The elegance of Beethoven’s courtly wind Trio contrasts with the full-blown Romanticism of Brahms’s Third Piano Trio, while Peggy Glanville-Hicks offers snappy wit in her Concertino da Camera and Stuart Greenbaum meditates on human and environmental tragedy in his Easter Island.
Ludwig BEETHOVEN | Trio Op.87 (1794) for flute, clarinet & bassoon
Stuart GREENBAUM | Easter Island (2008)
Peggy GLANVILLE-HICKS | Concertino da Camera (1946)
Johannes BRAHMS | Piano Quartet no.3 in C minor Op.60 (1875)
Brahms’s third Piano Quartet had a long gestation, seeded in the mid-1850s when his emotional life was in turmoil. When it finally appeared in 1872, the composer drily likened the piece to the then-fashionable story of Goethe’s Romantic hero Werther, who kills himself for love.
Brahms was in many ways the heir to Beethoven, whose short Trio from his early years in Bonn recalls the elegant sound of courtly wind ensembles.
Australian composer Peggy Glanville- Hicks studied in London and Vienna, but her greatest mentor was teacher and composer Nadia Boulanger. Her popular Concertino da Camera for piano and winds was written in New York in the mid-1940s, but its crystalline wit and neoclassical forms inevitably call to mind Boulanger’s pre-war Paris.
Written for the Australia Ensemble UNSW in 2008, Melbourne-based Stuart Greenbaum’s Easter Island is a moving meditation on the tragedy of that Pacific nation, famed for its massive sculptures, and a timely reminder of the dangers of man-made environmental collapse.
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