Aliento Chamber Players - Concert Schedule
Aliento Chamber Players

Sunday, June 13, 2021, 3:00pm Aliento Chamber Players @ Concerts By The Bridge

Johannes Brahms

Sextet Opus 18 in Bb Major
  1. Allegro ma non troppo
  2. Andante, ma moderato
  3. Scherzo. Allegro molto
  4. Rondo. Poco Allegretto e grazioso Allegro Moderato

Premiered in 1860, the first sextet Brahms wrote almost as a defiant gesture, as living in the shadow of Ludwig van Beethoven, he had already spent 5 years working on sketches for his first symphony, a work that the composer said took him 25 years to complete. The rich sonorities of added deeper instruments gave him a rich palette to work in, developing his fondness for reaching over the barlines for his meter and turning the listener around in a musical trompe l'oeil effect.

The composer at this point had a wonderful group of musicians he had worked with for some time, a group dedicated to the works of Schubert (as evidenced in the last Rondo movement) and with whom he had frequent discussions about the music as he was writing it. In fact, rather sadly Brahms sent Clara a manuscript of the first three movements, entreating her to ‘burn the trash’ in order not to have the bother of returning it. The thought of this well-loved work going into the flames as many of his other compositions had, makes this reader wonder what else we are missing from this giant.

Sextet Opus 36 in G Major

  1. Allegro non troppo (G major)
  2. Scherzo – Allegro non troppo – Presto giocoso
  3. Adagio
  4. Poco Allegro

Sextet Opus 36 was composed 5 years later in 1865. During this time, he had crossed over into his 30s and with this new maturity came an ease with contrapuntal technique and an ease of style that made the rich sonority of a string sextet glow with a new ease that suits this genre. Brahms had also fallen in love, and although they would never wed, Agathe von Siebold was captured forever in the first movement of this work.

Zoia Bologovsky, violin

Louise Kandle, violin

Karen McConomy, viola

Jan Heirtzler, viola

Dorothy Braker, cello

Nancy Hair, cello

"With the performance of pianist Mary Towse-Beck, the Aliento Chamber Players series at Christ Episcopal Church has become Exeter's answer to Carnegie Hall"

Lois Yopp
former faculty of music, Northwestern University

"Thanks so much for giving such an enjoyable performance. If Brahms had been in the audience, I’m sure he would have been pleased!"

Jackie Linder

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