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LANGUAGE

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LANGUAGE

PROGRAM

R.Schumann /Piano Quartet in E♭-major, Op.47
  • 1Ⅰ Sostenuto assai-Allegro ma non toroppo
  • 2Ⅱ Scherzo Molto vivace
  • 3Ⅲ Scherzo : Andante cantabile
  • 4Ⅳ Rondo : Finale. Vivace
COMMENTARY

In 1840 Robert Schumann, who had until then written mostly piano music, composed 140 songs in a single year. The following year he concentrated on symphonic music,
producing two symphonies, the “Overture, Scherzo and Finale” op. 52, and part of a piano concerto. Then in 1842 he suddenly plunged himself into the creation of chamber music. In the space of less than a year he completed the three string quartets op. 41, the Piano Quintet op. 44, the Fantasiestücke op. 88 for piano trio, and the Piano Quartet op.47 recorded in this CD. The Piano Quartet was begun on October 24, 1842, a few days after Schumann had finished Piano Quintet, and was completed by November 26. It had its first public performance in Leipzig on December 8, 1844 with Clara Schumann
playing the piano, and was published the following year.

The Piano Quartet, though not as often performed as the Piano Quintet, is a work of genius demonstrating Schumann’s mastery of the elements of classical chamber music.
From Beethoven’s compositions he had learned how to develop musical motifs; in Schubert’s music he had discovered how long melodies could be integrated into chamber music; and from the study of the works of Bach he had acquired the ability to handle contrapuntal material. The first movement of the Piano Quartet (Sostenuto assai—Allegro ma non troppo) features a slow introduction, reintroduced later in the movement, foreshadowing the main theme of the piece. The Scherzo (Molto vivace) contains two contrasting Trio sections, and in its delicacy and speed recalls similar pieces by Mendelssohn. The slow movement (Andante cantabile) is dominated by a melody first stated by the cello. Towards the close of the movement the cellist plays a long drone, above which the other players suggest in slow motion the opening motif of the finale. The Finale (Vivace) is highly contrapuntal, but seems to draw its inspiration more from the fugues of Beethoven rather than those of Bach.

Gerald Groemer (University of Yamanashi)

J.Brahms / Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor, Op.25
  • 5Ⅰ Allegro
  • 6Ⅱ Intermezzo : Allegro ma non troppo – Trio : Animato
  • 7Ⅲ Andante con moto
  • 8Ⅳ Rondo alla Zingarese : Presto
COMMENTARY

Johannes Brahms’s Piano Quartet in G minor op. 25 was drafted between 1856 and 1859 and completed in Hamburg in 1861, when the composer was twenty-eight years old. It was premiered in November of the same year, once more with Clara Schumann playing the piano. A year later it was repeated in Vienna and constituted Brahms’s Viennese debut as a pianist.

The piece begins with a dark and expansive Allegro, one of the largest sonata-form movements Brahms had composed up to this time. The second movement, an “Intermezzo” (Allegro ma non troppo) is a delicate scherzo in a moderate tempo. It stands as the first example of a style to which the composer would return many times in the following decades. The third movement (Andante con moto) begins as a lyrical song in E-flat major, but then moves to a march-like mood in C major. The finale, a fiery “Rondo all Zingarese” (Presto), was no doubt inspired by antecedents such as the last movement of Haydn’s popular Piano Trio in G major, Schubert’s “Divertissement à la hongroise” (D. 818), or Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies. More directly Brahms was probably motivated by his Hungarian violinist friends Eduard Reményi and Joseph Joachim. In fact, in 1861 Joachim had published a Violin Concerto “in the Hungarian manner,” dedicated to Brahms. In its breakneck speed, its emotional extremes, and its virtuosic demands (including a cadenza for the piano) Brahms’s finale, however, went further than any of its chamber-music predecessors. The excitement generated by this movement has contributed much to the popularity of the quartet as a whole.

Gerald Groemer (University of Yamanashi)

INSTRUMENTS

  • Violin( YU IIDA 2013 )
  • Viola( YU IIDA 2014 )
  • Violoncello( YU IIDA 2017 )
  • Piano( Bösendorfer )