Program includes Schumann, Schoenberg and Brahms. Featured Musicians: David Kravitz, reciter; Yura Lee & Harumi Rhodes, violins; Marcus Thompson, viola; Clancy Newman, cello; Max Levinson, piano.
Piano Trio No. 2 in F Major, Op. 80
Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte, Op. 41
Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25
Schumann demonstrates the potential of clever reiteration and counterpoint in his Piano Trio No. 2 in F major. The composer’s crusade against musical superficiality and showiness is evident in this trio; the instruments communicate Schumann’s love for beautiful harmony and theme without straying from midrange. Schoenberg’s Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte is a powerful marriage of dramatic monologue, biting social commentary, and instrumental music. Accents entreat, staccatos bite, ambiguous tonality disrupts: the spoken word and note work in tandem to express Schoenberg’s musical denouncement of tyranny. The piano virtuoso Clara Schumann pronounced herself “tenderly transported to dreamland” by the third movement of Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G minor. From the brisk march in the Andante con moto to the use of Hungarian gypsy style in the last movement, this quartet shows that even early in his career Brahms had a knack for innovating preexisting forms.