April - May
Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid L. Boccherini
Le campane de l’Ave Maria
Il tamburo dei Soldati
Minuetto dei Ciechi
Il Rosario (Largo assai, allegro, largo come prima)
Passa Calle (Allegro vivo)
String Sextet N2 in G-major op.36 J. Brahms
Allegro non troppo
Scherzo. Allegro non troppo
Sasha Callahan and Katherine Winterstein, violins
Alexander Vavilov and Amelia Hollander Ames, violas
Leo Eguchi and Ying-Jun Wei, cellos
Exiled from Madrid along with his employer Luis Antonio the Infante of Spain, Luigi Boccherini had ample time to reminisce nostalgically about his life there, and to compose music about it. Night Music of the Streets of Madrid was composed just then and just like the title says the entire quintet is devoted to submerging us into the musical atmosphere of Madrid streets at night time. Far from being simply a collection of songs and dances, this piece aims to really recreate the soundscape of the place – starting with church bells, through the beggars’ minuets, soldier’s drums, songs by lower-class loudmouths, and ending with the night watch procession ringing in the curfew.
Very much unlike the Boccherini’s extravagant quintet, Brahms was quite determined to avoid tying his music to anything external, at least not overtly. His masterful scores contain some of the most profound and sublime expressions of the entire spectrum of human emotions. Yet these forces remain anonymous, and thus universal, as they come together to form constructs breathtaking in both expanse and subtlety as is the case with his second string sextet. Only once does he allow us a hint by musically spelling the name of his past love just as the music of the first movement reaches an exhilarating peak.
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