2015-2016 Season Calendar

September October November December January February March April May

20-concert series:
First Concert of the Season is on Tuesday, September 8
(Monday the 7th being Labor Day)
Followed by Concerts on 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 8  Titans on Tuesday!

Adam Neiman piano
Vadim Gluzman
violin
Jason Vieaux guitar

 

SCHUBERT Guitar Quartet in G Major D. 96 • 1814
 • intended for his father to play with friends, Schubert based his version for flute, guitar, viola, and cello on Wenzel Matiegka’s Notturno, Op. 21, reworking significant portions and adding a difficult cello part ~ originally for flute, guitar, and piano

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
 • the fifth and final movement from Partita No. 2 in D minor—the pinnacle of solo violin repertoire—is thought to have been composed in mourning after his wife’s death ~ arranged for violin and piano by Schumann in 1853, after he had heard the arrangement by Mendelssohn

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
 • ravishingly beautiful, with a restless, dark character ~ it’s the first music of Brahms that was performed in the United States—in New York on 17 November 1855, six weeks after its premiere in Danzig, Prussia

September 21  3 Stylish Styles
Alon Goldstein piano
Mark Kaplan
violin
Paul Neubauer viola
 

Sergei PROKOFIEV  Sonata in C Major for Two Violins Op. 56 • 1932
 • upon hearing a poorly written work for two violins, Prokofiev produced his own Sonata as a commission piece to conclude the inaugural concert of Triton, a society in Paris dedicated to presenting new chamber music ~ the Sonata in four movements of two-part counterpoint is a mercurial mix of lyricism and sharp-edged rhythmic and harmonic piquancy, less dissonant than most of his works of the 1920s ~ to be performed in memory of Harvey Kaplan, the father of our guest violinist Mark Kaplan

BEETHOVEN  Quintet Op. 16 • 1796
 • instrumental sonorities are explored in this mini-concerto for the piano with a backup wind band of 4—the oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon—the same instrumentation and key as the K. 452 Quintet by Mozart, whom he admired

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
 • brilliantly written at age 36 during his recuperation at the Bad Soden resorts near Frankfurt, the glorious Quintet draws its inspiration from early Beethoven quartetsn

 
 
 
October
October 5  German Romantics

Max Levinson piano
Alexi Kenney
violin
Frank Morelli
bassoon

 

Friedrich DOTZAUER  Bassoon Quartet in Bb Major Op. 36 • [1816]
 • a warm and bubbly Classical fingerbuster by the influential maestro of the Dresden School of cello playing

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
 • late Romanticism at its most ingratiating ~ by the German composer (and Brahms’s friend) whose music was popular until he died in 1919

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
 • transcribed from his exquisite String Sextet No. 2 (composed in 1864-65) by Theodor Kirchner, with Brahms’s blessing

Although essentially forgotten, Kirchner was Brahms’s friend, Schumann’s protégé, Mendelssohn’s pupil, Wagner’s accompanist, Dvo?ák’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
Alexander Kobrin piano
Xiao-Dong Wang
violin
 

TCHAIKOVSKY  Rococo Variations Op. 33 • 1876
 • inspired by Mozart, his favorite composer and role model, Tchaikovsky used one of his devices—a theme and variations—in this sparkling Neoclassical showpiece for the cello ~ dedicated to Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, the German cellist who modified it for its premiere in Moscow the following year ~ arranged by David Stromberg for cello and wind quintet ~ David Requiro will be our star cellist

Alexander BORODIN  String Quintet in F minor • 1853-1854
 • one of the earliest Russian nationalistic chamber works, the lush Romantic Quintet is for 2 violins, viola, and 2 cellos

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
 • both a synthesis and culmination of his life’s work, the richly Romantic and complex quintet took more than 40 years to write, beginning with sketches in 1904 and finishing in 1949, less than two years before his death ~ there’s freshness of inspiration, great mastery of composition, and accessible melodies and themes showing the influence of German Romanticism inspired by Goethe

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
Roman Rabinovich piano
Stefan Milenkovich
violin
Cynthia Phelps
viola
 

Domenico ZIPOLI  Suite in G minor • 1716
 • 4 alternating tranquil and zippy winsome Baroque movements for solo piano

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
 • the intriguing duo for violin and viola is a fine example of the Mexican composer’s use of folk music in European trappings, revealing the influence of the harmonies and form of traditional songs

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
 • one of his earliest pieces, it is essentially a Romantic folkloric suite of six pieces, intensely expressive and alternately songlike and jaunty, contemplative and animated ~ it boasts a lively Brazilian polka, and cello solo in the Melancolia movement.

Osvaldo GOLIJOV  Tenebrae • 2002
 • haunting and soulful, the incredibly beautiful gem for soprano, clarinet, and string quartet is by the Argentine composer and one of the more interesting personalities in contemporary music

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
 • a deeply-moving Romantic work, bursting with melody, by the Venezuelan who spent his whole life as a composer “en vogue” in France, hanging out in salons with friends and his one-time lover and lifelong friend, Marcel Proust

 
 
 
November
November 9  Idols

Seymour Lipkin piano
Miriam Fried
violin

 

Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL  Clarinet Quartet in Eb Major • 1808
 • the Austrian composer’s Quartet is a standout in the clarinet repertoire—appealing through its varied emotions, and an uncommon La Seccatura (“nuisance”) movement that has different and changing time signatures for each of the instruments

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
 • written at the height of his career (two months after the success of The Marriage of Figaro) for his dear friends, the Jacquins, it is the first known piano trio wherein the violin and cello parts are independent and in contrast to the keyboard, a concept adopted by Haydn in his piano trios of the 1790s, then by Beethoven, and later by the 19th century Romantic composers

Antonín DVORÁK  String Quartet No. 10 in Eb Major Op. 51 • 1879
 • when the lead violinist Jean Becker of the then-famous Florentine Quartet asked for a work “in the Slav spirit,” the ”Idol of Prague”was only too happy to comply, and wrote the Quartet between Christmas Day 1878 and the spring of 1879 ~ the “Slavonic Quartet” as it became known is one of his most original and distinctive chamber works, brimming with exuberance

November 16  Allure of the Past

Areta Zhulla violin
Maxim Lando
piano

 

Christoph Willibald GLUCK  Trio Sonata Wq. 53 • 1746
 • one of six late Baroque pieces written early in his career while he was acting as house composer at the King’s Theatre in London, during which time Handel dominated the musical scene ~ shortly after he left London for Hamburg to become conductor of Pietro Mingotti’s traveling Italian opera company, the set of Six Trio Sonatas for 2 violins and continuo were published in London

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
 • written at age 18, the year he finished his studies at the Paris Conservatoire and was appointed organist at the Church of Saint-Merry, the beautiful early quartet looks to Mozart ~ it was not published until 1992

Jean FRANÇAIX  Nonetto • 1784/1995
 • the French composer arranged the piano part of Mozart’s complex Quintet in Eb Major, K. 452, for string quartet and double-bass while maintaining the original parts for oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon ~ the brilliant transcription of the solemn and sometimes sparkling piano part for the string parts is another proof of Françaix’s lifelong admiration and study of Mozart

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

Mikhail Kopelman violin
Cynthia Phelps
viola
Elizaveta Kopelman
piano


Paul JUON  Divertimento in C Major Op. 34 • 1908
 • in his unique style, the Russian-born Swiss composer has the clarinet and 2 violas present a little variety show with oriental flavor in 4 engaging movements: Variations, Serenade, Exotic Intermezzo, and Ländler

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 in D minor Op. 32 • 1894
 • soaring melodies infused with Russian romanticism ripple through the splendid Trio

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
 • it all began in Florence, a city he loved and visited several times, and where he made his first sketches ~ completed in Russia in 1890 and revised in 1892, the virtuosic tour de force is a soundscape of emotional intensity ~ for string sextet

 
 
 
December
December 14  Schnitzel and Goulash

William Wolfram piano
Josef Spacek
violin
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt viola

 

HAYDN  String Trio in G Major Op. 53 No. 1 • published by Johann André in 1790
 • a seemingly light work that’s sophisticated and subtly wrought ~ originally the Piano Sonata, Hob. XVI:40, composed in 1784 and published by the firm of Bossler, its arranger is not known ~ dedicated to the sixteen-year-old Princess Marie Hermenegild Esterházy (an amateur pianist), who the previous year had married Haydn’s future patron Prince Nicolaus II

Johann Georg LICKL  Cassazione in Eb Major • 1798
 • once attributed to Mozart, the admirable quartet is for flute, clarinet, horn, and bassoon

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
 • the Hungarian composer’s paraphrase of the 2 dances from the beginning of Handel’s opera, for solo piano—in effect a double set of variations—for his English piano student, Walter Bache, to play at a Handel festival in England

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
 • fiendishly difficult, it calls for numerous demanding double and triple stops, multi-note chords on each instrument to create a full four-part harmony that frequently expands to four and five simultaneous parts ~ transcribed by Johan Halvorsen for violin and viola from the Passacaille (Chaconne) of Handel’s Harpsichord Suite No. 7 in G minor

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.

Ern? (Ernst von) DOHNÁNYI  Piano Quintet in C minor Op. 1 • 1894
 • Brahms was so taken with the Hungarian composer’s resplendent quintet played by his house guests—the legendary conductor Arthur Nikisch and the Kneisel Quartet—that he staged its premiere in Vienna in late 1895, this time with Dohnányi at the piano

 
 
 
January
 January 4  Austro-German Gems
Drew Petersen piano
Danbi Um
violin

 

Ernst PAUER  Quintet in F Major Op. 44 • 1856
 • conveys a sense of Beethoven and Hummel as well as his own joie de vivre, the Quintet for oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and piano was eventually performed at the Crystal Palace ~ the April 1884 issue of the Monthly Music Record observed that the Viennese composer’s Quintet was “in all respects most admirable. The form is pleasing, the melodies striking, and the rhythm stirring, spirited and martial. It is altogether superior...and ought to find a wide and lasting popularity.”

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
 • subtitled “6 Impromptus,” the engaging set of variations on a theme was inspired, according to the composer’s own prefatory note to the 1849 Kistner edition, by the Makamen des Hariri, Friedrich Rückert’s translation from the Arabic of a medieval epic about the transformation of Abu Seid of Serug, somewhat similar to the parable of the prodigal son ~ the melodies and rhythms, however, are not exotic but quite European ~ transcribed by Friedrich Hermann for string quartet

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
 • a towering masterpiece, symphonic in dimensions and character ~ originally for piano 4-hands, here performed in a 19th century arrangement for piano trio by Robert Wittmann (born 1804)

 January 18  Czech Charmers
Michael Brown piano
Marié Rossano
violin
Emily Daggett Smith
violin
 

Anton REICHA  Clarinet Quintet in F Major Op. 107 • between 1821 and 1826
 • genial melodies abound in this early Romantic quintet by the Czech-born French “Father of the Wind Quintet” ~ a friend of Haydn and Beethoven, both of whom respected his work, Reicha was also an influential teacher of Berlioz, Gounod, Liszt, and Franck in counterpoint and fugue

Antonín DVORÁK  Bagatelles Op. 47 • 1878
 • “Hrály dudy,” a folksong, provides the main theme for the endearing quartet for 2 violins, cello, and harmonium ~ written in 12 days for his friend, the cellist Josef Srb-Debrnov, who organized small chamber concerts at his home ~ its public premiere was performed in February 1879 with Dvo?ák playing the harmonium, which adds an exotic touch with its distinct reedy tone

Josef LABOR  Piano Quintet in E minor Op. 3 • 1912
 • an exceptional late Romantic work with compelling melodies and many prominent solo passages for the double bass, a quite unusual feature ~ dedicated to František [Franz] Simandl, a fellow Czech and virtuoso bassist, who frequently played it in contemporary performances ~ for piano, violin, viola, cello, and double bass

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
February 1  Leipzig Links
Roman Rabinovich piano
Joseph Swensen
violin
Paul Neubauer
viola
 

Robert VOLKMANN  Schlummerlied “Lullaby” Op. 76 • 1876
 • a wee Romantic charmer for viola, cello, and piano

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
 • among his major works, the late Romantic Trio for clarinet, viola, and piano is rich in harmony and melody reminiscent of Schumann, with whom he was friendly, and of Brahms, who exerted a strong influence

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, Janá?ek, Albeníz, Sinding, Svendsen, Delius, Arthur Sullivan, George Chadwick, Ethel Smyth, and Felix Weingartner.

Clara SCHUMANN  3 Romances Op. 22 • 1853
 • dedicated to the violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim, who performed them for George V of Hanover (he became “completely ecstatic” upon hearing them and declared them a “marvelous, heavenly pleasure”) ~ for violin and piano

SCHUMANN  Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor Op. 63 • 1847
 • while the Trio belongs to “a time of gloomy moods” (Schumann’s own words), with a slow movement bearing the weight of one of his great tragic expressions, there is ample vitality and jubilance as well, conveyed through original ideas that were praised by his wife Clara in a letter: “It sounds as if composed by one from whom there is still much to expect, it is so strong and full of youthful energy and at the same time worked out so masterfully. The first movement is to my mind one of the loveliest that I know.”

February 15  Utterly Romantic
Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner violin
Francisco Fullana
violin
Cynthia Phelps
viola
 

BRAHMS  “Gestillte Sehnsucht” and “Geistliches Wiegenlied” Op. 91 • published 1884
 • two heartfelt songs for mezzo-soprano, viola, and piano composed nearly twenty years apart for his best friend, violinist Joseph Joachim, and wife Amalie—“Geistliches Wiegenlied“ (“Sacred Lullaby“) [1864] for the baptism of their son, and “Gestillte Sehnsucht“ (“Longing Eased“) [1878-1884] for his unsuccessful attempt at the Joachims’ marital reconciliation

Carl FRÜHLING  Trio in A minor Op. 40 • circa 1925
 • in spite of his impoverished and miserable circumstances in Vienna, the Austrian composer wrote the gorgeous, joyful late Romantic work for clarinet, cello, and piano ~ when British cellist Steven Isserlis first played the Trio, he said, “I loved it: the unpretentious warmth, the humour, the gentle charm of the style.”

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 masterpiece, dedicated to Brahms ~ magisterial and joyful, rich and compelling, clear and pure

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
Timur Mustakimov piano
Elizabeth Fayette
violin
 

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
 • of questionable authenticity, it’s really nice all the same

Robert KAHN  Quintet in C minor Op. 54 • 1910
 • the late Romantic work for piano, violin, clarinet, horn, and cello unfolds in an intimate, lyrical style reminiscent of Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Brahms, who had a lasting influence on Kahn

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 • [1828]
 • in one ravishing movement for piano trio, with lilting rhythms and a melody from a worker’s song ~ published posthumously

BEETHOVEN  String Quintet in C Major “The Storm” Op. 29 • 1801
 • dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries, a Viennese banker who commissioned the powerfully expressive and elegant Quintet ~ nicknamed “The Storm” for the explosive Finale

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
March 14  À la Française

Ilya Itin piano
Itamar Zorman
violin

 

François DEVIENNE  Flute Quartet in G Major Op. 11 No. 1 • 1783
 • an elegant and graceful work by the first flute professor of the Paris Conservatory

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
 • his only string quartet and one of the seminal works in the genre ~ the work of beguiling beauty is dominated by rhythmic flexibility which allows for seemingly endless variety, and by the sensuality and longueurs of French late 19th century Romanticism ~ Ernest Chausson, the intended dedicatee, had personal reservations, but the composer Guy Ropartz, the lone voice who recognized its worth, heard “poetic themes, rare sonorities,” and noted, “the first two movements being particularly remarkable”

Gabriel FAURÉ   Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor Op. 15 • 1879
 • hauntingly beautiful, it’s an eloquent, cherished gift from one of the most elegant and refined of all composers, and Saint-Saëns’s devoted and most famous student

March 28  Otherworldly Realms

Stephen Beus piano
Stefan Milenkovich
violin


WAGNER-LISZT  Ballade aus dem Fliegenden Holländer S. 441 • 1872
 • Liszt’s effective paraphrase of Senta’s ballad from Act II of The Flying Dutchman ~ soon after the Norwegian girls finish their spinning, Senta sings her ballad, “Traft ihr das Schiff im Meere an” (“Have you met the ship at sea”), in which Liszt emphasizes the ominous consequences of Senta’s fixation on her fidelity to the Dutchman by stormy musical comments, and extends the melody into a dramatic coda

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
 • famous for its highly original dark and mysterious Largo movement, thus named “Ghost” by his pupil Carl Czerny because it reminded him of Hamlet’s ghost ~ Beethoven’s own notes reveal that he was sketching an opera about Macbeth at the time! Harry Halbreich states that “this is one of the first atmospheric ‘mood-pieces’ in music history, where elements of tone-color tend to blur the formal outline. The dark gloom of this Largo, which stands in such striking contrast to the brightness of the outer movements, is further enhanced by the frequent low rumblings on the piano.”

SCHUBERT  Kammersymphonie in Bb Major D. 960 • 1828
 • transcribed by Heribert Breuer for an octet comprising the clarinet, horn, bassoon, string quartet, and double bass from his last Piano Sonata and greatest achievement in the form—written in the proximity of death, the monumental Sonata seems to breathe the air of another world, inhabit another sphere ~ Sir Donald Francis Tovey described it as “a sublime theme of utmost calmness and breadth”

 
 
 
April
April 11  Sprung from Paris

Adam Golka piano
Elina Vähälä
violin
Cynthia Phelps
viola

 

Martin-Joseph MENGAL  Wind Quartet Op. 19 No. 1 • 1816
 • an early Romantic work for flute, clarinet, horn, and bassoon, influenced by Anton Reicha ~ published in Paris by Bochsa

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 Eb Major, Op. 9 No. 2, influenced by John Field in its form and simplicity, was dedicated to the accomplished pianist Madame Camille Pleyel ~ transcribed for violin and piano by the Spanish violinist and composer Pablo de Sarasate in 1903, the viola arrangement by Fabian Rehfeld in 1914

 • 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
 • Saint-Saëns, in transcribing the symphonic poem for piano trio, captured both the introspection and drama of Liszt’s concern with civilization overcoming barbarism, inspired by Orpheus ~ written in Weimar, in one movement, it is the shortest and most subtle, while remaining effective, of his symphonic poems

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
 • brilliant, luminous, sublime ~ the Quartet’s infectious vitality and undeniable force was fully appreciated when the work was premiered on 2 April 1898 at the National Society of Music in Paris ~ the Parisian died 18 months later at the age of 44 from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident

April 18  Darkness and Light
Alexander Kobrin piano
William Hagen
violin

Gideon KLEIN  String Trio • 1944
 • written in the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt (now in the Czech Republic), the life-affirming Trio was the Moravian Jew’s last composition, completed on 9 October 1944, nine days before he was deported to Auschwitz ~ the outer movements are filled with allusions to Czech folk music, and the second movement is a set of variations on a Moravian folk song

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 Janá?ek, 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
 • inspired by the beauty of the sound and color of the clarinet as played by the Meiningen clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld, Brahms wrote this masterpiece late in his life and dedicated it to his new friend ~ transcribed for clarinet, string quartet, and double bass from the original for clarinet and piano by Geert van Keulen, a Dutch composer, conductor, and clarinetist

Bed?ich SMETANA  Z domoviny “From the Homeland” JB 1:118 • 1880
 • the mood of the two intensely personal duos is one of melancholy as well as joy, laced with infectious folk themes ~ “They are genuinely national in character, but with my own melodies,” wrote the Czech composer of the showpieces for violin and piano, while in pain and poverty—he was already deaf for two years and in failing health from neurosyphilis, and subsisting on a meager and often delayed pension

Antonín DVORÁK  Piano Quintet in A Major Op. 5 • 1887
 • Although it was well received at its premiere in 1872, Dvorák was dissatisfied with it and destroyed the manuscript. The pianist Ludevít Procházka, however, had made a copy of the score for himself, which enabled the “Idol of Prague” to revise it extensively fifteen years later.

 
 
 
May
May 2  Jeepers! Keepers!
Drew Petersen piano
Mayuko Kamio
violin
 

BEETHOVEN  String Trio in D Major Op. 9 No. 2 • 1797-1798
 • dedicated to one of his earliest patrons in Vienna, Count Johann Georg von Browne, Beethoven himself called it “the best of his works” ~ the Trio is indeed a gem, and his first important composition for three stringed instruments, a combination he did not often use

ROSSINI  Sonata a quattro No. 6 “La Tempesta” • 1804
 • from a set of 6 Sonatas written in 3 days at age 12, the sparkling, melodic quartets are miraculous confections in glittering wrapping, revealing a child of manifest talent ~ arranged for flute quartet from the original for 2 violins, viola, and double bass by Dieter H. Förster

Riccardo Eugenio DRIGO  Meditazione • circa 1900
 • for a few minutes the viola, cello, and piano will dispel your cares of the world

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
 • quintessential late Romantic music with radiant melodies and a whirling tarantella for its Finale ~ the Allgemeine Schweizer Zeitung (Swiss Musical Journal) praised it as “a magnificent, significant composition, fresh in invention, firm and secure in its development, and mature in its expression.”

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.

 May 16  Distant Orbits

Ignat Solzhenitsyn piano
Dmitri Berlinsky
violin

 

BEETHOVEN  Variations on the theme “Là ci darem la mano” WoO 28 • [1795]
 • the lovely aria, “There we will give each other our hands,” is from Mozart’s Don Giovanni ~ Don Giovanni, the protagonist, tries to seduce Zerlina, who is about to get married to someone else, by singing this song ~ arranged for flute, clarinet, and bassoon from the original for two oboes and English horn

Arvo PÄRT Mozart-Adagio • 1992
 • dedicated to the memory of Oleg Kagan, his friend and one of Russia’s foremost violinists and an interpreter of Mozart—a rare occurrence in Russia at the time ~ the piano trio is based on the Adagio of Mozart’s Piano Sonata in F Major, K. 280

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
 • deemed the highest example of the sinfonia concertante form (think of a symphony stuffed with a concerto), Mozart’s glorious work ranks among his early masterpieces, exuding majesty, joy, and warmth ~ transcribed for string sextet from the 1779 Sinfonia Concertante in Eb Major, K. 364, by an unidentified arranger, published by Sigmund Anton Steiner—Leonard Burkat of Columbia Records and the BSO suggested Maximilian Stadler, an acquaintance of the composer and a polished arranger

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH  Piano Quintet in G minor Op. 57 • 1940
 • rigorous and thought-provoking, his magnificent quintet is regarded by some to be his greatest work ~ it won the Stalin Prize of 100,000 rubles, the highest monetary award for chamber music at the time

 
 
 
 

*All programs are subject to change.

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Last updated 07/14/15