On Feb 24, the Boston Chamber Music Society will perform the third installment of its annual six-concert “Sanders Series.” “[The concert will showcase] three works full of youth and vigor that have withstood the test of time,” says Erica Shiller, the BCMS’s marketing and research associate.
The BCMS, a large Boston-based association of well-known and professionally acclaimed musicians, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The group will be represented at Sanders Theatre by three of its members—Harumi Rhodes, Ronald Thomas, and Mihae Lee—and guest artist Dimitri Murrath, who will be playing the lead in Mendelssohn’s Viola Sonata in C Minor. From a piece written for one musician, the concert will transition into a duet, Kodaly’s Duo for Violin and Cello, and conclude with Fauré’s Piano Quartet No. 1.
While united by their continued popularity and appeal, each piece on the program comes from a distinct moment in musical history. Mendelssohn’s sonata, in addition to being the first sonata written specifically for viola, was one of the German composer’s first compositions, which he completed at age 15. Published in 1824, the early piece helped to launch a successful composing career in the Romantic era.Leaving 19th-century Germany behind, the concert ventures into another century and nation with Kodaly’s Duo, composed in Hungary in 1914. Kodaly’s friend and fellow influential Hungarian composer Béla Bartók said of Kodaly “[H]is works are the most perfect embodiment of the Hungarian spirit.
”The last piece in the concert, Fauré’s piano quartet, is a moderate and mellow work that was composed in the middle of his career. The French composer’s career is considered innovative because of his use of clear, distinctive melodies and unresolved subtle dischord. This piano quartet is considered the most popular of his chamber works.Rhodes, the concert’s violinist, expressed her excitement about the program. “From the Kodaly Duo to the Fauré Piano Quartet, this concert will take the listener on a journey that spans the entire gamut of human emotions,” she says.
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