The Athenæum is pleased to announce a new membership benefit, courtesy of the Rhode Island Chamber Music Concerts!
Rhode Island Chamber Music Concerts is dedicated to enriching the cultural life of Rhode Island by presenting chamber music concerts by internationally renowned, award-winning classical artists at unbeatable prices.
Beginning September 2019, Household, Individual, and Individual Under 35 members are invited to attend a RICMC concert of their choosing. Each membership is entitled to a pair of tickets for any one concert. To redeem your tickets, please call the library at 401-421-6970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate your preferred performance by noon the day prior to the concert. Members will be able to collect will-call tickets at McVinney Auditorium the night of the event.
Praised by The New Yorker as “a fresh and vital young participant in what is a golden age of American string quartets,” the Daedalus Quartet has established itself as a leader among the new generation of string ensembles. Since winning the top prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2001, the Daedalus Quartet has impressed critics and listeners alike with the security, technical finish, interpretive unity, and sheer gusto of its performances.
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet Op. 18, No. 3
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) composed this string quartet between 1798 and 1800, when he was just turning 30. Though placed third in the Op. 18 set of six quartets (published together in 1801) this was, in fact, the first one that Beethoven composed. Its mood is bright, lyrical and humorous and sets the stage for the many musical riches coming soon ahead.
II. Andante con moto
JANACEK: String No. 2, “Intimate Letters”
Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) wrote “Intimate Letters” in 1928 and ever since it has been referred to as Janáček’s “manifesto on love.” Its nickname was actually given by the composer himself and inspired by his long and spiritual friendship with Kamila Stösslová, a married woman 38 years his junior.
I. Andante – Con moto – Allegro
II. Adagio – Vivace
III. Moderato – Andante – Adagio
IV. Allegro – Andante – Adagio
ROCHBERG: String Quartet No. 3
We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to present this landmark work by the remarkable American composer George Rochberg (1918-2005). String Quartet No. 3 received its premiere performance on May 15, 1972, by the Concord String Quartet, and represents a landmark move away from serialism for Rochberg. Long a serial composer, he abandoned the practice following the death of his teenage son in 1964, stating that this compositional technique had proved inadequate to express his grief and he had found it empty of expressive intent.
I. Introduction. Fantasia
V. Finale. Scherzos and Serenades
Founded in 2012 and based in Berlin, the vision string quartet has already established itself as one of the finest young string quartets of its generation. With a unique versatility that focuses on the classical string quartet repertoire alongside their own compositions and arrangements of other disparate genres, the four young musicians are on a mission to re-address with integrity how classical music is presented and perceived by both new and traditional audiences. Their distinctive characteristics of performing all their concerts completely from memory and standing up lend its performances an added intimacy and intensity which has been widely praised.
HAYDN: String Quartet in G major, Op. 77, No. 1
In 1799, both an elderly Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and a young Beethoven were simultaneously working on a new set of string quartets: Haydn’s last and Beethoven’s first. On this noteworthy “passing of the baton”, the composers shared a common patron. A young Price Lobkowitz commissioned both composers around the same time. Beethoven’s Op. 18 was published at the end of 1801, Haydn’s Op. 77 in early 1802. It is no surprise that Haydn’s last quartets are often called “Beethovenian” just as Beethoven’s first quartets may be called “Haydnesque.” (Kai Christiansen).
I. Allegro moderato
III. Menuetto. Presto
IV. Finale. Presto
BACEWICZ: String Quartet No. 4
Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969) was a renowned Polish composer and violinist. She is only the second Polish female composer to have achieved national and international recognition, the first being Maria Szymanowska in the early 19th century. Many of her compositions were written for the violin, including seven string quartets. This prize-winning quartet No. 4, from 1951, was written in a neoclassical in style, with evident influences of Polish (and a little Spanish) folk music.
I. Andante – Allegro molto
III. Allegro giocoso
SCHUMANN: String Quartet No. 3 in A major
Robert Schumann (1810-1856) composed this magnificent quartet in 1842, his “year of chamber music”, where he miraculously produced three string quartets, the glorious piano quintet, and the equally superb piano quartet.
I. Andante espressivo – Allegro molto moderato
II. Assai agitato
III. Adagio molto
IV. Finale: Allegro molto vivace
Trio Solisti’s distinction as “the most exciting piano trio in America” (The New Yorker) is affirmed by recent rave reviews: “The superlative Trio Solisti gave an immaculate and insightful performance” (The Dallas Chamber Music Society – Theater Jones), “a compelling performance…Trio Solisti really knocked it out of the ballpark” (Chamber Music Monterrey Bay – Peninsula Reviews), and “the most fully explored, interestingly probed, and fully engaged [performance of the Brahms Trio in B major] that I’ve ever experienced.”
HAYDN: Piano Trio in E flat Major, Hob. XV: 29
Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) compoed his last piano trio (his 45th!) in 1797 and dedicated it to Therese Jansen Bartolozzi, a German pianist that had been a student of Muzio Clementi. This magnificent late work is full of character and humour and reflects the composer’s full musical maturity.
I. Poco allegretto
II. Andantino ed innocentemente
III. Finale. Allemande. Presto assai
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Trio Elegiac in G minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943) wrote this gorgeous one-movement trio when he was just 18 years old and still a student in Moscow. It is the first of two Trio Élégiaque written in 1892-93. Despite his youth, Rachmaninoff shows in the virtuoso piano part his ability to cover a wide spectrum of sound colors.
BEETHOVEN: Piano Trio in D Major, “Ghost”
The two piano trios of Beethoven’s Opus 70 were composed in 1808 during the composer’s stay at the house of the Countess Marie von Erdödy, to whom he dedicated both works (as a thank you for her hospitality). Because of its strangely scored and undeniably eerie slow movement it has been nicknamed the “Ghost” Trio.
I. Allegro vivace e con brio
II. Largo assai e espressivo
CHAUSSON: Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 3
Ernest Chausson was born in Paris in 1855 to a wealthy family. He studied law and became a barrister but realized he had no interest in the law. He decided to pursue music at the Paris Conservatory in 1879 where he studied first with Jules Massenet and later Cesar Franck. This early and intense masterpiece was written in 1881 during this exploratory period.
I. Pas trop lent – Animé
III. Assez lent
From New York City, the ensemble features the best and brightest of classical music’s rising stars drawn from many of the nation’s major music schools including Juilliard, Curtis, and Yale. Frisson showcases a myriad of rarely-performed masterworks.
BRAHMS: Serenade Op. 11, for nonet
The two Serenades, Op. 11 and 16, represented two of the earliest efforts by Johannes Brahms to write orchestral music. They both date from after the 1856 death of Robert Schumann when Brahms was residing in Detmold and had access to an orchestra. The first serenade, Op. 11, was completed in 1858, at the same time that Brahms was also working on his Piano Concerto No. 1. Originally scored for wind and string octet and then expanded into a longer work for chamber nonet, the serenade was later adapted for orchestra in 1959. Brahms had a goal of reaching Ludwig van Beethoven’s level in writing symphonies, and worked long and hard on his Symphony No. 1, completing it only in 1876 when he was 43 years old. As preliminary steps in composing for orchestra, he chose early on to write some lighter orchestral pieces, these Serenades.
Scherzo. Allegro non troppon — Trio
Adagio non troppo
Menuetto I — Menuetto II
Scherzo. Allegro — Trio
DEBUSSY: Syrinx, for solo flute
Syrinx is a one movement work for solo flute that Claude Debussy wrote in 1913. It is considered the first significant piece for solo flute after the Sonata in A minor composed by C. P. E. Bach over 150 years earlier. It is also the first such solo composition for the modern Böhm flute, perfected in 1847, and played a pivotal role in the development of solo flute music in the early twentieth century. Syrinx was written as incidental music to the uncompleted play Psyché by Gabriel Mourey. Its evocative name is in reference to the myth of the amorous pursuit of the nymph Syrinx by the god Pan, in which Pan falls in love with Syrinx, however, as Syrinx does not return the love to Pan, she turns herself into a water reed and hides in the marshes. Pan cuts the reeds to make his pipes, in turn killing his love.
BRITTEN: Phantasie Quartet, Op. 2, for oboe and strings
Britten composed his one-movement Phantasy Quartet for oboe and string trio in 1932 when he was 18 and a student at the Royal College of Musica. It was his second published work and dedicated to the acclaimed oboist Léon Goossens, who played the first performance in a BBC broadcast on August 6, 1933.
GERSHWIN: Three Preludes, for clarinet and strings
George Gershwin was inspired by the idea of composing a cycle of 24 preludes for the keyboard like those of Bach and Chopin. He only completed 6 in 1926, and only published these three. These innovative works are heavily jazz influenced, featuring syncopated rhythms, flattened sevenths, and blues motifs.
1. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
2. Andante con moto e poco rubato
3. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
JANACEK: Mladi, for wind quintet
The woodwind sextet, Youth, is a chamber composition written in May 1924 by Czach composer Leoš Janáček as a reminiscence of his youth in the Old Brno Monastery. It is scored for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and bass clarinet. Historians suggest that his idea for the work came as a result of the his visit to the festival of the International Society of Contemporary Music in Salzburg in August 1923.
II. Andante sostenuto
IV. Allegro animato
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