Performing this Week

Michael Rusinek
Michael Rusinek

Nancy Goeres
Nancy Goeres

Marc Neikrug
Marc Neikrug

Benny Kim
Benny Kim

Lynn Harrell
Lynn Harrell

Yuja Wang
Yuja Wang

WFMT Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Summer 2011 — Program 1 — April 2, 2011

The 2011 season of radio broadcasts from the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival begins with two rather different piano trios performed by some rather wonderful instrumentalists.

The first is a delicious confection. Clarinetist Michael Rusinek and bassoonist Nancy Goeres joined forces with pianist and festival artistic director Marc Neikrug to perform Mendelssohn's pleasing Concert Piece for Clarinet, Bassoon & Piano No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 113. Mendelssohn whimsically gave this piece the saporific nickname, 'The Battle of Prague: a Great Duet for Noodles and Cream Pastry' when he wrote it for his friends, the father-and-son clarinet virtuosi, Heinrich and Carl Baermann. The story goes that Carl employed a bit of culinary bribery to persuade the then-23-year-old Mendelssohn to fulfill a long-awaited commission. And so it was in Berlin in December of 1832 that Carl prepared yeast dumplings and cream puffs while Mendelssohn composed the music.

The other piece featured on this program is one of the biggest and best known works in the chamber repertoire. Cellist Lynn Harrell, violinist Benny Kim, and pianist Yuja Wang played Beethoven's massive Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97, the one dedicated to Beethoven's friend and patron, the Archduke Rudolph.

I hope you enjoy perusing this week's web offerings. You'll find clips from the radio broadcast, and other things found en route to researching and creating the program.

Thanks for stopping by,
Louise Frank
Series Producer

Felix Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn


Concert Piece for Clarinet, Bassoon & Piano No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 113 (1832)

  • Michael Rusinek, clarinet
  • Nancy Goeres, bassoon
  • Marc Neikrug, piano

Mendelssohn was good friends with the skilled German clarinetist Heinrich Joseph Baermann and his son Carl Baermann, a fine clarinetist in his own right. It was a friendship built not only from shared musical interests and compatible personalities but also from the Baermanns' masterful skill as dumpling chefs—Mendelssohn could never resist a well-made dumpling! Around Christmas 1832, the Baermanns were in Berlin (then Mendelssohn's home) for a series of performances, and Mendelssohn invited them over for an evening of dumplings. The Baermanns insisted on remuneration in the form of a piece of music for father and son to play together; thus Mendelssohn's Concert Piece No. 1 in F major for clarinet, basset horn, and piano, Op. 113.




Marc describes how he worked with the two other trio members, Michael Rusinek and Nancy Goeres, the wind-playing power couple.


Nancy Goeres and Michael Rusinek are both principals in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; she plays the bassoon, and he's a clarinetist. In this clip they describe why they love to pay chamber music.


A little more from Nancy Goeres on why chamber music is an important part of her musical life.

Carl Traugott Riedel painted Beethoven's portrait in 1801

Carl Traugott Riedel painted Beethoven's portrait in 1801


Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97, "Archduke" (1811)

  • Benny Kim, violin
  • Lynn Harrell, cello
  • Yuja Wang, piano
From Beethoven's manuscript of the 'Archduke' Trio.

From Beethoven's manuscript of the "Archduke" Trio.


Kerry and Marc talk about the Archduke to whom Beethoven dedicated so many great pieces and why he was so important to Beethoven.


More from Marc and Kerry, and here they agre that the Archduke Trio may be one of the most expansives piano trios ever written.


You can find Lynn Harrell's performance of the Archduke Trio, the one he made with violinist Itzhak Perlman and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, here:

Beethoven Piano Trio in B flat, op.97 'Archduke' - 03 III. Andante cantabile op.97 (1/2)

Beethoven Piano Trio in B flat, op.97 'Archduke' - 03 III. Andante cantabile op.97 Itzhak Perlman, violin; Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano; Lynn Harrell, cello

Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Trio No. 7 Op. 97 "Erzherzog Trio," part 1 Allegro moderato

Ludwig van Beethoven's "Archduke Trio" for for piano, violin, and violoncello, Part 1 Allegro moderato performed by the "Million Dollar Trio" Artur Rubinstein, Jascha Heifetz and Emanuel Feuermann, 1941

Archduke Rudolf

Archduke Rudolf, the youngest son of Emperor Leopold II, began studying piano and composition with Beethoven in 1803 or 1804. They became friends, and their meetings continued until 1824. Beethoven dedicated 14 compositions to Rudolf, including the Archduke Trio (1811) and his great Missa Solemnis (1823). The letters Beethoven wrote to Rudolf are currently held at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. (Thanks, Chicago Chamber Musicians!)

Archduke Rudolph, Beethoven's Patron, Pupil and Friend: His Life and Music by Susan Kagan

Susan Kagan wrote a book entitled "Archduke Rudolph, Beethoven's Patron, Pupil and Friend: His Life and Music" which you can find on

Links to more about the artists heard on this program: