Orion Ensemble to Open DANUBE DESTINATIONS Series, 10/27
For "Danube Destinations," its second concert program of the season, The Orion Ensemble, winner of the prestigious Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, begins the series of Beethoven Opus 9 string trios that will carry through the rest of the season. These performances include the Ensemble's debut at Sherwood, The Community Music School at Columbia College Chicago November 6, as well as performances at the Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston October 27 and the First Baptist Church of Geneva November 3.
Joining Orion is guest violist Stephen Boe, a member of The Chicago Ensemble who teaches at the Music Institute of Chicago.
With "Danube Destinations," Orion turns to the works of three German-speaking composers: Ludwig van Beethoven, Paul Hindemith and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. All were prolific in many musical genres and innovative in their writing styles, influencing the composers who followed them.
Beethoven wrote his three Opus 9 string trios in 1797 and 1798, after he had made a name for himself as a pianist in Vienna and was beginning to travel and be known in the wider continent. Each of the Opus 9 trios is in four movements, a form he would use for most of his quartets and symphonies. The writing is weighty and virtuosic, often contrapuntal, and fully Beethovenian in its energy, passion and strength. This program includes the Trio in G Major for Violin, Viola and Cello, Op. 9, No. 1.
Hindemith's Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano (1938) exudes a surprisingly broad and roomy air, given its conception just before WWII. It is a prime example of Hindemith's motivically conceived contrapuntal writing and is resplendent with many textural contrasts.
The concert also features a seldom-heard bonus piece by Hindemith, the Duett for Viola and Cello (1934), which gives Orion the opportunity to highlight the musical talents of guest violist Stephen Boe and Orion cellist Judy Stone.