Presidential Chamber Music Series: String Trios
Violist Willy Sucre will be joined by Roy Sonne on violin and James Holland on cello.
The program should include:
String Trio in C Minor, Op. 9, No. 3
By Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven was born December 16, 1770, in Bonn and died March 26, 1827, in Vienna.
Beethoven arrived in Vienna in 1792 from his home city of Bonn and spent the following years studying with such leading musicians as Haydn, Salieri, and Johann Albrechtsberger, as well as establishing himself as a composer and performer. This first phase of his stay in Vienna ended triumphantly in 1795. In that year he concluded his formal studies, made his highly successful debut as a pianist, had his op. 1 piano trios published, was invited to compose dances for the prestigious Artists’ Ball, and in December played his own piano concerto at the concert welcoming Haydn back from London!
Fresh from these peak experiences, Beethoven composed this string trio along with two others (Op. 9—No. 1 in G major, and No. 2 in D major) over the following two years. These proved to be his final works in this form. Scholars speculate that in 1798, when he composed his first string quartets, he found them more satisfying and therefore felt no need to return to the string trio combination.
Notes adapted from Melvin Berger's Guide to Chamber Music.
Two Trios by Mark O'Connor
Mark O'Connor was born on August 5, 1961, in Seattle, Washington. As a child, his musical training included many styles-classical, folk and jazz. This blending of styles and influences is evident throughout his career and in his acclaimed compositions. O'Connor's chamber music, featuring violins, viola and cello, intricately and delightfully paints colorful musical canvasses that reveal his unique, personal artistic journey. It's a journey one critic acclaimed "one of the most spectacular in American music."
He composed "Appalachia Waltz" in 1993, while sitting in a cabin in the Santa Fe desert! He was writing a portion of his second concerto hoping to identify with some of the Native American culture in New Mexico. This piece appeared in his head with all of the doublestops and drones, all at once! In 15 minutes it was written. It seemed much too intimate for his concerto, so he tucked it away and introduced it to Yo-Yo Ma a couple of years later. It turned out to be the impetus (and title inspiration) for the two projects they recorded together. It is one of his most liked pieces and he likes to think it is because folk musicians think it's classical music and classical musicians think it's folk music.
Notes adapted from Mark O'Connor's website
~<^ >~I N T E R M I S S I O N
Divertimento in E Flat Major K.V. 563
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
III. Menuetto - Allegro
V. Menuetto - Allegretto
Mozart was born January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria and died December 5, 1791, in Vienna. Mozart used the term divertimento to call to mind a style and form of music that was popular in the second half of the eighteenth century. A divertimento traditionally has some of the characteristics of a Baroque suite—lightness of mood, simplicity of construction, and a good number of short, dancelike movements—as well as some elements of the symphony (or quartet or trio), with some serious movements and, in particular, a sonata-form first movement. The E flat major divertimento pays obeisance to the suite aspect of the form by including six movements, with two minuets, but it shows even more affinity to the symphony from the viewpoint of depth, expressivity, and seriousness of purpose. With good reason, many commentators consider this the most outstanding string trio ever written.
Mozart completed the divertimento in Vienna on September 27, 1788, dedicating it to his friend, Michael von Puchberg. The trio received its premiere in Dresden on April 13, 1789, with Anton Teiber (Teyber), violin, Mozart himself playing viola, and Anton Kraft, cello.
Notes adapted from Guide to Chamber Music by Melvin Berger.
Time, date, and program subject to change.