Special to The Times
The Walden Chamber Music Society will present its first concert of the season Sunday, Dec. 1., by welcoming back violinist Mark Rush, violist Matt Diekman, cellist Zack Reaves and pianist Jo Boatright.
The following program information is excerpted from Walden’s annotator, musicologist Dr. Laurie Schulman.
The concert opens with Duo in G Major for Violin and Viola, K.423 by Wolfgang Amade’ Mozart (1756-1791). Mozart wrote this duo while in Salzburg.
He had found out that his close friend Michael Haydn (younger brother of Franz Joseph) had fallen ill and could not fulfill his responsibilities to the Archbishop for a set of six violin and viola duos.
Haydn had completed four, but was too ill to continue. Mozart quickly took prompt advantage of the opportunity to help his friend. Two days later, he returned with two freshly composed duos in fair copy.
They just needed Michael Haydn’s signature to satisfy the impatient Archbishop.
Musicologist H.C. Robbins Landon has singled out the popular tunes in the last movement of K.423 as an example of Mozart emulating Michael Haydn. Mozart’s own command of both string instruments and his preference for the viola when playing chamber music certainly inform the graceful writing in this duo.
Broadly speaking, Ginastera’s music is dependent upon the piano, and is characterized by rhythmic brilliance. He composed 3 Pampeanas; all relatively early pieces. The title Pampeanas derives from the Argentinian pampa, the endless South African prairie.
Ginastera was fascinated with the folklore of the gauchos, the traditional cowboy of this Argentinian plain. The first Pampeana (1947) is a Rhapsody for violin and piano; the second is a rhapsody for cello and piano. Both works have what Ginestera called a “subjective Argentinian character.”
Rather than quoting literally from Argentinian folk themes, Ginastera evokes the atmosphere of the land.
For the second half of the program, we present the Piano Quartet in B minor, Op. 3 by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847).
If one needed persuading that Felix Mendelssohn was a child prodigy of awe-inspiring genius, this piano quartet surely presents a powerful argument supporting that assessment. By 1824, when the 15-year-old Felix began work on his Op. 3 quartet, he was already an experienced composer.
The B minor quartet is undisputedly the finest of his 3 quartets. Lovers of Mendelssohn will recognize many signature traits: fluid and virtuosic piano writing; a profligacy of melodies; and an elegant balance between the four instruments.
The finale is noteworthy for its contrapuntal passages and some touches of humor that do not compromise the power of this astonishing quartet.
Prior to the concert, Ms. Boatright will give a thirty minute informance beginning at 2 p.m., during which she will explain and demonstrate the music to be performed.
Tickets are $18/adult and are available on line at www.waldenchambermusic.org, at the SteamPlant Theater box office, and at the door.
This concert is graciously underwritten by High Country Bank (Scott Erchul) and Our Town Medical (Dr Eric Gibb).