2016-2017 Season Calendar
|Summer Season 2017|
3 Mondays at 7:30 PM
The summer concerts will be held
| Monday, June 5,
7:30pm Beethoven and the Copenhageners
Christ and Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church
120 West 69th Street (east of Broadway)
BEETHOVEN Duetto No. 1 in C Major WoO 27
BEETHOVEN Cello Sonata in F Major Op. 5 No. 1
Georg GERSON Rondeau des Amants Prothée
Emil HARTMANN Clarinet Quartet No. 1 in A Major
Niels GADE String Sextet in Eb Major Op. 44
| Monday, June 26,
7:30pm Beethoven and his Friends
Christ and Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church
120 West 69th Street (east of Broadway)
Franz Anton HOFFMEISTER Notturno No. 4 in D Major
Louis SPOHR String Quintet in Eb Major Op. 33 No. 1
BEETHOVEN “Razumovsky” String Quartet Op. 59 No. 2
| Monday, July 17,
7:30pm Beethoven and the Bohemians
Christ and Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church
120 West 69th Street (east of Broadway)
BEETHOVEN 6 Ländler WoO15
Wenzel MATIEGKA Serenade Op. 8
Antonín DVORÁK “Double Bass” String Quintet Op. 77
|2016 - 2017|
20-concert series: Mondays at 2pm and 7:30pm
|September 12 Beautiful Minds
MENDELSSOHN Rondo Capriccioso in E Major Op. 14 • 1830
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
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
BRAHMS Piano Quintet in F minor Op. 34 • 1864
| September 26 The Gewandhaus
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
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
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
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
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 10 Sweet ’n’ Sassy
Charles Edouard LEFEBVRE Suite Op. 57 • 1910
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
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
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
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
Samuel WESLEY String Quartet in Eb Major • circa 1810
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
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
| October 31 Hair Raisers
Camille SAINT-SAËNS Danse macabre Op. 40 • 1874
Charles-Valentin ALKAN Marcia funèbre sulla morte d’un Pappagallo “Funeral March on the Death of a Parrot” • 1858
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
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 14 Aeolian Gold
Joseph WEIGL Concertino • circa 1815
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
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
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
|November 21 Mighty Russians
TCHAIKOVSKY Méditation in D minor Op. 42 No. 1 • 1878
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
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
| December 5 German Masters
Carl Maria von WEBER Trio in G minor Op. 63 • 1819
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
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
| December 19 Geniuses
HAYDN Clarinet Trio No. 3 in Bb Major Hob. IV: B1 • circa 1781
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
“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
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
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 9 Opera Without Words
Giacomo MEYERBEER Clarinet Quintet in Eb Major • 1813
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 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
Franz DOPPLER Souvenir du Rigi Op. 34 • 1876
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
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
Johannes [Matthias] SPERGER (1750-1812) Trio in D Major • n.d.
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
Descended paternally from a distinguished noble family, Pejacevic 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 Berkovic, is a fictionalized story of her life.
Antonín DVORÁK Octet-Serenade in E Major Op. 22 • 1873
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 6 Fanny’s Berlin Salon
Fanny MENDELSSOHN String Quartet in Eb Major • 1834
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
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
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
Frédéric Nicolas DUVERNOY Horn Quartet No. 2 in C Major • pub. 1838
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
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
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
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 6 One-Two Punch
Arvo PÄRT Stabat Mater • 1985
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
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
Anton REICHA 18 variationen und fantaisie on “Se vuol ballare” from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Op. 51 • 1804
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.
BEETHOVEN Piano Quartet in C Major WoO 36 No. 3
SCHUMANN Kinderszenen “Scenes of Childhood” Op. 15 • 1838
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
| March 27 All Over Italy
Gian Francesco MALIPIERO Epodi e giambi • 1932
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
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
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
Alessandro LONGO Piano Quintet in E major Op. 3 • 1897
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 3 Serpent Sighting
BEETHOVEN 12 Variations on a Russian Dance in A Major WoO 71 • 1796
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)
Reinhold GLIÈRE Impromptu Op. 35 No. 9
Nikolay RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Quintet in Bb Major • 1876
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 • 
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
Justus Johann Friedrich DOTZAUER Grand Trio in Eb Major Op. 52 • n.d.
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
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. • 
| May 1 Ties to Brahms
Carl Georg Peter GRÄDENER String Trio in G minor Op. 48 • n.d.
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 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
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.
15 Divine Madness
Gaetano DONIZETTI Larghetto in C Major • circa 1819
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
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
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
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.
BEETHOVEN 6 Minuets WoO 9
*All programs are subject to change.
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Last updated 6/22/17