Chamber Music in the Target Atrium

On Sunday afternoons, the sun will be warming the windows of our beautiful Target Atrium. Join us throughout the season as our musicians step away from the big sound of the Orchestra, taking up gorgeous chamber pieces that showcase their individual virtuosity. In this intimate space with extraordinary music and music-makers, come for an afternoon of magic.

Please note: seating is general admission with the exception of the June 3 date, which will be reserved seating inside the Auditorium.

Peter McGuire, John Snow, Marni Hougham, David Pharris, J. Christopher Marshall

Stravinsky, Janáček and Beethoven

About This Concert:

Beethoven’s final and most elegant piano trio and two unusual combinations of wind instruments (plus one violin!) adding a bit of early 20th-century musical energy.

STRAVINSKY
Pastorale

Janáček
Mládí, Sextet for Winds

BEETHOVEN
Piano Trio in B-flat major, Archduke

Fun Facts:

  • Beethoven’s Seventh and final piano trio was composed at an unusual time in his life when he was in relatively good spirits–which comes across beautifully in his sweeping, singing and smooth melodies.
  • Stravinsky’s Pastorale was originally composed for voice and piano. Only Stravinsky could take that combination and rewrite the piece for this unusual set of instruments: violin, oboe, English horn, clarinet and bassoon.
  • The original version of Pastorale was written for Rimsky-Korsakov’s daughter, Nadia, while Stravinsky was still his student.

Please note: this performance is at Target Atrium, Orchestra Hall.

Rui Du, Rebecca Corruccini, Kenneth Freed, and Beth Rapier

Schulhoff, Andrès and Fauré

About This Concert:

Two incredible works for strings written by two incredible, then-young composers. This program, deeply inspired by life and love, features quartets formed by the stellar Minnesota Orchestra string musicians. At the center of the program, bassoonist J. Christopher Marshall and Principal Harp Kathy Kienzle play a haunting duet by Bernard Andrès.

SCHULHOFF
Five pieces for String Quartet

ANDRÉS
Chants d’arrièie-saison

FAURÉ
Quartet No. 1 for Piano and Strings

Fun Facts:

  • Bernard Andrès is a harpist, pianist and composer who writes most of his music for harp. This piece was originally a duet with horn, but Andrès captured the expressive capabilities of the bassoon effortlessly when he rewrote the work for this pair of instruments.
  • Andrès could read music before he could read books.
  • Gabriel Fauré’s Quartet No. 1 contains an abundance of warmth and optimism, despite its key of C minor. It is full of quirks and colors, particularly in the piano melodies.
  • Fauré was engaged to Marianne Viardot in 1877, while he was writing this quartet, but the engagement was suddenly broken off. His grief can be heard in the Adagio movement, but the lightness and positivity throughout the rest of the quartet suggests that he knew he had ultimately taken the right path.
  • Erwin Schulhoff dedicated his Five Pieces for String Quartet to composer Darius Milhaud. Born to German Jewish parents, he died in a concentration camp in 1942, at age 48.

Photos © Joel Larson and Josh Kohanek Photography

Please note: this performance is at Target Atrium, Orchestra Hall.

Anthony Ross, Silver Ainomäe, Beth Rapier, Arek Tesarczyk

Mendelssohn and Mozart

About This Concert:

The Minnesota Orchestra’s cello section performs works for cello ensemble. Mendelssohn’s Second String Quartet and Mozart’s Quintet for Strings in G minor round out the program on this Sunday afternoon chamber concert, designed by Minnesota Orchestra musicians.

MENDELSSOHN
String Quartet No. 2

MUSIC FOR CELLO ENSEMBLE

MOZART
String Quintet in G minor

Fun Facts:

  • Mendelssohn began work on his quartet right around the time that Beethoven died. He makes several vivid references to Beethoven’s string quartets throughout the piece.
  • The nickname for Mendelssohn’s quartet is “Frage,” meaning “Question” in German.
  • Mozart’s Quintet in G minor was written one month apart from his Quintet in C major. Stylistically, the two quintets are complete opposites of each other. The same thing happened when he wrote his Symphonies No. 40 and 41, which are also in G minor and C major, respectively.

Please note: this performance is at Target Atrium, Orchestra Hall.

Kenneth Freed, Céline Leathead, Thomas Turner, Silver Ainomäe

Chamber Music: Mendelssohn and Dvořák

About This Concert:

A brilliant, sunny quartet and a Czech-inspired quintet, featuring Concertmaster Erin Keefe and her colleagues from each of our string sections.

Please note: this chamber music performance will be held in the Orchestra Hall auditorium.

MENDELSSOHN
String Quartet No. 4

DVOŘÁK
String Quintet in G major

Fun Facts:

  • Adding the double bass to the standard string quartet gave Dvořák a chamber ensemble that used each of the string instruments of a symphony orchestra.
  • Dvořák’s Quintet was originally 5 movements; one of these movements is now known on its own as his Nocturne for Strings (Opus 40).
  • The String Quartet No. 4 was composed while Mendelssohn was on his honeymoon in the Black Forest.
  • Mendelssohn’s Quartet has several moments that foreshadow his famous E-minor Violin Concerto—a piece that Concertmaster Erin Keefe performed with the Orchestra in 2014.
  • Casual Concerts include: $5 pre-concert happy hour, local craft brew, and an opportunity to meet musicians onstage after the performance.

Photos © Joel Larson and Josh Kohanek Photography


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Tickets for young listeners (ages 6-17) are available for $12 each with the purchase of an adult subscription. Tickets for college students (ages 18+) with a valid student ID are available for $12 each in price sections 1-4.

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