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The Poetry in Life ~ Schumann, Adès, Brahms is an exploration of Schumann’s literary life that spilled wholeheartedly into his musical creative output in songs, solo piano music and chamber music; a look into the works of his prolific parallel, the contemporary British composer Thomas Adès, who was also born to a poet and for whom the intertwining of literature and music comes so naturally; and which closes with the musical poetry found in the mature and late years of Brahms, a younger German Romantic discovered at age 20 and hailed by Schumann himself as the ‘chosen one’.
Join us on our first evening, crafted around one of Schumann’s most well-loved song cycle Frauen-Liebe und Leben Op. 42 (Woman’s Love and Life), written in the year of his marriage to Clara Schumann - this single euphoric year that saw Schumann produce more than half of his total song output throughout his entire lifetime.
This contrasted with his last song cycle, Gedichte der Königin Maria Stuart Op. 135, where Schumann goes into the heart of Mary Stuart’s tragedy and presents the spiritual state of a woman under the looming shadow of death; will sandwich works by Thomas Adès derived from his opera “The Tempest”, based on Shakespeare’s final masterpiece, adapted spaciously to allow the creation of a magical world with huge emotional and musical range.
18 May 2018, 8pm
Schumann Fantasiestücke Op. 73 for clarinet and piano
Schumann Frauen-Liebe und Leben Op. 42
Adès Court Studies from "The Tempest" for clarinet, violin, cello and piano
Adès 2 Shakespeare Songs from "The Tempest” (from Purcell)
Schumann Gedichte der Königin Maria Stuart Op. 135
Schumann Piano Trio No. 2 in F major Op. 80
Join us on our second evening, as we venture into musical poetry found in the mature and late years of Brahms ~ his tragic c minor Piano Quartet which boasts, in its slow movement, one of the most glorious cello solo openings ever written; his 2 Songs for alto, viola and piano, written 20 years apart, for his close friend Joseph Joachim (incidentally, the artist who pushed for Brahms’ first meeting at age 20 with Schumann) and his wife; and closing with the patient and spacious Clarinet Quintet in b minor, Brahms’ last chamber music work, known for its perfect expression of melancholy and an autumnal glow.
19 May 2018, 8pm
Brahms Piano Quartet No. 3 in c minor Op. 60
Brahms Two Songs for alto, viola and piano Op. 91
Brahms Clarinet Quintet in b minor Op. 115
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