All Brahms – Twenties Style
The seventh season of Onstage at Curtis begins with an all-Brahms program, re-creating the first-ever student recital at the school from 1927, right down to the ornate stage decorations of the day:
Brahms: Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78
Eunice Kim, violin; Andrew Hsu, piano
Brahms worked on this lovely sonata during the summers of 1878 and 1879 in the southern German resort town of Poertschach am Woerthersee. Brahms must have found great inspiration in these mountain surroundings; he also composed his pastoral Symphony No.2 here. This three-movement sonata is sometimes called the "Rain" sonata because of Brahms' quotations from his "Regen-Lied," or "Rain" Song.
Brahms: Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 101
Luosha Fang, violin; Gabriel Cabezas, cello; Michelle Cann, piano
Vacations obviously fired up Brahms' creative juices: this four-movement trio is the product of a vacation spent in the Swiss resort of Hofstetten in 1886. Later that year, Brahms was at the piano with violinist Jeno Hubay and cellist David Popper for the premiere.
Incidentally, the cellist at the first Curtis student recital in 1927 was Orlando Cole. He went on to co-found the Curtis String Quartet, and to teach two generations of cellists at the school before his death at age 101 in 2010.
Musical Word of the Week: Sonata
An instrumental composition, usually in three or four movements, for piano alone (piano sonata) or for any other instrument with or without piano accompaniment (violin sonata, cello sonata, etc.)