2015-2016 Season Calendar
|September 8 Titans on Tuesday!
SCHUBERT Guitar Quartet in G Major D. 96 • 1814
Schubert’s manuscript is dated 27 February 1814, seven years after Matiegka’s trio was published by the Viennese firm of Artaria and Company. Hints as to Schubert’s arrangement are found throughout the manuscript, most notably on the title page, where he began to write the word “Terzetto,” which he crossed out and replaced with his own title, “Quartetto.” He did not, however, make any direct note of Matiegka’s original title, “Noturno.” He indicated, nevertheless, that several variations in the final movement would remain the “same as in the printed trio.”
Did Schubert play the guitar? This question remains unsettled even though estate records show that Schubert owned two guitars during his life, according to Kay Griffen Belangia. The Vienna Museum has one in its collection—an instrument built around 1805 by Bernard Enzensperger. The Vienna Schubertbund has the other, made in 1815 by Johann Georg Staufer; this guitar was in Schubert’s possession when he died.
BACH Chaconne BWV 1004 • 1718-1720
In a letter to Clara Schumann, Brahms expressed his impression of the Chaconne: “On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.”
BRAHMS Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major Op. 8 • 1854
| September 21 4 Stylish Styles
Sergei PROKOFIEV Sonata in C Major for Two Violins Op. 56 • 1932
BEETHOVEN Quintet Op. 16 • 1796
Beethoven’s young friend and piano pupil Ferdinand Ries, after hearing the Quintet at a gathering, recounted an amusing incident that occurred during the performance: “In the last Allegro a pause occurs several times before the theme returns; on one of these occasions Beethoven began to improvise, taking the Rondo as his theme, pleasing himself and those listening for a considerable time, but not pleasing the other players. They were annoyed, and the oboist even enraged. It really looked highly comical when these gentlemen, expecting the movement to be resumed at any moment, kept putting their instruments to their mouths, but then had to put them down again without playing a note. At length Beethoven was satisfied, and started up the Rondo again. The whole assembly was delighted.”
MENDELSSOHN String Quintet No. 2 in Bb Major Op. 87 • 1845
MANA-ZUCCA Hakinoh Op. 186
| October 5 German Romantics
Friedrich DOTZAUER Bassoon Quartet in Bb Major Op. 36 • 
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 Justus Johann 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 in Dresden, where he excelled and was appointed solo cellist.
Ferdinand THIERIOT Clarinet Quintet in Eb Major • 1897
Wilhelm Altmann, one of the most perceptive chamber music critics of the time, wrote in praise, “Thieriot’s chamber music is without exception noble and pure. He writes with perfect command of form and expression.”
BRAHMS Piano Trio in G Major • 1880s
Although essentially forgotten, Kirchner was Brahms’s friend, Schumann’s protégé, Mendelssohn’s pupil, Wagner’s accompanist, Dvorák’s arranger, dedicatee of Reger’s second Violin Sonata, Clara Schumann’s lover (a brief, discreet, unhappy liaison in the early 1860s), and the would-be lover of the poet and writer Mathilde Wesendonck (she was immortalized by Wagner’s “Wesendonck Songs”). Kirchner was universally admired as a marvelous musician, but he could not maintain a job or marriage, and his gambling and extravagance led to destitution in his later years, so much so that his publisher and friends, including Brahms, bailed him out of debt.
| October 12 Russians to Behold
TCHAIKOVSKY Rococo Variations Op. 33 • 1876
Alexander BORODIN String Quintet in F minor • 1853-1854
The illegitimate son of a Georgian prince and his mistress, Borodin was by profession a chemist and physician, but his passion was music. A department head at the Medical-Surgical Academy in St Petersburg once admonished him during a lecture, “Mr Borodin, busy yourself a little less with songs. I’m putting all my hopes in you as my successor, but all you think of is music: you can’t hunt two hares at the same time.” Borodin was a member of “The Five,” a group whose mission was to create a national school of Russian music, free of the stifling influences of Italian opera, German lieder, and other European forms.
Nikolai MEDTNER Piano Quintet in C Major Op. posth. • 1904-1949
The composer, great pianist, and outstanding musical thinker was deeply respected by his contemporaries, including Nikisch, Rachmaninoff, Furtwängler, Koussevitsky, Glazunov, and Prokofiev. When he left Russia after the Revolution, Medtner lived in poverty mostly in England, virtually unknown to the general public. He was a pupil of Arensky and Taneyev.
| October 26 Jens’s 84th Birthday Bash ~ South of the U.S. Border
Domenico ZIPOLI Suite in G minor • 1716
The Tuscan-born composer and Jesuit missionary was the driving force behind the musical development of South America in the 18th century, through Baroque music delivered by way of the Jesuit communities. Born in 1688, he went to Naples in 1709 for lessons with Scarlatti, but only briefly, as they had disagreements. Around 1715 he was appointed to the prestigious post of organist of the Jesuit church in Rome. Early in 1716, Zipoli completed his best-known work, a collection of keyboard pieces titled Sonate d'intavolatura per organo e cimbalo, of which the Suite in G minor is a part. He left Rome for Spain in April 1716 to join the Society of Jesus, then set sail with a group of 53 missionaries for the Paraguay province in 1717. Settling in Córdoba, Argentina, he completed with distinction his 3-year Jesuit studies in 1724, while continuing his musical activities as organist and music director of the local Jesuit church, and as a printer. His music was much in demand, even in remote places and from the viceroy in Peru. Death struck in 1726, possibly from tuberculosis. In his honor, streets are named after him in Bolivia and Paraguay.
Manuel María PONCE Sonata en Duo • 1938
Ponce, Mexico’s first composer of international importance, revolutionized his country’s music by fusing indigenous music and sounds with European classical forms. After studies at the National Conservatory in Mexico City, he traveled to Europe in 1904 to attend the School of Bologna, followed by the Stern Conservatory in Berlin, before returning to Mexico.
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS String Quartet No. 1 • 1915
Osvaldo GOLIJOV Tenebrae • 2002
Golijov: “I wrote Tenebrae as a consequence of witnessing two contrasting realities in a short period of time in September 2000. I was in Israel at the start of the new wave of violence that is still continuing today, and a week later I took my son to the new planetarium in New York, where we could see the Earth as a beautiful blue dot in space. I wanted to write a piece that could be listened to from different perspectives. That is, if one chooses to listen to it ‘from afar,’ the music would probably offer a ‘beautiful’ surface but, from a metaphorically closer distance, one could hear that, beneath that surface, the music is full of pain. I lifted some of the haunting melismas from Couperin’s Troisieme Leçon de Tenebrae, using them as sources for loops, and wrote new interludes between them, always within a pulsating, vibrating, aerial texture. The compositional challenge was to write music that would sound as an orbiting spaceship that never touches ground. After finishing the composition, I realized that Tenebrae could be heard as the slow, quiet reading of an illuminated medieval manuscript in which the appearances of the voice singing the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet (from Yod to Nun, as in Couperin) signal the beginning of new chapters, leading to the ending section, built around a single, repeated word: Jerusalem.”
Reynaldo HAHN Piano Quintet in F# minor • 1921
| November 9 Idols
Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL Clarinet Quartet in Eb Major • 1808
Hummel was a pupil of Mozart, successor to Haydn at Esterházy, and Beethoven’s close friend and a pallbearer at his funeral. Both Mozart and Hummel were the most famous virtuoso pianists in their day.
MOZART Piano Trio No. 1 in G Major K. 496 • 1786
Antonín DVORÁK String Quartet No. 10 in Eb Major Op. 51 • 1879
|November 16 Allure of the Past
Christoph Willibald GLUCK Trio Sonata Wq. 53 • 1746
Vincent d’INDY Suite dans le style ancien • 1886 • inspired by the Saint-Saëns Septet with trumpet, this harmonically sophisticated work for 2 flutes, trumpet, and string quartet is based on traditional dance forms, reflecting d’Indy’s enthusiasm for early music
Camille SAINT-SAËNS Piano Quartet No. 1 in E Major Op. posth. • 1853
Jean FRANÇAIX Nonetto • 1784/1995
Mozart’s masterwork ranks as one of the most important contributions to the genre of quintet for piano and wind instruments ~ he performed it himself on April Fool’s Day, and in a letter to his father declared it “the best thing I have so far written in my life”
| November 30 In and Out of Russia
Paul JUON Divertimento in C Major Op. 34 • 1908
Juon studied composition with Sergei Taneyev and Anton Arensky at the Moscow Conservatory, and later with Woldemar Bargiel (half-brother of Clara Schumann) at the Hochschule in Berlin, where he lived for most of his life. Nikolai Medtner was one of his classmates.
Anton ARENSKY Piano Trio No. 2 in F minor Op. 73 • 1905
A pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Arensky graduated with a gold medal, then became one of the youngest professors ever to teach at the Moscow Conservatory, where he was influenced by Tchaikovsky and Sergei Taneyev. Among his pupils were Rachmaninoff and Scriabin. He died at age 44 from tuberculosis, most likely exacerbated by his drinking.
TCHAIKOVSKY Souvenir de Florence Op. 70 • 1887-1892
| December 14 Schnitzel and Goulash
HAYDN String Trio in G Major Op. 53 No. 1 • published by Johann André in 1790
Johann Georg LICKL Cassazione in Eb Major • 1798
Lickl, born in Lower Austria in 1769, was orphaned as a child; in 1785 he studied with Albrechtsberger and Haydn in Vienna, and later was Kapellmeister in the main church in Pécs.
HANDEL-LISZT Sarabande and Chaconne from the opera Almira S. 181 • 1879
Leslie Howard notes: “Curiously, it is the Sarabande which predominates, rather like a Bach-type chaconne, whereas the Chaconne proper is of the balletic variety and nothing to do with repeated bass lines. This almost amounts to an original work of Liszt’s (and Humphrey Searle so catalogued it) but Handel always remains part of the equation, even in the grandiose major key transformation of the Sarabande at the end.”
HANDEL-HALVORSEN Passacaglia • 1897
Among the most prominent Norwegian composers after Grieg, Halvorsen was in his early years the concertmaster for the Bergen Philharmonic and in Aberdeen, Scotland. In 1899 he was appointed conductor of the Kristiania National Theater, a post he held for 30 years, leading both stage and symphonic performances, often of his own works. He married Grieg’s daughter and orchestrated some of Grieg’s pieces.
Erno (Ernst von) DOHNÁNYI Piano Quintet in C minor Op. 1 • 1894
| January 4 Austro-German Gems
Ernst PAUER Quintet in F Major Op. 44 • 1856
Pauer studied piano with Mozart’s son (Franz Xaver Wolfgang) and orchestration and composition with Franz Lachner, to whom the Quintet is dedicated. In the mid-1800s he received a positive reception in London as a pianist, which led to his decision to remain in that city; he subsequently taught at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music.
SCHUMANN Bilder aus Osten “Pictures from the East” Op. 66 • 1848
Hermann was a student at the Leipzig Conservatory, where he studied composition with Mendelssohn and Niels Gade and violin with Ferdinand David. He became principal violist of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Professor of Violin at the Conservatory, and a member of the Gewandhaus Quartet.
SCHUBERT Sonata in C Major “Grand Duo” Op. 140/D. 812 • 1822
| January 18 Czech Charmers
Anton REICHA Clarinet Quintet in F Major Op. 107 • between 1821 and 1826
Antonín DVORÁK Bagatelles Op. 47 • 1878
Josef LABOR Piano Quintet in E minor Op. 3 • 1912
Josef Labor (1842-1924), blinded by smallpox at the age of three, first attended the Institute for the Blind, then the Conservatory of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. After a career as a concert pianist for several years, he studied the organ, and is today remembered for his organ compositions. Labor knew and was friendly with virtually every important musician in Vienna and elsewhere, including Brahms, Richard Strauss, Bruckner, Clara Schumann, Mahler, and Bruno Walter. He was also among the 6 composers whom Ludwig Wittgenstein considered “great” (the others were Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms). The philosopher and virtuoso whistler was Labor’s close friend and patron.
Simandl, considered the equal of Dragonetti, became in 1869 Solo Double Bass of Vienna’s Imperial Opera for 35 seasons. He was simultaneously a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Hofkapelle, and from 1876 played Principal Bass at the Bayreuth Festival. Occasionally, he also played chamber music, including performances with the Hellmesberger, Kretschmann and Lidový quartets.
| February 1 Leipzig Links
Robert VOLKMANN Schlummerlied “Lullaby” Op. 76 • 1876
In 1836 the German composer studied with Carl Ferdinand Becker in Leipzig, where he also met Schumann, who encouraged him in his studies and met with him several times. In 1852 his Piano Trio in Bb minor caught the interest of Liszt and Hans von Bülow, both of whom played it many times throughout Europe. He settled in Budapest in 1858, and in 1875 was appointed head of the composition department at the city’s new Royal Academy of Music. While visiting Vienna in 1868, he met Brahms, and the two became close friends.
Carl REINECKE Trio in A Major Op. 264 • 1903
In his day, Reinecke excelled in many musical fields, impressing Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Liszt. For 3 decades he was a fine concert pianist as well as a respected and prolific composer (his works numbered up to Op. 288). As a conductor, he made the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra first rate; and under his leadership, the Leipzig Conservatory became the finest in the world. As a teacher, he had few equals—his pupils included Grieg, Bruch, Janácek, Albeníz, Sinding, Svendsen, Delius, Arthur Sullivan, George Chadwick, Ethel Smyth, and Felix Weingartner.
Clara SCHUMANN 3 Romances Op. 22 • 1853
SCHUMANN Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor Op. 63 • 1847
| February 15 Utterly Romantic
BRAHMS “Gestillte Sehnsucht” and “Geistliches Wiegenlied” Op. 91 • published 1884
Carl FRÜHLING Trio in A minor Op. 40 • circa 1925
Born in Lemberg (now Lviv in Ukraine), the Austrian composer is best known as a chamber music pianist, who collaborated with Bronislaw Huberman, Pablo de Sarasate, Leo Slezak, and the Rosé Quartet, the foremost string quartet in Vienna. However, he stated his birthplace as Vienna so as to deflect any notion that he was Jewish, and even converted to Christianity in 1907. After the Great War, which wreaked economic havoc in Vienna, Frühling lived in poverty and obscurity. Isserlis has championed his work.
Hermann GOETZ Piano Quartet in E Major Op. 6 • 1867
A gifted composer and an accomplished pianist, Goetz studied with Hans von Bülow and succeeded Theodor Kirchner as organist at the church in Winterthur in 1862 ~ he died from tuberculosis 4 days short of his 36th birthday
| February 29 Masquerades
Masquerades? It sounds like Haydn, but it’s probably by someone else; it seems like Brahms, but it’s by Kahn; it’s titled “Notturno,“ implying a divertimento in several movements, but it’s more like a dreamy nocturne in one movement; its moniker is “Storm” Quintet, but there’s no thunder till the Finale.
HAYDN Flute Quartet in D Major Op. 5 No. 1/Hob II:D9 • 1768
Robert KAHN Quintet in C minor Op. 54 • 1910
Kahn studied with Rheinberger at the Berlin Musikhochschule; then on a visit to Vienna he befriended Brahms, who was so impressed with Kahn he offered to give him composition lessons, but the young man was too overawed to accept. His 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, Kahn’s 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 Notturno in Eb Major D. 897 • 
BEETHOVEN String Quintet in C Major “The Storm” Op. 29 • 1801
Its publishing history involving sabotage is told by All Music Guide: “After having completed the piece late in 1801, Beethoven sold a copy to Count Fries for private use and sold the publication rights to Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, sending them a different copy. On November 9, 1802 Beethoven learned that Fries had given his copy to Artaria for publication. The composer forced Artaria to withhold distribution of its edition until two weeks after the release of the Breitkopf & Härtel pressing in Vienna. Beethoven even tried to slow down the process at Artaria by correcting the proofs so heavily that they were useless. On January 22, 1803 Beethoven had a letter published in the Wiener Zeitung describing Artaria’s edition as ‘very faulty, incorrect, and utterly useless to players.’ The folks at Artaria were not amused and sued Beethoven over the matter, demanding a full retraction, which Beethoven never published.”
| March 14 À la Française
François DEVIENNE Flute Quartet in G Major Op. 11 No. 1 • 1783
Well known in his day, Devienne’s compositions did much to raise the level of writing for wind instruments in France in the late 18th century, and his famous Nouvelle méthode of 1794, which includes interesting articles on the technique and style of the time, was widely used. Of his operas, Les visitandines (1792), among the most successful of the Revolutionary period, had a 5-year run of over 200 performances in Paris. Devienne died in 1803 in a Parisian home for the mentally ill after a long illness, which ended by impairing his faculties. His works for flute were revived by Jean-Pierre Rampal in the 1960s.
Claude DEBUSSSY String Quartet in G minor Op. 10 • 1893
Gabriel FAURÉ Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor Op. 15 • 1879
| March 28 Otherworldly Realms
WAGNER-LISZT Ballade aus dem Fliegenden Holländer S. 441 • 1872
Wagner’s compelling opera is adapted from an episode of Heinrich Heine’s satirical novel, From the Memoirs of Herr von Schnabelewopski, which introduces a variant to the legend, allowing the Dutch captain of the ghost ship (otherwise doomed to sail forever) to come ashore once every seven years to find redemption through love. The Wagner transcriptions are the largest group of Liszt’s piano works on operatic themes, reflecting his devotion to Wagner and his music. Liszt was both a friend and father-in-law of Wagner, until their differences led to a cooler relationship in their later years.
BEETHOVEN Piano Trio in D Major “Ghost” Op. 70 No. 1 • 1808
SCHUBERT Kammersymphonie in Bb Major D. 960 • 1828
| April 11 Sprung from Paris
Martin-Joseph MENGAL Wind Quartet Op. 19 No. 1 • 1816
The Belgian composer and horn virtuoso entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 20 in 1804, and lived in that city for 21 years before returning to his birthplace, Ghent, in 1825. He then left in the aftermath of the Belgian Revolution in 1830 and became a conductor in Antwerp and The Hague, coming home again to Ghent in 1835 to assume the directorship of the new conservatory. While in Paris, Mengal was drafted into the Garde Impériale and witnessed battles near Austerlitz and Jena, won First Prize at the Conservatory in 1809, studied with Anton Reicha, was principal horn at the Opéra-Comique for 13 years, and wrote a number of operas and instrumental works, including the wind quartets.
CHOPIN 2 Nocturnes • 1830-1831
• Nocturne in C# minor, composed in 1830 for his older sister Ludwika (Louise) and published 26 years after his death, was never called “Nocturne” by Chopin; the manuscript was simply marked Lento con gran espressione ~ transcribed for viola and piano by Nick Stamon in 1984
Franz LISZT Orphée: poème symphonique • 1853-1854
As Liszt himself explained: “I saw in my mind’s eye an Etruscan vase in the Louvre, representing the first poet-musician. I thought to see round about him wild beasts listening in ravishment: man’s brutal instincts quelled to silence.... Humanity today, as formerly and always, preserves in its breast instincts of ferocity, brutality and sensuality, which it is the mission of art to soften, sweeten and ennoble.” Of all Liszt’s orchestral works, Orphée was the one Saint-Saëns admired most; he described it as “woven of sunbeams and starlight.”
Ernest CHAUSSON Piano Quartet in A Major Op. 30 • 1897
| April 18 Darkness and Light
Gideon KLEIN String Trio • 1944
Klein was a prize-winning student at the Prague Conservatory when the Nazis put an end to his studies in 1940. His concertizing as a pianist also ended, although he managed to perform under aliases for a time. A month after Theresienstadt opened in 1941, Klein was sent there and assigned to a hard labor brigade. Unlike other death factories, however, it was portrayed as a “model” ghetto in propaganda for the international community, and prisoners had a relatively open and varied cultural life. Klein, stimulated by the presence of artists and intellectuals from all over occupied Europe, was placed in charge of chamber music activities by the ghetto’s Freizeitgestaltung (Leisure-Time Authority). He formed chamber ensembles, organized solo concerts, and performed the works of Bach, Mozart, Brahms, and his countryman Janácek, as well as his own compositions and those of other composers living in the camp. Klein left Theresienstadt on a transport to Auschwitz in October 1944. He passed the selection process and was subsequently sent to the labor camp at Fürstengrube, where he died in January 1945 at the age of 25.
BRAHMS Sonata in F minor Op. 120 No. 1 • 1894
Bedrich SMETANA Z domoviny “From the Homeland” JB 1:118 • 1880
Antonín DVORÁK Piano Quintet in A Major Op. 5 • 1887
| May 2 Jeepers! Keepers!
BEETHOVEN String Trio in D Major Op. 9 No. 2 • 1797-1798
ROSSINI Sonata a quattro No. 6 “La Tempesta” • 1804
Riccardo Eugenio DRIGO Meditazione • circa 1900
During his career in Russia spanning more than forty years, the Italian composer was appointed conductor of the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre orchestra in 1879, and wrote music for original works and revivals of ballets. His most well-known adaptation is of Tchaikovsky’s score for Swan Lake, prepared for the important revival of the choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. He then became conductor and composer to the Imperial Ballet, a post he held till 1917. Drigo worked with most of the leading dancers and choreographers, and conducted the premieres of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, as well as Glazunov’s Raymonda.
Richard FRANCK Piano Trio No. 1 in B minor Op. 20 • 1893
Franck was the son of the prominent German composer, concert pianist, and teacher Eduard Franck, who studied with Mendelssohn. Richard studied with his father in Berlin, then with Carl Reinecke and Salomon Jadassohn at the Leipzig Conservatory. He followed in his father’s footsteps as a fine performer, and a respected teacher and composer in Germany and Switzerland.
16 Distant Orbits
BEETHOVEN Variations on the theme “Là ci darem la mano” WoO 28 • 
Arvo PÄRT Mozart-Adagio • 1992
The publisher’s notes explain that “Pärt’s Tintinnabuli style are in balance so that there emerges a spiritual encounter between the 18th and 20th centuries.... In lamenting the loss of a friend, Arvo Pärt seems to take the dissonance that Mozart uses so sparingly and makes this symbol of sorrow permeate, inescapably, the entire piece.”
MOZART Grande Sestetto Concertante • 1779/1808
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Quintet in G minor Op. 57 • 1940
*All programs are subject to change.
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Last updated 10/3/15