We welcome you to the 3rd 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, 8 important artists coexist in different musical combinations, presenting a series of unique works. Each one of these, has contributed in its own way to the evolution 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.

Franz Schubert - Schubert Trout Quintet


Vassilis Varvaresos - Piano
George Demertzis - Violin
Dimos Goudaroulis - Viola
Angela Giannaki - Cello
Seraina Seidou - Bass

Felix Mendelssohn - Mendelssohn String Octet


Noe Inui - Violin
Simos Papanas - Violin
Dimitris Karakantas - Violin
George Mathioulakis - Violin
George Demertzis - Viola
Angela Giannaki - Viola
Angelos Liakakis - Cello
Dimos Goudaroulis - Cello

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Minoa Chamber Music Festival - Franz Schubert - Trout Quintet

Franz Schubert

Trout Quintet


The genesis of the Trout Quintet is a charming story.  It was the summer of 1819 inVienna.  The young Schubert, only 22, had been studying privately with the famous Antonio Salieri (1750-1825, Mozart’s famous rival), feverishly composing and working as a schoolteacher to make ends meet.  Most nights he could be found behind a piano at Viennese societal gatherings, performing his own works (already several hundred lieder, or art songs, to his name).  Still as yet to be published or performed in a formal concert, Schubert was desperately trying to make a name for himself.   And then the famous opera baritone, Johann Vogl, an early admirer of Schubert’s, invited him as his guest for a summer in Steyr, the picturesque art colony nestled in the Austrian Alps.  The grandeur of the mountain countryside alone was dazzling to Schubert who had never been outside ofVienna.  But most promising were the weekly musical salons, sponsored by the wealthy patron Sylvester Paumgartner, where the young composer soon became the center of attention.  It was perhaps the most enriching and enchanting summer of his life, and when Schubert returned toVienna, he wrote the Trout Quintet as a thank you gift for Paumgartner, an amateur cellist. There are several remarkable qualities to the Trout Quintet: it has five movements instead of the traditional four; the entire work was completed in less than one week; and most musically fortuitous is Schubert’s addition of a string bass to the instrumentation instead of an additional violin or viola to complete the quintet.  With the addition of the bass, Schubert had the freedom to explore more combinations of sonorities. The nickname of the work comes from its signature Movement IV, in which Schubert quotes his own 1817 song “Die Forelle” (The Trout), and then adds five variations on the song.  What is most enduringly remarkably about this lovely piece is the vitality and lightness of spirit in the entire work.  Every movement tingles with an infectious cordiality – a snapshot, no doubt, of Schubert’s blissful experiences in Steyr.
The Trout Quintet has become one of the most cherished and recognizable chamber pieces ever written, for, despite its length, there is rarely a moment without something splendidly effervescent to hear.  Ironically, however, the work (despite its excellence and generous intentions) overestimated Paumgartner’s playing abilities and was shelved after its first read through and remained unpublished until well after Schubert’s death.


I. Allegro Vivace
II. Andante
III. Scherzo. Presto
IV. Tema. Andantino (Theme and Variations)
V. Finale. Allegro Giusto

Minoa Chamber Music Festival - Felix Mendelssohn - String Octet

Felix Mendelssohn

String Octet


Before his premature death at age thirty-eight, Felix Mendelssohn was to compose five symphonies, numerous other orchestral, stage and chamber works, and literally hundreds of vocal works ranging from solo song to large scale choral works (such as the popular oratorio Elijah of 1836, based on the Biblical account of the prophet's life). The Octet, however, holds a unique place among Mendelssohn's works as one of the first major successes for its composer.Mendelssohn began the composition of the Octet, the first indisputable masterpiece of his artistic maturity, in the autumn of 1825. The work was completed in October 15th 1825, two days before the composer presented the autograph score as a birthday present to his violin teacher, Eduard Rietz. Rietz returned his student's compliment by copying out instrumental parts by hand which were used in the work's first performance. The unusual (for the time) instrumentation of Mendelssohn's Octet scores for four violins, two violas and two cellos -- in essence, a double string quartet. Mendelssohn explores the full range of expressive and textural resources available to this particular combination of instruments, a perspective that is larger in scope -- more "symphonic" in conception -- than that usually encountered for the smaller scale of chamber music. More closely aligned with the expressive style of emerging musical Romanticism than with the established Classicism of the Berlin Singakademie and to the teachings of his musical mentor, Carl Friedrich Zelter, the sixteen-year old Mendelssohn's creative voice had attained a level of maturity and invention that exceeded that of any prodigy before him, including Mozart. The most astonishing fact about the composition of the Octet is not that it was written by someone of such a young age, but that such a personal and mature musical language is so evident throughout the work -- no small achievement for a composer of any age.From contemporary accounts of those in attendance of the first performance, the Octet apparently delighted and amazed its audience, a reaction that this work has been evoking ever since.


I. Allegro moderato con fuoco
II. Andante
III. Scherzo. Allegro leggierissimo
IV. Presto