Piano Quartet in A minor Op. 67
Tessa Lark, violin, Dimitri Murrath, viola, Edward Arron, cello, David Fung, piano
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581
Dover Quartet, Romie de Guise-Langlois, clarinet
Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 67
Jeewon Park, piano, Edward Arron, cello, Axel Strauss, violin
IBERIAN COMPOSER JOAQUÍN TURINA was born and raised in Seville. His father Joaquín was a noted painter of Andalusian genre scenes, and most probably he influenced his musical son to think descriptively as he composed. After abandoning early medical studies, the younger Turina moved to Madrid, where he met Manuel de Falla and with him resolved to create musical portraits of Spanish life. Like Falla, Turina spent nine formative years in Paris, where he enrolled at the Schola Cantorum and studied with French romanticist Vincent d’Indy, a close follower of César Franck. After his return to Spain, Turina achieved popular success with works based on traditional Sevillian and Andalusian themes. Despite difficulties during the Spanish Civil War, when his family fell out of favor with the Republicans, Turina pursued an honored career as Professor of Composition at the Madrid Conservatory. His collected works number over one hundred symphonic, chamber, vocal, and piano compositions.
MOZART CALLED HIS K. 581 Clarinet Quintet (1789) the “Stadler Quintet” in honor of his virtuoso clarinetist friend, Anton Stadler. A careless spender who kept a mistress, Stadler was not regarded as one of Vienna’s finer citizens, but he was respected as one of its finest musicians. He contributed to the development of the clarinet by promoting extensions of its lower register, and he enhanced its repertoire through his collaborations with Mozart, who also wrote his clarinet concerto for him. Aside from their musical association, Mozart thoroughly enjoyed his company, despite Stadler’s occasionally outrageous exploitation of his generosity.
SHOSTAKOVICH WROTE HIS second piano trio in 1944 as a tribute to his recently deceased friend, the musicologist Ivan Sollertinsky. Earlier that year, Sollertinsky, although a young man, had died of a heart attack incurred while evacuating the war zone in Leningrad. Shostakovich described his jovial and eccentric friend: “He was a brilliant scholar who spoke dozens of languages and kept his diary in ancient Portuguese to keep it safe from prying eyes. He found great pleasure in a merry and liberated life, even though he worked very hard. Sadly, people will probably only remember that his tie was askew and that a new suit on him looked old in five minutes.”