Spano leads Curtis Chamber Orchestra PREVIOUSLY BROADCAST LIVE
Liederabend PREVIOUSLY BROADCAST LIVE
Curtis On Tour: Recital PREVIOUSLY BROADCAST LIVE
DOHNÁNYI Sextet in C major, Op. 37 – 1. Allegro appassionato
Gergana Haralampieva, violin
Born Lau, viola
Will Chow, cello
Eric Huckins, horn
Slavko Popovic, clarinet
Chelsea Wang, piano
Performed on Friday, February 28, 2014
Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia
Despite a career that stretched well into the mid-20th century, Hungarian composer Ersnt von Dohnányi often cited Johannes Brahms as an important influence. The romantic stylings of Brahms are evident from the first notes of Dohnányi’s Sextet in C major, beginning with tumultuous arpeggios in the cello and a soaring horn melody, which is quickly joined by all the instruments of the sextet.
Dohnányi wrote the Sextet in 1935, as he scaled back his career as a concert pianist and focused more on composition, due in part to a recurring illness. While some might interpret the darker elements of the Sextet as an expression of unhappiness or despair when seen in this light, the music also includes moments of humor and joy—another hallmark of Brahms’ influence, and also reminiscent of Beethoven’s odes to triumph over adversity.
Even as it looks back to the Romantic masters, the Sextet also incorporates nods to newer developments of the day, including references to the jazz that swept Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. The first movement, marked Allegro appassionato, showcases this fusion of styles, ranging from a dark and somber opening to a bright and happy conclusion, and mixing the lush romanticism of Brahms with the exciting rhythmic and harmonic developments of the 20th century.