Southern Cross Soloists

Friday, 6 October 2017 at 8pm

Tania Frazer (oboe), Alan Smith (violin), Emma Scholl (flute), Patrick Murphy (‘cello), Alex Raineri (piano), Ashley Smith (clarinet), Ysolt Clark (horn)

Tickets for this concert can be purchased in advance:

Programme

Mozart  -  Serenade in E-flat K375 (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, violin, cello, piano)

Bruch - Two movements from Eight Pieces op 83 ( clarinet, cello, piano)
             No 5. Rumänische Melodie: Andante
             No 4. Allegro agitato

Mendelssohn - Konzertstück No 2 in D minor, op 114
                         (oboe, clarinet, violin, cello, piano)

Interval

Mendelssohn - Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream incidental music, op 61
                         (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, violin, cello, piano)

Mendelssohn - Andante and Rondo Capriccioso  in E, op 14 ( flute, piano)

Mozart - Piano concerto no 23 in A,  K488
               (piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, violin, cello)                   

 

About the Artists

Formed in 1995, Southern Cross Soloists have become one of Australia’s most successful and admired chamber ensembles, As Ensemble in Residence  at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the group presents its own annual concert series. It also presents the annual Bangalow Music Festival featuring collaborations with virtuoso performers from Australia and abroad.

To read more about the Southern Cross Soloists, visit their website

Programme Notes

MOZART  -  Serenade in E-flat K375 (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, violin, 'cello, piano)

Allegro maestoso / Menuetto / Adagio/ Menuetto / Allegro

This Serenade was written by Mozart on 15 October 1781 for St Theresa’s day. It is one of a series of Mozart works of a style that spans between chamber music and a symphony.

In a letter to his father he describes its first performance: “At 11 o’clock at night I was serenaded by two clarinets, two horns, and two bassoons playing my own music: I had written it for St. Theresa’s Day for Frau von Hickel’s sister, or rather the sister-in-law of Herr von Hickel, the court painter, at whose house it was performed for the first time.  The six gentlemen who executed it are poor beggars who play together quite nicely all the same, especially the first clarinetist and the two horn players. But my chief reason for writing it was to let Herr von Strack, who goes there every day, hear something of my composition.  And so I composed it rather carefully.  It was well received, too, and played at three different places on St. Theresa’s Night, because when they had finished it in one place they were taken somewhere else and paid to play it again. And so these musicians had the front gate opened for them, and when they had formed up in the yard, they gave me, just as I was about to undress for bed, the most delightful surprise in the world with the opening E-flat chord.”

Herr von Strack, who was the Emperor’s chamberlain, did nothing of any consequence for Mozart.

The first movement of this Serenade begins with a lively march-like allegro maestoso and is followed by a menuetto which has the character of a contemporary dance.  A style of question and answer is featured in the adagio. The energetic second menuetto turns pensive in its trio section.  The finale shines with enthusiasm.

T.R.

BRUCH - Two movements from Eight Pieces op 83 ( clarinet, 'cello, piano)

No 5. Rumänische Melodie: Andante /
No 4. Allegro agitato

Max Bruch (1838 – 1920) was a German composer who continued in the Romantic musical tradition when other composers ventured into more modern styles.  His Violin Concerto No. 1 remains one of the most popular Romantic violin concertos.

Bruch composed these eight pieces for his son, a talented clarinettist to enable the work to be played more widely. He intended that they be regarded as a set of independent miniatures of various styles rather than as an integrated cycle. 

Bruch was captivated by folklore and folksongs. The Rumanian melody incorporates a folk tune suggested to him by “the delightful young princess zu Wied” at one of his Sunday open-houses, and to whom he dedicated the work 

The Allegro Agitato commences with a theme from the clarinet with a lively piano accompaniment.  Trills from the clarinet and cello commence a second section with related themes which move back to the initial theme.

T.R. 

MENDELSSOHN - Konzertstück No 2 in D minor, op 114  (oboe, clarinet, violin, 'cello, piano) 

Mendelssohn was good friends with the skilled German clarinettists Heinrich Joseph Baermann and his son Carl Baermann. 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! 

The Baermanns insisted on remuneration in the form of a piece of music for father and son to play together.  The result was dumplings for Mendelssohn and this Konzertstuck (January 1833), for the Baermanns! 

The Konzertstuck is in three sections.  The first is a lively Presto, commencing with unison phrases from the wind instruments and proceeds to a number of lyrical phrases.  The second section is a contrastingly quiet tuneful Andante.  The final part is a cheerful Allegro.

T.R. 

MENDELSSOHN - Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream incidental music, op 61 (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, violin, 'cello, piano) 

Mendelssohn wrote the Concert Overture relating to Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream when he was 17 years old.  16 years later he wrote the incidental music for the play.  Of its 14 numbers this Scherzo acts as an intermezzo between between Acts One and Two of the play.   It introduces the fairy-world of Act Two with sprightly chattering and dancing scoring in rapidly running passages. With a little imagination perhaps one can hear the scampering of fairy feet and in the background forewarning the (still to come in Act Three) occasional braying of Bottom as an ass. The movement is in Classical sonata form of which the development section comprises several small motives repeated up and down the scale.

T.R. 

MENDELSSOHN - Andante and Rondo Capriccioso  in E, op 14 ( flute, piano) 

The initial cantabile arching melody in the Andante is accompanied by repeated chords from the piano.   A repeated descending sequence emerges and two sets of descending octaves.  A rising scale introduces the Rondo, marked Presto which features sprightliness reminiscent of Midsummer Night’s Dream.  A more leisurely secondary theme is linked to the initial motif with arpeggios.  The work ends with a fiery closing passage.

                                                                                                                               T.R.             

MOZART - Piano concerto no 23 in A, K 488 (piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, violin, 'cello)

Allegro / Adagio / Allegro             

The piano concerto K488 was completed in 1786 at around the time of the premier of Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro.  It and the previous piano concerto K482 give the impression that Mozart was then aiming for works that were easier for the public to listen to than some of his immediately previous compositions.

The first movement is predominantly cheerful and is in sonata form.  It begins with an exposition by the ensemble which is then repeated by the soloist, becoming more ornamented and complex.   The second theme exhibits some harmonic tension.  A third theme becomes evident.

The second movement in F sharp minor, beginning with the piano alone, is quiet and deeply introspective. The somewhat brighter middle section announced by the flute and clarinet is in A major.

Introducing a complete change of mood the third movement by contrast is a lively, jovial rondo.

T.R.