Chamber Music III

Sunday, May 13, 2018 • 6:00 p.m.
Resonance at SOMA Towers (288 106th Avenue NE, Suite 203, Bellevue)


Wolfgang Amadè Mozart (1756–1791)
Violin Sonata in G major, K. 301

Enrique Crespo (*1941)
Bruckner Etude

André Previn (*1929)
Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon


Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953)
Sonata for Two Violins in C major, Op. 56

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
String Trio in D major, Op. 9, No. 2

About the Concert

Grant Hanner and Alexander Hawker perform sonatas by Mozart and Prokofiev —&8202;and (joined by cellist Roberta Rominger) a Beethoven trio. The Orchestra Seattle trombone section plays an homage to Bruckner by Uruguayan-born trombonist Enrique Crespo. And pianist Jason Suchan joins oboist Yuh-Pey Lin and bassoonist Jeff Eldridge for a trio —&8202;alternately jazzy and melancholy —&8202;by André Previn.

Tune in to Classical KING-FM at 8:00 p.m. Monday for a preview of the Crespo, 8:15 p.m. Tuesday to hear the Mozart, and 8:40 p.m. Thursday for the Prokofiev.

Ticket price ($25) includes one drink from the bar. Only 100 seats available: purchase advance tickets.


Program Notes

Wolfgang Amadè Mozart
Violin Sonata in G major, K. 301

Joannes Chrisostomus Wolfgang Gottlieb Mozart was born (to Anna Maria Walburga Mozart, née Pertl) in Salzburg on January 27, 1756, and died in Vienna on December 5, 1791. He composed this sonata in Mannheim during March 1778.

During a 1777–1778 tour of Europe accompanied by his mother, Mozart wrote to his father from Munich: “I send my sister herewith six duets for clavicembalo and violin by [Dresden Kapellmeister Joseph] Schuster, which I have often played here. They are not bad. If I stay on I shall write six myself in the same style.” He would begin the set of six duets in Mannheim and compose the final two in Paris, where the collection was published as Mozart’s “Op. 1” (but now known as K. 301–306) in November 1778. The first two may have originally been conceived for flute rather than violin.

Each of the six sonatas consists of two movements, the first an Allegro and the second in a dance form. They may more properly be described as duets, with the keyboard asserting equal prominence with the violin, as opposed to music for a solo instrument with keyboard accompaniment.

Enrique Crespo
Bruckner Etüde für das tiefe Blech

Born in 1941 in Montevideo, Uruguay, Enrique Crespo composed this work in 1996.

Crespo studied architecture and music in Buenos Aires before moving to Berlin in 1967 to study trombone performance and composition. He served as principal trombonist of the Bamberg Symphony and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony, and in 1974 founded the ensemble German Brass.

Modeled after the choral motets of Austrian composer Anton Bruckner (1824–1896), Crespo’s Bruckner Etude came into being as a work for six trombones. He later adapted the piece for various other combinations of low-brass instruments, including trombone quartet (as heard this evening).

André Previn
Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon

Previn was born (to Charlotte Priwin, née Epstein) April 6, 1930, in Berlin. He composed this trio in 1994 on a commission from the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, and played piano in the world premiere on January 31, 1996, at New York’s Alice Tully Hall.

Previn’s family emigrated to Los Angeles in 1939 to escape Nazi Germany. While still in high school, he began working for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a pianist, arranger and orchestrator, writing his first credited film score in 1948 and later winning four Oscars. He made a number of successful jazz recordings, became one of the world’s most renowned conductors, and has written numerous works for the concert stage.

Reviewing the first performance of this trio for piano, oboe and bassoon in The New York Times, Alex Ross remarked upon “its uninhibited freedom of movement,” its nods to “the Poulenc trio from which it borrows its instrumentation,” and Previn’s “resourceful use of certain quick- silver modulations favored by Richard Strauss. Alongside classical models comes a healthy quotient of jazz rhythms and broad tunes carrying a Broadway stamp. Mr. Previn accomplishes his transitions with greater ease and less pretentiousness than many younger American eclectics now working the same terrain.”

Sergei Prokofiev
Sonata for Two Violins in C major, Op. 56

Prokofiev was born (to Maria Grigoryevna Prokofiev, neé Zhitkova) in Sontsovka (Ukraine) on April 23, 1891, and died in Moscow on March 5, 1953. He composed this work during the summer of 1932, at Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera; the sonata had its premiere (by two violinists from the Beethoven Quartet) in Moscow during November of that year.

“Sometimes hearing bad compositions gives birth to good ideas,” wrote Sergei Prokofiev. “‘That’s not the way to do it,’ one tells oneself, ‘it should be done this way.’ That is how I happened to write my sonata for two violins. After once hearing an unsuccessful piece for two violins without piano accompaniment, it struck me that in spite of the apparent limitations of such a duet, one could make it interesting enough to listen to for 10 or 15 minutes without tiring.”

Ludwig van Beethoven
String Trio in D major, Op. 9, No. 2

Beethoven was born (to Maria Magdalena van Beethoven, née Keverich) December 17, 1770, in Bonn, and died March 26, 1827, in Vienna. He composed the three string trios that constitute his Op. 9 during 1797 and 1798.

Beethoven dedicated his Op. 9 to his patron Count Johann Georg von Browne-Camus, writing in the manuscript: “au premier Mécène de sa Muse, la meilleure de ses œuvres.” Indeed, these trios — the last works he would write for this combination — are substantially more serious than his earlier two compositions for violin, viola and cello.

As Steven Ledbetter observes: “All three of the [Op. 9] trios, with a four-movement structure that was unusual for the time, can be seen as Beethoven’s attempt to learn about large-scale symphonic structure on the model of Haydn’s latest symphonies without actually exposing himself to a direct comparison with his sometime master. Seen in this light, the D-major trio represents the forerunner of [Beethoven’s] more lyrical symphonies.”