We welcome you to the 2nd Chamber Music Festival of Minoa Palace Resort & Spa. Faithfull to our autumn meeting, we tried this year to travel with you in a musical journey to the unlimited world of classical music. This time, with the conduct of 2 concerts, 7 impor- tant artists coexist in different musical combinations, present- ing a series of unique works. Each one of these, has contribut- ed in its own way to the evolu- tion of formal music; novel musical “languages” in harmony, in rythm, in the adoption of local idoms, even in the combination of instruments, are presented in boldness and exquisite mastery from their pioneer creators. We urge you to identify them and enjoy them.
Dmitri Shostakovich - Shostakovich Piano Trio
Nikos Skalkottas - Skalkottas Duo for Violin & Cello
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Mozart Clarinet Quintet
E MINOR, OP.67
Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 67, is remarkable for a number of reasons. It was written in 1944, just after his Symphony No. 8, with which it shares its overall structure; it is a lamentation for both Shostak- ovich's close friend, musicologist Ivan Sollertinsky, and the victims of the Holocaust, the news of which did not reach the U.S.S.R. until the liberation of the camps began; and it is his first work to employ a "Jewish theme," a musical tribute that used the scales and rhythms of Jewish folk music as Shostakovich knew it. Shostakovich began compos- ing the trio in December 1943. He performed the piano part in the premiere, on November 14, 1944, in Leningrad, with violinist Dmitri Tsyganov and cellist Sergei Shirinsky, both members of the Beethoven String Quartet. The first movement begins with an Andante canon, which then breaks into a slightly faster Moderato, where the same melody is developed into a second one, and the use of canon continues. This movement is followed by a scherzo, but one with bitter humor in the key of F sharp major. It is a fast, waltz-like whirl of a movement. The B flat minor Largo third movement opens with a chorale theme,which becomes the ostinato bass of a passacaglia, repeated a total of six times, while the violin and cello are again in canon with a sombre, lamenting melody full of anguished, minor second dissonances between the two parts. This moves immediately into the final Allegretto, where the Jewish figurations -- the Dorian mode with an augmented fourth and the iambic rhythms -- are used in a macabre dance that is contrasted against a stern march and five-beat climbs up and down the scale. The strings frequently play pizzicato to add to the sharpness of the dance. The movement ends as the dance gives way to the chorale of the Largo, but this time ending in the more comforting key of E major.
I. Andante II. Allegro Con Brio III. Largo Iv. Allegretto
Duo for Violin & Cello
In the Merlier catalogue, the Duo for violin and Cello is dated 1947. With regard to composi- sional technique it continues the unconventional 12-tone technique of such orchestral works as the Overture to The Return of Odysseus for large orchestra or the music for the fairy-tale play Mayday Spell: no repetition of the rows, which are formed from all the notes, and which Skalkottas distributes freely among the instruments. In this manner the composer applies himself to the develop- ment of thematic lines that proceed from the intensive use of ‘intervallic technique’ and to the use of motivic elements of the themes. In terms of historical reference, the work oscillates between baroque (in the first two movements) and folk elements (in the forth move- ment). The first movement takes up a typically pre-classical, quasi baroque style in the construction of the first theme. This theme is contrasted with another, of dance like character, as an echo of cabaret music –a style that was also familiar to Skalkottas. The chromatic main theme of the second movement includes a characteristic piece of baroque ornamentation; the development of this idea involves the introduc- tion of a new rhythmic elemet -triplets. The movement is in three-part song form, and the middle section presents a rhythmically broad melody with a habanera-like beat. Overall, this movement develops into an intimate portrait with powerful emotional expression. The theme of the following scherzo is based on the contrast between duple and triple time. The middle section is a canon for the two string instruments, rounded off by long notes. The fourth and final movement bears the title ‘Pastoral Dance Scenes’. It is a humoresque in the folk style, a rondo with a refrain, in which 2/4-time and 7/8-time alternate (a Kalamatianos rhythm).
I. Allegro Ordinario E Un Poco Agitato II. Andante Molto Espressivo III. Molto Vivace IV. Allegro Vivo "Bauern Tanz-Scenen"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
A MAJOR, K.581
Mozart wrote the Clarinet Quintet during the summer of 1789, just before he began work on Così fan tutte, finishing the score on September 29. It was composed at a time of financial and emotional difficulty. His father had died some two years previously, his wife had been constantly ill and Mozart’s reputation was for one or other reason, distinctly on the wane. Under these difficulties, the Quintet had its first performance in Vienna the following Decem- ber 22, with Mozart's close friend, Anton Stadler as soloist and Mozart a member of the quartet. Simple verbal descrip- tion cannot begin to suggest the glories of the Quintet–this is truly sovereign music, full of the complete technical mastery of Mozart’s final years and rich with the emotional depth that marks the music from that period. The strings have the first theme of the Allegro, and the clarinet soon enters to embellish this noble opening statement. The second subject, presented by the first violin, flows with a long-breathed lyricism, and the movement develops in sonata form. The Larghetto belongs very much to the clarinet, which weaves a long cantilena above the accompany- ing strings; new material arrives in the first violin, and the devel- opment section is Mozart at his finest. Particularly impressive here is the careful attention to sonority, with the silky sound of muted strings set against the warm murmur of the clarinet. The Menuetto is unusual in that it has two trio sections: the minor-key first is entirely for strings, while in the second the clarinet evokes the atmosphere of the Austrian countryside with a ländler-like dance. In place of the expected rondo-finale Mozart offers a variation move- ment based on the violins’ opening duet. The five variations are sharply differentiated: several feature athletic parts for the clarinet, the fourth is a soaring episode for viola over rich accompaniment from the other voices, and the fifth is an expressive Adagio. TheClarinet Quintet concludes with a jaunty coda derived from the first half of the original theme.
I. Allegro II. Larghetto III. Menuetto - Trio I - Trio II IV. Allegrtto Con Variazioni