Making Plans For Concerts In 2020

We just started getting notices about the grants  that we applied for for supporting our concerts for  2020… We haven’t heard from all of them yet… and usually the rejections get sent out first, so  hopefully  by not having heard yet  that means we’ll get most of them.   The first town to tell us we got our grant was Watertown MA..   We still hope to do some septets again  for some of our concerts , but in Watertown one of the pieces we hope to play there is the Mendlessohn Octet..   yes .  for four violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos.  it is a wonderful piece that Mendlessohn composed when he was  only 16 . years old in 1825.

Another nice piece for that combination that we may include in that program are Ludwig Spohr’s double quartet  opus 65 for  the same instrumentation in the Mendlessohn octet.  Spohr compsed this in 1823, at the age of 39,  2 years before Mendlessohn composed his octet, but Spohr didn’t publish his double quartet until 1825  at the same time  as Mendlessohn published his octet.  That was an exciting year for octets.

There is a . wonderful Octet by George Enesco opus 7 written  when he was 19 years old  in 1900. Now George Enesco’s music is quite a contrast to the Mendelssohn and Spohr for it was composed  75 years  later than the Mendlessohn octet and Enesco was from Romania, quite a different place than Germany as one can tell from the music.  Enesco’s  octet opus 7 is also quite a remarkable piece.

Niels Wilhelm Gade  also composed a nice octet opus 17 in 1849  shortly after Mendlessohn’s death.  Even though Gade was Danish and not German and he was twice the age  that  Mendlessohn had been when  he wrote his octet, this octet Gade composed  at the age of  32  does have many similarities to the Mendlessohn octet . It  is also quite charming.   It was out of print for many years. but  in the last few decades it is among several great pieces brought back to life.

Now  a few months ago in September 2019,  and  in 2018 we performed the  wonderful septet by . Adolphe Blanc  both years in several concerts.   In 2018 we also performed it with the Beethoven Septet opus 20, and in 2019 we played   the Blanc septet with the  one by Franz Berwald.  Those pieces were for the great combination of   violin/viola/cello/bass/clarinet/frenchhorn/bassoon.     We hope to perform some more septets this year too for that same combination possibly including  one by Conradin Kreutzer (1780-1849) opus 62, a septet in F  by Carl Amand Mangold(1813-1889),  and if we can find the music possibly quitea charming one by Erzherzog Rudolph von Osterreich  in E minor written in 1830  at the age of 42 one year before he died. He lived quite a royal life in Austria but managed to compose some wonderful pieces including this septet.







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