String Quintet in G minor, K. 516 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Adagio, ma non troppo
String Quintet in G major, Opus 111 Johannes Brahms
- Allego non troppo, ma con brio
- Un poco Allegretto
- Vivace ma non troppo presto
Zoia Bologovsky, violin
Louise Kandle, violin
Karen McConomy, viola
Jan Heirtzler, viola
Dorothy Braker, cello
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Quite often, scholars point to the stages of grief to explain the K. 516 quintet in G minor,
finished in 1787 within days of his father's death. The first movement is an expression of the anguish of grief. "What takes place here,"
Einstein wrote in Mozart, His Character, His Work in 1962, "can be compared perhaps only with the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The chalice with its bitter potion must be emptied, and the disciples sleep." Moving through a menuetto-trio that is nothing other
than defiant, then to an adagio that has the meditative quality of a series of prayers of solitude, closing out in a quiet, muted
embrace, it seems as though the grief will never let up as the last movement begins again in the minor key and adagio tempo,
before finally making the welcome transition to G major and a rollicking 6/8 time, and the restatement of the opening theme in a lighter and more
optimistic transformation. However, as it moves to the ending, the chordal ambiguity, occasional
dissonance and restlessness continue right to the end.
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) At the request of Johannes Brahms' violinist Joseph Joachim, this quintet (1891) was written to be a
companion piece to the Opus 88 quintet. The Slavonic-Roma qualities of the piece are a good match to the earlier work, and the piece has
delicious autumnal maturity, but it is the explosive energy and symphonic breadth that starts the piece that brings it into the masterpiece
realm. The middle movements descend into a more dreamy and contemplative realm, finishing with a Hungarian dance of epic proportions.
Brought straight from his sketches for a fifth symphony, when he sent the second draft to his publisher, it was attached with a note:
"With this letter you can bid farewell to my music, because it is certainly time to leave off . . ." Thankfully, there was more to come,
but you can feel the farewell in this masterful work.
Bring your own blanket or chair(s)
(also please note: facilities are not available)
and enjoy a spatially-distant concert experience
"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"
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!"
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