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AMATIS PROGRAMMES 24/25

Caspar David Friedrich - The Wanderer Above The Sea of Fog 1818.png

“Romantic Roots" 

Franz Schubert - Piano Trio No. 1 in B-Dur, op. 99, D. 898 [43’]

 

Franz Schubert's Piano Trio No. 1, composed in 1827, encapsulates a pivotal moment in the shift from Classical to Romantic music. Departing from the formal constraints of the Classical period, Schubert introduces an emotional depth, harmonic daring and lyrical expressiveness that characterises the emerging Romantic era. The second movement, Andante un poco mosso, is particularly noteworthy for its extended, introspective dialogue among the instruments, breaking away from Classical symmetry and paving the way for the emotive richness that would define Romantic compositions. Schubert's Op. 99 serves as a compelling bridge between two musical epochs, showcasing the evolution towards a more personal and expressive musical language.

Franz Liszt - Tristia (La Vallée d'Obermann) for Piano Trio, S. 378c [16’]

 

Franz Liszt's "Tristia (La Vallée d'Obermann) for Piano Trio" reflects the pioneering spirit of Liszt's symphonic poems and his transformative approach to composition that epitomises the Romantic era. Originally part of the suite "Années de pèlerinage," Liszt's arrangement for piano trio (S. 378c) retains the profound emotional depth and narrative quality of the original piano work. Liszt, a key figure in the Romantic movement, pioneered the symphonic poem—a genre that aimed to convey extra-musical ideas and stories through music. "Tristia" exemplifies this approach, translating the melancholic beauty of "La Vallée d'Obermann" into a chamber setting.

 

 

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - Piano Trio Nr. 2 in c-Moll, op. 66 [30’]

 

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66, is a prime example of Romanticism's expressive power. Composed in 1845, this piece incorporates classical forms with intense emotional depth. The opening movement immerses the listener in a stormy atmosphere, a hallmark of Romantic expression. Mendelssohn employs rich harmonies and dynamic contrasts, embracing the turbulence associated with the Romantic movement. The second movement, a lyrical Andante, demonstrates Mendelssohn's talent for crafting soulful melodies, with an emphasis on individual expression and introspection. Throughout the trio, Mendelssohn's innovative use of form and ability to evoke a wide range of emotions make this work an exquisite example of Romantic-era chamber music, embodying the period's ethos of passion and poetic exploration.

"All Roads Lead to Rome" 

Mozart - Piano Trio in C Major, K. 548 [25’]

 

Mozart visited Rome twice, first in 1770 and then in 1773. During his visits, he performed for Pope Clement XIV and composed several works, including the "Symphony No. 16 in C major, K. 128." Perhaps one of the most significant aspects of Mozart's visits to Rome was his exposure to the Roman school of composition. Influenced by the works of Italian composers such as Giovanni Battista Sammartini and Niccolò Jommelli, Mozart incorporated elements of the Italian style into his compositions. His time in Rome left an indelible mark on his musical development, contributing to the rich tapestry of Mozart's compositional legacy.

Lili Boulanger - D'un soir triste [11’]

 

Lili Boulanger, a pioneering French composer, is intimately connected to Rome through her historic win of the Prix de Rome in 1913. This significant achievement, marking her as the first woman to receive the prestigious award, granted Boulanger a residency at the Villa Medici. Despite facing health challenges, Boulanger's time associated with the Prix de Rome allowed her to explore Rome's rich cultural and artistic milieu, influencing her creative spirit. This period became transformative for Boulanger, shaping her unique musical voice and contributing to her impactful legacy in French music.

Tchaikovsky - Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50 [44’]

 

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the Russian master of emotion, was awarded the prestigious Rubinstein Prize in Rome in 1874. His Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50, includes the deeply moving "Pezzo Elegiaco," a heartfelt tribute to the memory of his close friend Nikolai Rubinstein. The writing of this trio overlapped with a stay in Rome itself, a place which Tchaikovsky would visit often. Let us contemplate the intersection of Tchaikovsky's personal grief, artistic genius, and the enchanting aura of Rome, which left an indelible mark on the creation of this enduring masterpiece. 

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“Fractured Harmonies”

In the world of classical music, the narratives of artistic collaboration and mentorship often bring to mind images of harmony and mutual respect. However, the stories of Haydn and Beethoven, as well as Liszt and Brahms, reveal fractured relationships marked by rebellion and tension. As we explore the works of Haydn, Beethoven, Liszt, and Brahms in this concert, let us delve into the dissonances and tensions that arose between these legendary figures. Through their compositions, we witness not only the clashes of artistic temperament but also the transformative power of discord, paving the way for new directions in classical music. "Fractured Harmonies" invites you to experience the rich complexity of these relationships and the profound impact they had on shaping the course of musical history.

Joseph Haydn Piano Trio No. 43 in C major, Hob XV:27 [17’]

Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Trio Opus 1, No.3 [28’]

The godfather of the piano trio Joseph Haydn and the young genius Ludwig van Beethoven would fall out in 1795. A meeting of two musical giants in which Beethoven's Opus. 1 No. 3 piano trio sparked a rift between them. Ferdinand Ries, a friend and student of Beethoven, recounted the event where Haydn, despite praising the trios, advised against publishing the third in C minor. This shocked Beethoven, who saw it as a slight to his best work. The incident left Beethoven feeling Haydn was envious and strained their once-close relationship. In hindsight, this clash became a pivotal moment in Beethoven's journey, highlighting the tensions that arose in the pursuit of artistic independence. The Opus. 1 No. 3 trio, initially a triumph, became a catalyst for Beethoven's determination to forge his own path.

 

 

Franz Liszt - Tristia (La Vallée d'Obermann) for Piano Trio, S. 378c [16’]

Johannes Brahms Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 101 [23’]

Johannes Brahms and Franz Liszt were titans of 19th-century music. However, they had a difficult relationship due to their differing musical philosophies. Brahms, being a traditionalist, was critical of Liszt's avant-garde tendencies, including the development of the symphonic poem and dismissed some of his work as "New German School nonsense." In return, Liszt, who was a leading figure in the Romantic movement, viewed Brahms as conservative and once remarked, "The young man has a fine talent, but he must not cling to his old ways. He must break free and feel that he is a natural composer above all." Despite their differences, we pair these two extraordinary works together to revel in the beauty of these two composers.

"Echoes of Rebellion”

a celebration of Shostakovich

 

Beethoven's Piano Trio Opus. 1 No.3 [28’]

In the year 1795, a rift unfolded between Beethoven and his mentor Joseph Haydn. The catalyst? Beethoven's Opus. 1 No. 3 piano trio. Praised by Haydn yet discouraged from publication, the clash marked a pivotal moment for Beethoven. What was initially a triumph spurred Beethoven's determination to forge his own path—a journey of artistic independence that reverberates through this remarkable trio.

Anton Webern - 3 Kleine Stücke, Op.11 [4’]

Enter the avant-garde world of Anton Webern, a pioneer of atonal and twelve-tone music. In "3 Kleine Stücke”, he rebels against tonality and traditional harmonic structures. Short, fragmented motifs and the absence of a clear tonal centre create a landscape of dissonance and unpredictability, challenging the very essence of musical expectation.

Shostakovich Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 8 [13’]

Youthful defiance permeates Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 1, composed amidst the turbulence of Soviet history. A bold departure from traditional forms, this work showcases Shostakovich's audacious approach, incorporating expressive and sometimes sarcastic elements that can be interpreted as a form of rebellion against an oppressive political environment.

 

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Rebecca Clarke: Midsummer Moon for Violin and Piano [6’]

Rebecca Clarke was a trailblazer who defied societal norms for women in music during the early 20th century. As a violist, she became one of the first prominent female performers in the UK. In 1924 she wrote her luminous impressionistic tone poem Midsummer Moon for Violin and Piano.

Shostakovich Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67 [26’]

In the shadow of World War II, Shostakovich's second piano trio becomes a personal expression of suffering and grief—a subtle act of rebellion against an oppressive regime. Dark, intense themes, dissonant harmonies, and the incorporation of Jewish folk elements contribute to a powerful narrative of protest and defiance.

 

Join us for "Echoes of Rebellion", a concert that will feature the language of rebellion expressed through harmonic innovation, structural experimentation, personal stories, and emotional intensity. Each composer represents the power of music to challenge norms and express unique perspectives on the world.

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