Please note: all concerts in the main series are held at Memorial Hall and the repertoire is subject to change.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022 – 7:30PM
Allergo con Spirito
Tempo di Minuetto – Trio
Allegretto Smorfosio-Largo (Adagio)
Composers and Compositions
Alessandro Longo’s Suite for Clarinet and Piano, opus 62 was written in 1910. Longo was still composing within a classical style or format, but the music is imbued with passionate Romantic expression.
Suite for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 62
It is lyrical and virtuosic; the lovely Intermezzo has a melancholy tinge, and the finale, Allegro con Spirito, showcases a completely well-matched duo, flinging quick dialogue back and forth, tripping scale passages, and an infectious energy throughout.
String Trio in G Minor, Op. 14, No. 2
Italian Luigi Boccherini spent much of his life in Spain. He moved there at the age of 25, to work in the court of Charles III, and there the String Trios, opus 14, were penned. A prolific chamber music composer, Boccherini produced more than 100 quintets and quartets, more than 50 trios, and more than 50 chamber works in other forms, during his lifetime. Among this vast output, these 6 Trios, written in 1772 (and the Terzettini opus 47 from 1793), are his only works for the precise combination of Violin, Viola, and Cello. Boccherini had already begun to elevate the role of the cello in his compositions, from strict continuo, to being as important as the counterpoint between the upper instruments, and he gave beautifully elegant and melodic lines to the viola as well. His writing is so seamless that it sometimes sounds as if there are four players, not three.
Sonata No.6 in D Major
Gioacchino Rossini wrote his set of 6 String Sonatas when he was barely 12 years old, and years later, referred to them as ‘horrendous’ or ‘dreadful little Sonatas’… but they are nothing of the kind. Delightful, well-crafted, succinct, full of wit and elegance, melody and virtuosity, each of the six sonatas showcases the players and the ensemble in a slightly different way. These pieces are scored for two violins, a cello, and a double bass, differing from the traditional string quartet format. Rossini was staying at the home of a double bassist in Ravenna, when he wrote these Sonatas, which might explain the prominent part given to that instrument. They are considered his earliest compositions, and have been arranged for string orchestra, woodwind quartet, among other groupings. What you will hear tonight is the original version.
Piano Quintet in F Minor
Ottorino Respighi’s F minor Piano Quintet could have been inspired by Brahms’ F minor Quintet, or by the one from Cesar Franck, also in that key… different sources suggest either one. But inspiration aside, Respighi’s work is not derivative of either of those grand masters. The work is laid out in three movements of which the opening Allegro is almost three times longer than the following two. The piano is the dominant voice throughout, and the first movement is full of passionate energy, tempered by softer and more lyrical offerings from the strings. The Andantino is very short, only about two minutes, and is mournful, almost hymn-like. The last movement, Vivacissimo, is light, buoyant, the essence of what we think of as Italianate sunniness and agility.