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Thu, 30 Apr


Bonheiden 't Blikveld


Deutsche Gründlichkeit. Brahms, Weber, Schumann

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30 Apr 2020, 20:15

Bonheiden 't Blikveld, Jacques Morrensplein 2, 2820 Bonheiden, België


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Johannes Brahms - Sonate in f, opus 120 nr 1 voor klarinet en piano

Carl Maria von Weber - Variaties op een thema uit de opera Silvana


Robert Schumannn - Fantasiestücke opus 73

Johannes Brahms - Sonate in Es, opus 120 nr 2 voor klarinet en piano

Beethoven's musical legacy divided the Germanic music world into progressive allrounders and conservative absolutists. As "Gesamtkünstler", Liszt and Wagner elaborated on Beethoven's expansion of scale and multi-medial approach, while downgrading the musical conservatism of Schumann and his protégé Brahms, who defended an absolute vision of dauerhafte music as a genre in its own right. In this programme we explore both sides of the greatest schism in Western music.

Brahms' late clarinet sonatas are the most beautiful tribute one can make to a clarinettist: Johannes had already retired when Richard Mühlfeld inspired him to create a series of new masterpieces, including the Clarinet Quintet, and two Clarinet sonatas which foil the last and perhaps most beautiful crown on Romantic music. Schumann's Drei Fantasiestücke for clarinet and piano are a mature example of two essential characteristics of Romanticism: irrational mood swings and the most unbridled expression of the most unlimited imagination. 

As a contemporary of Beethoven, Carl Maria von Weber did not have to choose sides in the great schism, but his piano music did influence Liszt's, and his operas preluded Wagner's tonal language. Opera is also the impetus behind Weber’s Variations op. 33 (for clarinet and piano) that he wrote in one day based on the aria Warum musst' ich (in order to promote his opera Silvana to the Prague audience). The variations are capricious and virtuosic, as well as surprising, if only because they do not end in fireworks, but in a simple recapitulation of the main theme. 

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