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FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49 [Mendelssohn’s Op. 49] is the trio masterpiece of our time, as in their day were those of Beethoven Franz Schubert. . . The storm of recent years is gradually coming to an end and, we admit, has already cast up many pearls on the beach. Mendelssohn, although less tossed about by it than others, nevertheless also remains a child of this time, has also had to struggle, has often also had to hear some narrow-minded writers’ idle chatter that “the true flowering of music is

Robert Schumann’s 1840 review deserves our attention not because of its high praise for Mendelssohn’s first piano trio, but because of Schumann’s attempt at already contextualizing historically and stylistically a work just composed. Schumann seems to imply that Mendelssohn’s Op. 49 has solved important compositional issues. And indeed, Mendelssohn’s First Piano Trio figures prominently in his stylistic development. At issue was how the new lyricism, with its emphasis on melody and extra-musical expression, could be sustained and integrated into large-scale compositions in the tradition of Schubert and Beethoven. So what does all that mean? Simply put, with his First Piano Trio Mendelssohn helped usher in a Romantic style that expresses meaning on a purely musical level. It is up to you, the audience, to engage with the music and enjoy the unfolding narrative. In case of Op. 49, the journey takes us from struggle (first movement) through reflection (second) and exploration (third) to eventual redemption (end of last movement). - Siegwart Reichwald

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behind us,” and has raised himself so high that we may well say that he is the Mozart of the nineteenth century, the most brilliant of musicians, who saw most clearly through the contradictions of the time and was first to resolve them.

JULY 22

with her father deteriorated, and Clara suffered a miscarriage. Burdened with familial responsibilities and no time for concert tours, Clara created performance opportunities with the establishment of a chamber series and the founding of a piano trio. Inspired by their success and encouraged by her compositional studies alongside Robert, Clara decided to contribute her own trio. All of her frustrations found expression in her most ambitious and melancholic composition, creating one of the most individualistic and innovative chamber works of her generation. In order to express her disappointing Dresden experience defiantly, Clara built on Mendelssohn’s melodybased approach and explored the possibilities of melodic/ thematic integration among all four movements, forging a path Brahms would travel years later, most notably in his Third Symphony and Third String Quartet.

Profile for Brevard Music Center

2019 BMC Overture Magazine  

The seasonal publication for the annual Brevard Music Center Summer Festival. Overture includes all festival programming and program notes,...

2019 BMC Overture Magazine  

The seasonal publication for the annual Brevard Music Center Summer Festival. Overture includes all festival programming and program notes,...