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Music for Peace: Brahms Birthday Concert
Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church
Cambridge, MA
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Music for Peace: Brahms Birthday Concert
Benefits Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund; part of the Music for Peace Series.

The audience is invited to join the musicians and Peace Action board members after the concert.

Victor Rosenbaum, piano

Victor Rosenbaum was chair of the New England Conservatory piano department for more than ten years and director of the Longy School of Music for 15 years. He has performed widely as soloist and chamber music performer in the United States, Europe, Asia, Israel, and Russia, in such prestigious halls as Alice Tully Hall in New York and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has collaborated with such artists as Leonard Rose, Arnold Steinhardt, Robert Mann, and the Cleveland and Brentano String Quartets, among others. Festival appearances have included Tanglewood, Rockport, Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall, Kfar Blum (Israel) and Musicorda, where he is on the faculty. He has been soloist with the Indianapolis and Atlanta symphonies and the Boston Pops. An accomplished composer and conductor, Rosenbaum gives master classes and lectures on pedagogy issues and interpretive analysis worldwide. His highly praised recording of Schubert is on Bridge Records.  Rosenbaum is Music Director of the Music for Peace Concert Series.

The Clarinet Trio is the first of four chamber works inspired by the principal clarinetist of the Meiningen Court Orchestra, Richard Mühlfeld. Brahms had been aware of Mühlfeld's artistry since the 1880s, for the Meiningen Orchestra had played his Second Piano Concerto and premiered his Fourth Symphony. It was in 1891, however, that Brahms, while on a week-long stay at the Meiningen court in March, asked Mühlfeld to perform privately for him. Apparently Brahms was impressed, and in November he returned to Meiningen with two new works in handthe Trio for clarinet, cello and piano, Op. 114, and the Quintet for clarinet and strings, Op. 115.

The Trio is a typical example of the restrained and concentrated style of Brahms' later works. It is in the typical four-movement form, and offers nothing remarkable or unusual except in its polished workmanship and Romantic warmth. There is no question that this work, as with the later sonatas for clarinet, was written with that instrument in mindthe alternative of the viola was added by the first publisher. Regardless, the clarinet plays almost a subordinate role to the cello, weaving contrapuntal inner parts as often as it takes the main melodic material.

Of Brahms' three known piano trios, plus one other which is attributed to him, the Piano Trio in c minor is by far the shortest and most compact work. By the summer of 1886, Brahms had finished and seen to the premiere of the last of his four symphonies, and he would not produce another large-scale orchestral work. During an extended stay at Thun, Switzerland, Brahms perhaps turned inward and was beginning to distill his musical thoughts down to purer forms. Always expansive, Brahms had been known for employing large four-movement structures in his piano concertos and trios. Although still a four-movement work containing a three-minute presto as second movement, the C minor trio is terse. And even though it has much to say, it is, by Brahmsian standards, positively taut and pithy. From the opening, the first movement in particular is a no-nonsense statement in short phrases and simple rhythmic patterns. Opening with a sort of "sit down and shut up" statement, the work is intense and even quickly hurls pizzicato notes from the strings to quell any last-second bustlings. The movement flows without becoming fulsome, and ends dramatically. The brief presto non assai is positively delicatea term not generally applied to the music of Brahms. A third-movement andante is nearly as brief but more lyrical in tone and texture. The finale begins insistently and marches through a series of short riffs before pushing to an aggressive finish. While the work is powerful and even muscular, it does not give the impression, as do the earlier trios, of a symphony masquerading as a chamber work.    All Music Guide


Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church
1555 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States


Music > Classical

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!



Rhythmie W.
Boston, MA United States
May 09, 2014 8:51 PM
Carol H.
Cambridge, MA United States
May 09, 2014 4:29 PM
Roz O.
Cambridge, MA United States
May 09, 2014 4:29 PM
Name Withheld
Lincoln, MA United States
May 09, 2014 12:42 PM
Name Withheld
Lincoln, MA United States
May 09, 2014 12:42 PM
Name Withheld
Lincoln, MA United States
May 09, 2014 12:42 PM

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