Performing this Week
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,
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.
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.
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97, "Archduke" (1811)
- Benny Kim, violin
- Lynn Harrell, cello
- Yuja Wang, piano
You can find Lynn Harrell's performance of the Archduke Trio, the one he made with violinist Itzhak Perlman and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, here: http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=87314.
Links to more about the artists heard on this program: