Chamber Music by Candlelight

February 12, 2017 7:30pm

Chamber Music by Candlelight


Flute Quartet in D Major, K. 285
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756—1791)
Marcia Kämper, flute; Kevin Smith, violin; Lisa Steltenpohl, viola; Dariusz Skoraczewski, cello 
Horn Sonata
Paul Hindemith (1895—1963)
Philip Munds, horn; Mary Woehr, piano
After Hölderlin’s “Hälfte des Lebens” for Viola and Cello
Michael Hersch (b. 1971)
Peter Minkler, viola; Kristin Ostling, cello
Trio No. 2 for Oboe, Horn and Piano
Hugo Kauder (1888—1972)
Turbine: Michael Lisicky, oboe; Philip Munds, horn; Mary Woehr, piano
String Quartet, No. 4, Op. 22
Paul Hindemith (1895—1963)
Clipper Mill String Quartet: Ivan Stefanovic, violin; Kevin Smith, violin; Karin Brown, viola; Daniel Levitov, cello

This concert will end at approximately 9:05PM.

Program Notes 

Hersch's After Hölderlin's “Hälfte des Lebens” (Half of Life), for Viola and Cello was first performed at a September 11th memorial concert at the Pantheon in Rome in December 2001. The work captures the essence of one of Friedrich Hölderlin's (1770—1843) archetypically crushing poems: a description of a lovely summertime lakeside scene that without warning is intruded upon by the poet's tormented thoughts of walls that "stand speechless and cold/in the wind/the flagpoles jangle." The literary juxtaposition of pastoral serenity and impending doom is an apt companion to the music, as Hersch has created a piece that does not so much portend as it is solely about portent. The strings are ominous, disturbing, and there is never any sense of narrative resolution, no crescendo of release. The listener is fully in a place of tension, where they remain.

Born in Hanau, Germany, Paul Hindemith studied the violin as a child. As a student, he supported himself by playing in dance bands, musical comedy groups, the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra, and the Rebner String Quartet. During Hindemith's 1917 conscription into the German army, he played bass drum in the regiment band and also formed a string quartet. In 1918, he was deployed to the front, where he served as a sentry; his diary shows him "surviving grenade attacks only by good luck." After the armistice he returned to Frankfurt and the Rebner Quartet.