“Quintet”sential Brahms and Mendelssohn
Two supreme works from the Romantic era, a golden age of chamber music, make up the finale to Electric Earth Concerts’ June in Jaffrey series, on Sunday June 29 at 4pm, in the resonant Grand View Barn in Jaffrey.
Johannes Brahms’ Quintet in F, Op 111, written at the peak of his maturity and one of his final pieces, will be paired with the youthful Quintet Op. 18 of Felix Mendelssohn. Each work exemplifies perfectly the strengths of these two composers: Mendelssohn’s uncanny ability at the age of 19 to write music so exuberant and so perfect that one must get up and dance, in contrast to the aging Brahms, steeped in poetic nostalgia and in absolute command of the grand tradition he so revered. Heard together they are a powerful musical experience.
The tradition of writing for string quintet began with Mozart, who wrote the first, and some of the best works for this combination. Composers ever since have embraced the extra viola, expanding on the standard string quartet to great effect, often responding to the ensemble’s darker color and richer textures to create some of their own best work. A concert for this combination is always an interesting occasion!
Performers include some of the best chamber musicians on the East Coast: violinist Adela Pena, formerly of the renowned Eroica Trio & violinist Owen Dalby ("dazzling", The New York Times); violists Stephanie Fong, (Simrock Quartet, Boston) & Jonathan Bagg, EEC’s Artistic Director; and cellist Gregory Hesselink (Apple Hill and New York City).
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