

*All programs are subject to change.

Home Calendar Tickets About Us Guest Artists
Jupiter Players Founder Tributes Support Thanks Reviews Videos

Copyright 1999-2016 Jupiter Symphony. All rights reserved.
Last updated 12/08/16