Join us on Saturday March 30th at 8pm for our final classical concert of the season! The Three Bs🎶 Check out our page for more insights on each of the pieces you'll hear that night and don't miss your chance to hear Evgeny Zvonnikov, Vesselin Todorov, Annamarie Reader, and David Palmer perform the Brahms Piano Quartet No.3
"We conclude the season on a rather dark note with Brahms’s Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60. This piece is occasionally subtitled “Werther”, an extra musical connection that Brahms was unusually candid about, directly referencing Goethe’s suicidal romantic hero of unrequited love. The temptation to connect this reference to Brahms personal life is strong. When he first started work on the quartet in 1855, he was living with Clara Schumann, helping her out after her husband, Robert Schumann, was institutionalized following a suicide attempt and after she had recently given birth to her seventh child and continued to tour as a concert pianist. Needless to say, this was not an easy time for any of these three people.
While Brahms did not complete the piece until about twenty years later (in 1874, while on vacation in Switzerland staying near Lake Zurich), the connection to Werther and his suicide stuck with the piece until its completion. Brahms wrote to his publisher, “On the cover you must have a picture, namely a head with a pistol to it. Now you can form some conception of the music!” This was not insignificant since Brahms was a long-time advocate of absolute music, music that stood on its own without any extra musical references or meaning. Clearly he did not mind abandoning that frame of mind at least when it came to publishing this Piano Quartet." - Dr. Kimberley Hieb, CMA 18-19 program notes
Check back for more insights on each of the pieces you'll hear on our next concert and don't miss your chance to hear Houston Cellist, Annamarie Reader and CMA's own David Palmer perform Beethoven's 3rd sonata for piano and cello.
Join us on Saturday March 30th at 8pm for our final classical concert of the season! The Three Bs🎶
"The sonata gets off to a quirky beginning (Allegro ma non tanto), opening with a soft cello melody that sounds improvisational and is gradually joined by the piano before the two instruments each perform mini cadenzas. Beethoven creates a symphonic texture in this sonata by layering thick harmonies in dense webs throughout the movement, which is a sonata form with a rugged development and an expansive recapitulation. The second movement Scherzo is characterized by syncopation, as the two instruments dance in opposite yet perpetual motion. The trio section is more relaxed with double stops in the cello over sustained pitches in the piano. The third movement, Adagio cantabile, hardly qualifies as a movement in its own right. Its 18 measures essentially serve as an interlude, occupied by bustling, yet steady eighth notes in the piano. The sonata ends with a sonata form movement (Allegro vivace) with a wild development and a conclusion that foreshadows the triumphant closing of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7" - Dr. Kimberley Hieb, CMA 18-19 program notes
Join us on Saturday March 30th at 8pm for our final classical concert of the season! The Three Bs🎶 Check back for more insights on each of the pieces you'll hear that night and don't miss your chance to hear Houston Cellist, Annamarie Reader perform the Bach Cello Suite No. 1
CMA’s 2018–2019 season concludes with a concert of canonical rock stars: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), Ludwig Beethoven (1770–1827), and Johannes Brahms (1833–1897).
"Bach did not play the cello, but his writing for the instrument is idiomatic and makes full use of the cello’s range, especially its lower register. Each of the six suites is also intensely challenging and virtuosic. Bach composed them for one of two cello virtuosos in the Cöthen orchestra, either Christian Ferdinand Abel or Christian Bernhard Linigke, and they remained unpublished in manuscript until 1828, more than one hundred years after they were first performed. Per common practice in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century musical manuscripts, the surviving sources of Bach’s Cello Suites lack many of the notations often included in later scores such as markings indicating phrasing, dynamics, or bowings. As a result, when a performer approaches a Bach Suite, they have a lot of free rein to make the piece their own. " - Dr. Kimberley Hieb, CMA 18-19 program notes
CBS This Morning Sheku Kanneh-Mason became an instant sensation after his mesmerizing cello performance at the royal wedding in May. He joined us in the Toyota Green Room to perform Bach's Cello Suite No.1. ... See MoreSee Less