November 15, 2020
Brahms: Love & Longing
concert is free
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19th-Century German Romanticism and the American counterpart.
“..it would be difficult to imagine it sounding more ‘right’ than on Gonzalez’s viola…”
— Bruce Hodges, The Strad Magazine
Sonata in F Minor, op. 120, no. 1
Die Stille Lotosblume (The Silent Lotus Flower), op. 13, no. 6
Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen
Concert Waltz “Bethena”
Sonata in E-flat Major, op. 120, no. 2
“warn-hearted playing and mellow tone”
— the Strad Magazine
Clara Schumann’s songs are part of a wonderful art song repertory which developed in Germany in the 19th century. Meanwhile in the United States an equally wonderful repertory of so-called spirituals was developed by enslaved African Americans. Brahms’s friend Antonin Dvorak spoke passionately about the value of these spirituals as a basis for a distinctly American school of art music. “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen” was first published in an 1867 collection entitled “Slave Songs of the United States.” Our arrangement of this powerful song was made by Lawrence Benjamin Brown for performances with the great Paul Robeson. Both Brown and Robeson were descendants of enslaved Africans, as was Scott Joplin, arguably the first great American composer. Joplin began publishing songs in 1895, just one year after the premier of our Brahms sonatas. He also composed two operas in addition to the concert waltz on tonight’s program and of course the ragtime music for which he is most famous.