On April 22-23, Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble will present two performances of the fifth concert of its Tenth Anniversary Season, “Bright Tales.” The program features virtuoso works by the Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály, the German composer Carl Maria von Weber, and the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
These concerts will be performed on Monday evening, April 22, at 7:30 pm at All Souls' Episcopal Church, 6400 N. Pennsylvania Avenue at 63rd Street in northwest OKC and on Tuesday evening, April 23, at 7:30 pm at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, 127 N.W. Street at N. Robinson downtown.
The works on the program are: (1) Zoltán Kodály’s Duo for Violin and Cello, op. 8; (2) Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Quintet in B-flat Major, op. 34 for two violins, viola, cello and clarinet; and (3) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet in D Minor, “Souvenir de Florence,” op. 70 for two violins, two violas and two cellos.
Zoltán Kodály, Duo for Violin and Cello, op. 7: had a compositional style that was what David Dubal called that of “a rhapsodic bard.” He composed his Duo for Violin and Cello in 1914 at the beginning of World War I, but it was not publicly performed until 1924. This three-movement duo, in the traditional fast-slow-fast pattern, has become one of the most important works in the repertoire for violin and cello.
Carl Maria von Weber, Clarinet Quintet in B-flat Major, op. 34 (for clarinet, two violins, viola and cello): “A good case can be made” that Weber (1786-1826) “was the first of the true Romantics.... To the Romantics, Weber was the one who unleashed the storm” [Harold Schonberg]. Weber was one of the greatest pianists and conductors of his era. He virtually invented the role of a conductor as the overall director of an opera. His compositions included virtuosic piano music, chamber music and songs, all of which were enormously popular in the 19th Century. Weber had a huge impact on Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Liszt and Wagner. He was a man of many talents as a writer, painter, lithographer and guitarist. He died at age 39 of tuberculosis, while in London to conduct the premiere of an opera he had written for an English libretto. Weber was an “aristocratic, intelligent, forceful man: an authentic genius whose greatest tragedy was that he was born about thirty years ahead of his time” [Schonberg]. He wrote his clarinet quintet in 1815, inspired by the virtuosity of clarinetist Heinrich Baermann. (Brightmusic performed Baermann’s own clarinet quintet at its “Musical Legacies” concert in January 2010.) Weber’s quintet has been described by critics as “superb,” “sparkling,” “charismatic” and “technically demanding.”
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, String Sextet in D Minor, “Souvenir de Florence,” op. 70 (for two violins, two violas and two cellos): Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) is probably the most popular, if not the greatest, Russian composer. On commission from the St. Petersburg Chamber Music Society, he wrote “Souvenir de Florence,” a city he had visited happily many times. Having missed his deadline for the 1889-l890 season, the work was not premiered until November 1892.
Admission is $10 per adult; students and Season Members are free of charge.