Spanning from 1797 Vienna to 1933 Paris, this all-string program invites audiences to take a journey through the astounding breadth of chamber music repertoire in just four works. Setting the stage, Beethoven’s understanding of the Classical era is paramount to his very first string trio; conversational and light, it introduces audiences to the buoyancy of his early style through what is widely considered one of the most challenging ensembles for a composer. Just as expectations of compositional mastery seem to have been met in that work, Jean Francaix—a student of the great Nadia Boulanger—dashes them with a frenetic and energized trio of his own. Seemingly opposed to this flurry of sound is the music of English composer Frank Bridge. During World War I and immediately afterwards, Bridge wrote several pastoral and elegiac works, including his Lamentfor Two Violas, as part of a pair of viola duos, which debuted March 18, 1912. The composer and iconic English violist Lionel Tertis premiered the work and helped set the scene for a renaissance of music written for viola. Mendelssohn’s second string quintet, one of his final compositions, rounds out the program with, in the composer’s own words, “an exercise in forms and an expression of ideas”.
Beethoven Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello in E-flat major, Op. 3 (before 1794)
Francaix Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello (1933)
Bridge Lament for Two Violas (1912)
Mendelssohn Quintet No. 2 in B-flat major for Two Violins, Two Violas, and Cello, Op. 87 (1845)
Headshots are available on the individual artist pages above.
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