Selby and Friends

Friday, 24 May 2019 at 8pm

Kathryn Selby (piano), Andrew Haveron (violin), Timo-Viekko Valve ('cello)

" Tight ensemble work and three master musicians at the top of their game..." Steve Moffat Daily Telegraph, May 2018

"The panorama of sounds of this crowning masterpiece soared as this musical ensemble performed one of Beethoven’s best known chamber works." CultureWorks, March 2018


Tickets for this concert can be purchased in advance



BEETHOVEN - Variations (7) on Mozart’s "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen" from The Magic Flute, for 'cello and piano, WoO 46

BEETHOVEN -  Violin sonata no 5 in F major, Op 24, Spring

BEETHOVEN – Concerto for violin, 'cello and piano in C major,  Op 56, Triple (Arranged by Carl Reinecke)


About the Artists

Kathryn Selby is one of Australia’s pre-eminent chamber musicians. Her reputation as both a soloist and ensemble pianist is formidable. In this concert, she is joined by two distinguished musicians:  Sydney Symphony Orchestra  Concertmaster, Andrew Haveron and Australian Chamber Orchestra Principal 'Cello, Timo-Viekko Valve. Together, Selby and Friends have an exciting musical chemistry.

Read more about the artists

Programme Notes

This concert reminds us that there can be great warmth and intimacy in Beethoven's music. It begins with Beethoven's variations on a theme from Mozart's Magic Flute; piano and 'cello sing of love in its many moods - tenderness, exuberance and yearning. Beethoven's violin sonata  Op 24 explores a lyrical world filled with grace, generosity and elegance. While Carl Reinecke's arrangement of Beethoven's orchestral concerto Op 56 reaches deep emotions with its rich musical textures and powerful expression.

BEETHOVEN - Variations (7) on Mozart’s "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen" from The Magic Flute, for 'cello and piano, WoO 46

Who has never fallen in love? Who has never experienced the tenderness, the yearning and the mystery of love? It's something we all understand. Mozart and Beethoven certainly understood love. Mozart's opera The Magic Flute, written in 1796, celebrates the uplifting power of love. In an early scene Princess Pamina and the lowly bird catcher Papagano talk of life and love; Papagano wonders if he will ever have a wife, Pamina reassures him that one day he will find love. They then sing the Bei Männern duet praising the power of love between husband and wife, and the universal joy of love; " Love today and love tomorrow keep nature's circle turning true." 

Of all Mozart's operas, The Magic Flute was Beethoven's favourite.  When he wrote his variations on the Bei Männern duet in1801 he was 31 years old and had established himself in Vienna as a successful composer and performer. He was famous, financially well-off and had formed lasting friendships with important musicians and patrons. Life was good but sadly love and the prospect of a happy marriage eluded him, so perhaps the duet had a personal significance for him. 

In the variations Beethoven has given the role of Pamina to the piano with bright soprano-like embellishments and flourishes. The 'cello with its earthy masculine voice takes the role of Papagano. The combination of piano and 'cello as equal voices was a masterful innovation by Beethoven. No other composer had written for this partnership and Beethoven would go on use it with great success in later double sonatas. 

Beethoven begins the work with a graceful unadorned statement of Mozart's original theme. If Mozart's theme is about the ideal of love, then Beethoven's variations are an unfolding revelation of the reality of love in all its complexity and ambiguity. 

The first two variations suggest the playfulness of love. Their staccato passages build in energy and exuberance. The mood changes in the third variation with its quiet soothing tones of tenderness and delicacy. In the fourth variation, a change to the minor key and beautiful slow exchanges between piano and 'cello suggest the sorrowful and yearning aspects of love. 

Bright energy and good-humour return in the fifth variation. The 'cello seems to chase the piano in mischievous mimicry. The sixth variation creates a dramatic contrast with quiet lingering moments when the tempo slows; the rhythm seems to become the beating of the human heart. The mood lifts in the final variation when the theme returns with clarity from the piano. Powerful responses from the  'cello bring the work to a fortissimo close. Love triumphs!

                                                                                                                             C. B. 


Detailed programme notes for the other works will be available closer to the concert date